Everyone knows Portland is notoriously white. So I couldn’t have been more thrilled to attend a potluck for Portland’s growing community of Black comedians organized by Ms. Courtenay and The Real Hyjinx of Dirty Angel Productions/Entertainment.
I made a conscious effort not to show up too early, which is always a challenge for those of us with social anxiety. I sat around my apartment doing nothing in particular, got solidly day drunk, masturbated to pass the time, and left to pick up a 24 pack of Miller High Life (The Champagne of Comedians) just as the potluck, halfway across town, was scheduled to begin. Even so, as I pulled up to the apartment, I knew I was the first to arrive, nearly an hour late—because CP time is real, comedy time is real, and people of color on comedy time is some real shit.
I strolled in and was greeted warmly by Ms. Courtenay, as Hyjinx finished up in the kitchen. It turned out to be not so much a potluck as Hyjinx treating us all to an extravagant feast of fried chicken, greens, beans and rice, cornbread, and mac ‘n’ cheese—all made 100 percent from scratch. Slowly but surely, the most community-focused Black comics started to arrive: Belinda “Da Amazon Queen” Jiles, Lance Edward, and Shrista Tyree.
What some readers may not know is how seriously we take our greens. It’s standard to ask, “Do you know how to make greens?” In this case, the answer was a resounding “yes,” as evinced by the speed at which we shamelessly devoured the entire pot. Never again will I question Hyjinx’s green card. Of course all the other dishes were also incredible and quickly demolished, including the bottle of sweet tea vodka mixed with lemonade brought by Da Amazon Queen.
Sadly, the turnout wasn’t nearly what it should have been, which brings us to a sad point in this column, which is the effectiveness of cultural isolation in Portland. People of color often complain there aren’t enough of us here, and yet only the realest among us will show up when an opportunity arises to be among our own. Excuses for absence ranged from social anxiety, white girlfriends having made alternative plans, and “grabbing a burger.” You read that right. Some nigga had the nerve to grab a burger before joining us for a home-cooked meal.
Most shameful, in my opinion, were the niggas that didn’t bother to show up at all. When given such an opportunity, the very least one can do is roll through, grab some grub, and say “Deuces! I hate y’all niggas!” But at least show the fuck up, like your mama raised you right.
All the same, those of us who did come and show our support enjoyed the feast, the opportunity to congregate with like minds, and when dessert was offered, we were all of one mind in saying, “Family, you doing too much.”
10 points out of 10.