The New York Times may celebrate Portland for its frugality, but it turns out the city is only cheap for out-of-town visitors like your mother and that flashy jet pilot she's taken up with since pop succumbed at last to black lung.

Portland is America's 12th most overpriced city, says Forbes Magazine, beating San Francisco. Yes, it may cost fewer actual dollars to live here, but there's no houses affordable to those working the few low-paying jobs that do exist. Tomorrow I may even tell you something you don't already know—like the fact that the most expensive city on the Forbes scale is Los Angeles, California. Oh, you guessed that, too?

Forbes, it seems, simply went to coffee shops around the country asking how many of the baristas were "really" actors, writers, and musicians. Then matriculated the data through an Excel spreadsheet to give it an air of legitimacy.

Still, cheer up, loser! You can save money with the Mercury's new MERCPERK$ program! AND download our new Cocktail Compass iPhone application, to save money on booze at the nearest liquor emporium. Then, save the difference in a Roth IRA and in 25 years, you too may have enough to put a downpayment on a chicken coop in Lents. Yes, Lents. The place where nothing grows and the people are oversensitive to derisive throwaway remarks about their neighborhood made by bloggers. Lents! The ultimate shithole of the world! It's not even really Portland, is it? Etcetera.