THERE'S A PHONE line at city hall waiting for you. Someone in Mayor Sam Adams' office has the thankless task of transcribing every rant and rave and utterance of pure ridiculousness that lands in the mayor's public voicemail box. Since October 2010, we've made a habit of requesting the messages every few months. Here's the latest batch (condensed and edited), through March.
Tuesday, January 3: You should change the name of 39th back to 39th. Just put up a damn statue! It ain't César Chávez Boulevard, it's 39th Street!
Wednesday, January 4: It's a bunch of bullshit that you won't let the Republican Party come and debate in Portland because you think it's going to cost money, yet you let those hoodlums run around downtown Portland ripping the city off for thousands, if not millions, of dollars. It's a bunch of hooey asshole shit. And I cannot wait 'til Sam Adams is out of this city. A group of people wants to come here and have a debate—and pay good money to stay in hotels and eat in restaurants—and you don't want them here. For those of you listening to this and reviewing this, I'm sure you're agreeing with me, because you're going like: "Well, this guy's got a point. Yeah, he does." Yeah, I do have a point, because you guys got it backward.
Wednesday, January 4: I will not use the slop bucket; never have.
Wednesday, January 4: You can send me to jail, sir. I will never use my slop bucket. But, you have a real good day! Bye.
Thursday, January 5: My car was towed. My prescriptions are gone. No one has a record of my prescription drugs. When I talked to records about it, they hung up on me twice. Who's running the show down there, Sam? Go Ducks!
Friday, January 6: I just want Sammy to know: Once again, you come up with some of the dumbest ideas yet. Millions and millions for your little trains and bike paths—and now you want to quit paving roads. You are a little jerk! Go away!
Friday, January 6: FASCISTS who don't allow the other side's opinion from—oh, let's say, presidential candidates from the Republican Party—are FASCISTS! You're an asshole, Sam Adams! Your entire city is just an absolute liberal ghetto! So, thanks very much. I'm glad I sold my house and I'm moving out. Bye, you jerk! GOD, I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU SO MUCH!
Monday, January 9: I'm calling regarding the proposed closure of Fulton Park Community Center. I'm a 64-year-old grandmother who's just recently discovered the joy of dance—especially the waltz eclectic. I would be really sad if it was closed so soon after I started attending that.
Tuesday, January 10: Well, this is more than an opinion. I'm in a lot of danger. I was wondering if the city could help me get an apartment. I've been robbed of a lot of money. I'm a victim of this big Scientology movement for eight years. It's all connected to John Travolta's deluxe hotel. I'm owed thousands. Thank you.
Thursday, January 19: Hey, Valium Breath. Those streets, the sidewalks—it's terrible outside! I see no evidence of gravel or sand. It's dangerous out there! I want the streets fixed, I want gravel and sand on them, and I want to be able to send my kid on a TriMet bus without being beat up by people of another skin color because they don't like them! That's outrageous! You people need to quit!
Friday, January 20: Rosemary is a frequent caller to the mayor's line. She's such a regular that Adams' staffers just paraphrase what she says. [Rosemary's concerned about flooding. She is concerned about the Pearl flooding, and she is wondering why the Willamette is not mentioned in the news.]
Friday, January 20: [Rosemary says that NPR is just now reporting that the Willamette River is expected to reach flood stage in the afternoon. She's wondering if the mayor could address this issue on the radio and in the newspapers. She wants more coordination between the city and the apartment managers and neighborhood association.]
Friday, January 20: [Rosemary is apologizing for being such a pest. She is still listening to NPR and wondering why Salem flooding is getting more concern by authorities than impending Portland flooding.]
Monday, January 23: I'm calling about the garbage service. I've tried to tell my cats to quit pooping and peeing so much, but they just won't listen to me. And, I've tried to tell my elderly mother, whom I had move in with me, to quit using so many gosh-darned disposable diapers, but she just keeps pooping and peeing, too. I don't know what to do with all this poop and pee! Maybe I'll just throw it out on the curb.
Wednesday, February 15: Anyway, I'm just hearing this Occupy movement is now chasing after the 7-Elevens in town. I mean, now we're talking about 7-Elevens here, okay? I mean, this is getting like a little ridiculous—like a man can't, you know, have a 7-Eleven without, you know, some, you know, ne'er-do-wells deciding to picket the man's right to actually, you know, try to make a living, you know?
Thursday, March 1: I bought some fig bars the other day that used to be made by Nabisco. I called them because I didn't like the new packaging and then I discovered that they were made in Mexico. You might want to look into getting a Nabisco factory back here. Anyway, think about it.
Thursday, March 8: I just wanted to know why the city has all this money to put in new parks in the Pearl District, build sports arenas, yet you can't feed the children in Portland. Why are you so anti-children? Thank you. Bye.
Thursday, March 8: I'm calling about the chem-trails in our skies on this beautiful day. They are in our skies every day. You know, I know that somebody at the top is probably getting paid handsomely to keep quiet or, you know, not protest this chemical dumping. But I'll probably start calling every day, actually, to, you know, get some answers on this. I probably sound like a wingnut, but I know this is going on. Thank you. Bye bye.
Tuesday, March 27: Hi, I'm just wondering if there are going to be any efforts to increase awareness of pedestrian safety in the Portland metro area, because I work in downtown Portland and there isn't a day that goes by where I'm not nearly hit by somebody. Even just walking from the MAX station just a few blocks to where I work, it almost feels like a suicide mission. So, I'm just wondering if there's anything that could be done to increase awareness. Thanks very much.