Jesse Tise

Every time I submit a column, I expect it to be cause for my immediate termination. This week, I doubled down to review a party thrown by the Mercury, because etiquette, professionalism, and self-preservation have never defined my brand. For what it’s worth, no fact checking should be necessary.

First thing first: the venue. Only Portland can transform a bowling alley into a boujee experience. The chosen venue was, in summary, a bowling alley, sports bar, high-end grill, pool hall, and video arcade. All elements, and I’m sure I missed a few,* were successfully executed. Even so, it felt like a very talented nine-year-old had erected their dream business based on all their parents’ hobbies.

My arrival was nearly thwarted by a complex maze of detours, because what’s the point of roads if not to close and work on them every few months? Well too bad, Portland! You can’t close enough roads to prevent party people from getting the party started. Upon my arrival, I was greeted by two large-framed, bearded Mercury employees in baseball caps whose only job, I believe, was to remind everyone that Portland is, in fact, part of Oregon.

A veggie buffet had already been prepared for us, along with two drink tickets. To my bewildered surprise, our server asked which whiskey I’d prefer for my drink ticket trademark, whiskey ginger—the only mixed drink no bar can possibly fuck up, because at its absolute worst you’ll be served whiskey or ginger ale. Even with the world as my oyster, I dove straight into the well. To paraphrase Portland comedian Nicky Moon, ’cause “the boi don’t know no better.”

And if you think I can’t be awkward at a company event, don’t doubt me, boi. “Oooh! Lard and carbs!” I exclaimed aloud, as our pizza arrived, and proceeded to stuff my face while sustaining eye contact with my blindingly handsome, brilliant, and charming editor—a celebrated legend among mere mortals. For reasons unknown, the pizza had been cut into triangles, squares, and possibly even a parallelogram or two—luckily with no effect on its edibility.

As bowling commenced, so did a stream of 1990s music videos, beginning with the Spin Doctors. Like most aging socialites, I’ve developed a nostalgic soft spot for the music of my youth, but the Spin Doctors still suck. Their video also stood as a reminder that it was always dark and cold in the ’90s. Go ahead. Review the fashion of the day. The ’90s were the Alaska of decades.

Anyhow, I’m a terrible bowler, but in my defense, if you swap my bowling scores with my golfing scores, I’m killer at both. Lack of skills aside, I stuck around for 90 minutes of cishet women struggling to determine whether or not I’m gay. The party must have earned 10 out of 10 points for me to hang out so long.

* I mean, this is Portland. There had to be a strip club involved. Right?

Want me to review your party? Send your invite to partyreview@portlandmercury.com.