Cover art by Tangmo Cecchini. Food photo by Aaron Lee. damedeeso / getty images

Look: I’m not in the business of telling you what to do with your life... hold on, that’s incorrect. Telling you what to do is literally my business! I literally come to work every day and publish exactly what I think you should be doing with your life! Soooo... WHY AREN’T YOU DOING IT?

Example: In the past week I’ve asked at least 25 people the same question: “Are your tickets for the Ariana Grande concert on the floor or upper level?” And every time I get the exact same answer: “There’s an Ariana Grande concert?” To which I always respond, “YES, YOU DIPSHIT! It’s Tuesday, April 30 at 8 pm at the Moda Center! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?? GOD!!!”

At this point, the person either runs away or crawls beneath the nearest heavy object. But before you jump to any wrong-headed conclusions, let me make one thing crystal clear: I am the victim in this scenario.

Look at it from my point of view—I’ve now spent nearly half my life newspapering, spending each day desperately searching for and then delivering information that’s intended to improve YOUR life in an exponential manner. Do I require thanks for this? No, I do not. However, my feelings cannot help but be a little bit hurt when I suggest a fantastic, possibly life-altering event (e.g. the upcoming Ariana Grande concert) in our newspaper or on our blog, and you—YOU—completely ignore it!

Now granted, a scant few of you may have little to no interest in Ariana Grande. THAT’S FUCKING INSANE, OF COURSE, BUT WHATEVER. But the Mercury also caters to your less interesting interests! Like, tell your grandpa there’s a Kansas concert at the Schnitzer on April 12. Tell your hippie uncle Dave there’s a Woodstock Anniversary show at the Aladdin on April 20. Tell your hip-hop nephew Chad that Lizzo is playing the Roseland on April 26 and 27. In fact, the Mercury calendar has (no shit) thousands of potentially great suggestions and is objectively speaking the finest fucking entertainment calendar in the entire state—and I will knock the teeth out of any mouth that says different!

That’s because instead of employing event-searching robots who consistently get things wrong to populate our calendars, we hired two living, breathing calendar editors (say hi to Bobby and Chipp, everybody) who type in and curate every Portland event BY HAND. They work their bottoms off to make sure you have the best calendar possible. Why? Because as stated before, the Mercury sincerely has one goal: improve your life and provide you with fun shit to do!

And THAT is why, when you act fashionably ignorant about the Ariana Grande concert, my head explodes off the top of my neck! Because when you insult Ariana Grande? You insult Bobby, you insult Chipp, and most important of all, you insult ME.

Whew! I feel much better now, which is the entire point of this column. Anyhoo, check out the all-inclusive, wildly accurate Things to Do calendar in this paper and online at—because remember: When you’re improving your life, you’re also improving mine. (I appreciate you making that your top priority!)

Yer pal,

Wm. Steven Humphrey


Portland Mercury