RE: Burger Week (Aug 10-16), an annual citywide bonanza of limited-edition $5 burgers. Promotion of the event includes reminders to order additional items and tip appropriately, AKA the Commandments of Burger Week.

DEAR MERCURY—I hate to break it to you, but guess what? Being a civil human being with some semblance of manners and consideration for others is status quo for those of us who are not of Neanderthal lineage. Thank you for pointing out that there are dickish customers right up front, and practically accusing us all of being that way in advance. Working with the public sucks. But guess what? You decided customer service, food service specifically, was what you wanted to do for a living. Nobody should have to read or adhere to your "rules" when it comes to being a restaurant patron or whilst attending one of your poorly executed fests, tastes, or other foodie-boozy-beer and bacon-y-related events. Here are some real commandments for those restaurant owners who thought food service would be a good idea:

• How about not stressing your staff with what they inevitably dread every year by overworking them?

• How about making the effort to actually have enough product based on your stats from the previous year, and then some?

• Want us to tip and order something other than just a burger? Then how about making sure your customers are actually acknowledged by someone when they walk in and not blatantly ignored and left to their own devices to "just figure it out," or, here's a good one, "Make the best of it!"

As an event coordinator with more than 20 years of experience, I can confidently say that the people who have shared not-so-great reviews or legitimate complaints should be taken seriously. If you own a restaurant or an event space, there is no excuse for poor event planning. Get it together and stop blaming your paying customers for your shortcomings. We don't need your stinking rules and commandments.



RE: "So Long, Dear Suckers!" [I Love Television, Aug 12], in which Wm.™ Steven Humphrey announced the conclusion of his long-running column.

DEAR HUMPY—I won't allow it! You cannot stop writing I Love Television until you look like a hot version of the Crypt Keeper. Please tell me this is just a fever dream of some coked-up Hollywood producer and that I Love Television will come back from the dead like Bobby Ewing. And that you'll have his glorious feathered half mullet!

I love, love, love I Love Television


RE: Portland's recent-ish emergence as a "cool" place to be.

DEAR MERCURY—I've lived in and around the Portland area on and off for the past 50 years, and I don't see what's so fucking cool about it. There are tons of decrepit old buildings. There are drug fiends all over the place shooting heroin into their arms, dropping their dirty needles, and dropping dead themselves left and right from overdoses. (Back in the 1980s, the Port of Portland was listed as being the primary national inlet for heroin imports coming from abroad on container loads. So has anything changed there?) There are roughly a half-dozen random gang shootings per week, with more shootings from other crazed individuals. Near-gridlock traffic problems are horrendous and getting worse day by day. There are legions of homeless and mentally ill living, crapping, and pissing all over. Little kids are selling their asses on the streets. And then to top it all off, the cost of housing is largely not affordable. So what's so "cool" about all this? I suspect that the recently much-touted "coolness and hipness" of Portland is nothing more than just hype that is designed [for] social media outlets and other marketing venues in creating an illusion of coolness and hipness in the interest of drawing unsuspecting suckers to live here from around the country.    

Jim Shepard

AND YET YOU'VE ENDURED these horrendous conditions, and have kept coming back, for 50-odd years, Jim! Bravo for sticking it out. You win two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater for the trouble, which totally still counts as "old Portland."