Hello, friends, and welcome back to page five of the Portland Mercury! I’m emotionally hungover this week from having worked as an extra on Shrill last week. Why? Because I stood behind the glorious Aidy Bryant for approximately 15 hours and I think some of her sunshine ebullience rubbed off on me, and because I became friends with two men who were born during the Clinton administration who had never seen Lord of the Rings, and I’m awed by my capacity to overcome what would have been a dealbreaker on any other day on any other set. Watch for me next season on Shrill! I’ll be the white lady with bangs and glasses. The only one.

So. What’s been going on in the world (aside from my star turn as an extra)? Um, A LOT!

There’s No Ignorian Hurricane Dorian

(Look, sometimes the only way I can process horrific things is to make terrible puns, and I’m sorry that I’m this way.) As I’m sure you know, last week Hurricane Dorian terrorized the southeastern seaboard and set up camp over the Bahamas. People dealt with it in a stupid 2019 fashion. Some people make terrible puns (ahem). And a pink-haired Christian Facebook prophet named Kat Kerr posted a video in which she claimed to take authority over the hurricane in the name of Jesus and commanded “the hosts of Heaven to go in there, right now, and pull down all of Satan’s power, which is using this storm, Dorian, to bring destruction!” Since the hurricane obliterated several communities and killed at least 20 people, thanks for nothing, pink-haired prophets and hosts of Heaven.

After pummeling the Bahamas, Hurricane Dorian turned to Florida and the Carolinas before fizzling out, having never delivered on Trump’s promise that it would fuck with Alabama. He even circled the area on a weather map with a Sharpie and everything! According to Twitter weather nerd Dennis Mersereau, it’s against the law to alter materials provided by the National Weather Service, and if Trump is punished for his doodle, it will be the Al-Capone-getting-busted-on-tax-charges of the 21st century. And if those hosts of Heaven allowed Satan’s power to destroy so many human lives and communities, the least it could do is destroy the Trump presidency as well.

Another byproduct of Hurricane Dorian? COCAINE! According to NBC News, the storm delivered several bricks of cocaine onto Florida beaches. A Florida police spokesperson confirmed that the packages had been “tested and destroyed.” Oh yeah, I for sure trust Florida cops to “test” and “destroy” hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of cocaine. Destroyed it right up their booger sugar canals!

Another Storm, but Metaphorical

Things aren’t going much better for our special friends across the pond in the United Kingdom. Their new prime minister, Boris Johnson—the one political figure whose hair might be worse than Trump’s—is steering his ship straight into the iceberg known as no-deal Brexit, in spite of his parliament passing a law that would bar that from happening. Psh, laws! Parliament! Okay, real talk: I don’t understand enough about Brexit to make any good jokes about it and my whole plan for the last three years was to assume it wouldn’t happen, so I’d never have to figure out the UK’s government. I’m sure there are more noble reasons to hope for Brexit’s failure, but continued ignorance is mine.

Mike Pence was over there, too, throwing a few more turds on their shitstorm. The Vice Very Stable Genius stayed at a Trump hotel in Ireland, despite it being hundreds of miles from where he had to attend meetings in Dublin. Pence’s press secretary said that this was at Trump’s suggestion, but THEN, in a classic stable-genius move, backpedaled to say Pence stayed there for other logistical reasons (AKA lied to cover his ass). Trump responded to the controversy by holding up a world map and drawing a circle around Washington, DC, that extended to the coast of Ireland and said, “What? He’s not in Ireland.”

Goodbye and Good Luck or Good Riddance

Nicki Minaj recently announced her retirement from the biz, saying on Twitter that she wanted to focus on starting a family, but to “keep reppin me, do it til da death of me.” We will miss Nicki, but we thank her for her huge contributions for women in hip-hop, not least of all her legendary call to “see all the big fat ass bitches in the mothafuckin’ club” which has, at least for now, been answered by our queen of body positivity, Lizzo. Speaking of Lizzo, her latest earworm “Truth Hurts” just hit number one on the Billboard hot list. Lizzo shared her joy on Twitter: “THIS IS A W FOR ALL OF US. ANYBODY WHO EVER FELT LIKE THEY VOICE WASN’T HEARD. ANYBODY WHO FELT LIKE THEY WEREN’T GOOD ENOUGH. YOU ARE.” This makes me tear up. Thank you for everything, Nicki and Lizzo: queens of loving our asses and ourselves.

On the opposite end of the love chart is Scarlett Johansson, who’d alllllmost gotten us to forget that she said she could play a tree. She recently confessed to a continued friendship with alleged child molester and for-sure husband of his own stepdaughter, Woody Allen. ScarJo told the Hollywood Reporter, “I love Woody. I believe him, and I would work with him anytime.” YIKES. Vulture, reporting on her admission, added that “as the culture shifts to believing victims, Johansson finds her situation difficult.” Oh no! POOR SCARJO! What a difficult situation to be in! You know, just deciding to keep saying awful things, even when saying nothing is also an option. ScarJo does not fall into Lizzo’s special classification of people whose voice isn’t heard. We can’t stop hearing her.

In Local News

Newport’s weirdest tourist trap, the Undersea Garden, recently announced they’re closing after 46 years of business. If you haven’t been to the Undersea Garden, it’s like this: You pay money to take stairs down to a musty room of windows just beneath the waves where you observe some murky water, seaweed, and maybe an octopus—and I loved it. RIP, Undersea Garden! I’ll think of you every time I put on goggles and hang my head off a dock, which is basically the same experience, but free.

The Last Word

Thanks for reading, everyone! I hope that whatever you’re up to, you’re doing it well (unless you’re Scarlett Johansson, and what you’re up to is defending Woody Allen). See you in a couple weeks! MWAH.