Shitty news, everybody.
As you no doubt remember—keeping the memories close to your warm hearts—each November for the past two years, we've done a very special thing here on Blogtown. We've held a Middle-earth themed poetry contest, with myself and the esteemed editor of the Portland Mercury, Wm. Steven Humphrey, taking the "winner" out to eat at Denny's.
But not just any meal at Denny's. A hobbit meal at Denny's, with the fine foods chosen from Denny's seasonal, The Hobbit-themed menu. O, how we feasted! We feasted on culinary delights such as "Bilbo's Berry Smoothie," as the "Hobbit Hole Breakfast," quenching our thirst with "Bowman's Brew Pumpkin Coffee" before diving in again with "Smaug's Fire Burger" and "Gandalf's Gobble Melt." Each November for the past two years, it has been a joyous and delightful time, both here on Blogtown and among the storied booths at the not-so-beloved Denny's located at 425 NE Hassalo, "the Rivendell of Portland."
But this year there will be no contest. There will be no poems—no admiration of mithril, no reminiscing of Goldberry, no admiration of Bard nor recounting the history of the Prancing Pony. There will be no jokes about how Steve would like to fuck a Hobbit hole, nor strategies about how he would trick Gandalf into giving him a gobbler. There will be no joy, and no delight—for this year, there is no Hobbit-themed menu at Denny's.
Gandalf's Gobble Melt
An Unexpected Journey
—instead choosing to use their time for emoji retellings of "Too Many Cooks," a thing that is technically a "Star Wars joke," and "thanking veterans." Bullshit, all of it.
I called Denny's customer service (they can be reached at 1-800-7DENNYS) to demand answers. Their kind, patient customer service rep told me "I don't know" and "I'm not sure" when I asked her my questions and told her "I miss it" and am "sad," before offering me a bare shred of cold comfort, as chilly as the highest peak of Caradhras, distant among the Misty Mountains: "I can send over this report to our marketing people," she said, and then she took my name and my number. Denny's marketing people have yet to call me back.