Tired of all the annoying annoyances you had to put up with in 2006? Well, instead of crying about it, we've come up with a simple solution: "HEY, TOP 19 ANNOYING THINGS OF 2006! YOU'RE NOT INVITED BACK!"

Non-Sexy Emails from Former Police Chief Derrick Foxworth

Yeah, yeah. WE KNOW. It's supposedly "morally repugnant" to write pornographic emails to a subordinate. But when former Police Chief Derrick Foxworth typed those SEXY emails to Angela Oswalt, he took what is normally considered a "cold technology" and turned it into something else: hot, passionate ART. For example: "I want to slide my thick chocolate cock deep into that moist tight pussy of yours and hear you moan...." Would this be "inappropriate" if Billy Dee Williams said it? OF COURSE NOT! Well, Foxworth is the Billy Dee of PDX, and if he's forced to write the same boring un-sexy emails as the rest of us? Then this is a city I don't want to live in! (P.S.—Derrick, write back soon! We miss your "chocolate." lovenotes@portlandmercury.com)

The Oregonian's Free Shitty Paper on My Driveway Every Week

Here is a parable: I have a hunchback neighbor who walks his fatass wife and little Chihuahua past my house every morning. The other day, I watched his ratty mutt pinch a loaf in my front yard—and the hunchback would've left it, had I not caught him red-handed. So in this parable, the staff of the Oregonian and This Week/Food Day (or whatever you call it) represents my neighbor Quasimodo, and that plastic-wrapped "newspaper" they throw in my driveway every week is the dog shit. At least poop could conceivably fertilize my lawn—but a recipe for pumpkin cheesecake and Shawn Levy's review of the latest Tim Allen movie? All it does is give me a speed bump to run over for a week before kicking it underneath Quasimodo's hedge. So just in case anyone at the Oregonian ever listens: We would all really appreciate it if you would STOP polluting our lawns with your completely useless paper. (Though Quasimodo does occasionally use the bag for picking up poop.)

People Who Hate the Tram

It's befuddling how anyone could hate the tram (excepting, of course, those dimwit NIMBYs and the occasional geriatric political blogger). The tram is a beautiful work of art; sleek and bubbly, gliding along impossibly thin wires as it treks up and down Marquam Hill. Yes, it was way over budget. But what great project isn't? You get what you pay for, and we got ourselves a beautiful tram that not only does its part to save the environment, it also attracts tourism, new businesses, AND further isolates those annoyingly rich OHSU surgeons hiding out in their South Waterfront condos. Now—unless you're getting a gall bladder removed—you'll probably never have to see a surgeon again. Hug the tram. Ride the tram. Love the tram.

People Who Love the Tram

Hey, here's an idea! How about instead of spending a hundred kajillion tax dollars on some stupid goddamn flying shoebox that's only useful to .0000053 percent of Portland's population, why don't we spend some money on other, more efficient methods of public transportation? How about finishing up the bus mall? Or adding a new streetcar line? Or a new MAX route? Or—I don't fucking know—giving people jetpacks? Shit knows it'd be more cost-effective than a goddamn tram. Or, hey, why not install moving sidewalks everywhere? Does that make sense, City Council? Oh, of course it does! And since we're shitting out all this money for a ridiculous tram, why don't we just sink a few billion into making a Star Trek transporter? Hey, City Council! A transporter sounds great! It's just as legit as a goddamn tram, right? Oh, and hey, here's an idea—let's only have it work for the three people in Portland who work at OHSU. Beam me up, dickholes!

Use of the Phrase "I Heart"

You know what we mean: "I totally heart those skinny jeans!" This phrase was introduced to the lexicon by cuter-than-thou indie chicks, and has since been embraced by shrill pre-teens everywhere. You may think that by inserting this colloquialism into your speech you're broadcasting your adorableness to the world—but in fact everyone within earshot thinks you're a total toolbox with the emotional range of an emoticon and a limited understanding of noun/verb relationships. Try having a real feeling, because your hollow profession of "hearting" things is exactly as meaningful as the fact that you have 878 MySpace "friends." LOL!

"Clever" Panhandlers

Homelessness and poverty are serious issues that must be eradicated. A step in the right direction would be if we let "funny" homeless people starve to death. "Could you spare seven cents?" Never heard that one before. "Spare some change for the Church of Malt Liquor?" Pretty clever—for a stinking hippie. "Why lie? I need a beer!" True, honesty is the best policy... a policy granting me the right to push you off the Burnside Bridge. As a general rule, starving people can't afford to be funny—which is why you'll never see an Ethiopian kid holding a sign that reads, "Will work for sex."

Willamette Week Covers Featuring Old Men Eating Diarrhea

I'm sorry, but sometimes? The WW is just too "out there." The cover story for their August 16 issue involved local "competitive eaters"—a topic near and dear to the hearts of the paper's main demographic, Lake Oswego's morbidly obese. However, instead of an appropriate cover shot—like a Lake Oswegoan noshing on a tray of finger sandwiches provided by a complacent Negro maid—the photo was of a retiree cramming fistfuls of diarrhea into his mouth. Was this intended to court the city's growing population of aging diarrhea fetishists? Or was it simply to send the following subliminal message to all their readers: YOU EAT SHIT. Regardless, such patently offensive WW covers will NOT be invited back to 2007. (Whatever happened to that retarded third-grader they hired to draw PGE's "Bulby"?)

Businesses that Close Early

Where can you go for an espresso/magazine/dinner/insert-urban-necessity-here at 9 pm on a Wednesday? Very few places in Portland, that's for sure. Seriously, unless you're a career alcoholic, Portland's a tough place to find anything after 8 pm—with a few wonderfully notable exceptions, like donuts, hotdogs, and lapdances. Note to shop owners: Not everyone in Portland is as sleepy as Mayor Tom Potter. Unless you hate making money, STAY OPEN LATER! (And when you do close, turn off the damn neon "OPEN" sign, okay?)


I have yet to hear a single reason why anyone should give a flying pity fuck about the Zoobombers. Is it part of the whole "Keep Portland Weird" bumper sticker crusade? Is there something I'm not getting? It's a bunch of able-bodied hipsters riding little sissybikes down a steep hill, right? Pardon me for not seeing the challenge here. Maybe if the world's fattest twins from the Guinness Book of World Records rolled their mopeds off a cliff, I could be bothered to care. Or if the "Bombers" jumped like spider monkeys onto the top of Max cars and surfed the trains all the way to the transit centers. But a bunch of dreadlocks with bandanas over their faces squeaking along on My Little Pony bikes? Week after week after fucking week? Down the same hill? Quick—somebody call the Fox Network. I've got a new show to pitch: When Extreme Sports Go PATHETIC. [Same goes for kickball teams.]

Whiny Urban Neighbors

Dear Mr. & Mrs. I'm-on-the-Pearl-neighborhood-committee: Didn't you move downtown to get away from your quiet suburban upbringing? Then why not SHUT UP about the "noisy train whistles," already? And for those downtowners who have been flooding into North Portland—stop boo-hooing about the Portland International Raceway! It was there LOOOOOOONG before you ever showed up and—unlike YOU—actually makes the city money, money that pays for the constant street repair your idiotic SUV requires, and for educating your spoiled shitheel kids. So if you can't stop complaining, don't let the door hit your ass on the way out. From what we hear, they'll accept anybody in Vancouver.


[Editor's Note—The following item was written by acclaimed actor, director, and occasional Mercury freelancer Mel Gibson. The Mercury does not necessarily condone or agree with Mr. Gibson's assertions.]

Listen, just hear me out. Now, I'm not saying we need to, you know, exterminate them or anything. You know who I'm talking about. Always counting their money? Love starting wars? Yeah, yeah. Those guys. Now, listen—just let me put this out there—let's not invite them back. I mean, what do they do for us? Well, yeah, okay, they invented bagels. Right? Wasn't that them? And who doesn't like a good bagel? Back on Lethal Weapon 3, me and Danny and Pesci would have bagels—with cream cheese—all the time! Delicious! But other than that? Name one other thing they do. Other than, you know, start wars? And drink babies' blood? And, you know, murder our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ of Nazareth? Hey, don't look at me that way. It's just an idea. Just think it over, that's all I ask. Christ. I need a drink.

Three-Story Tall Pictures of Barry Manilow

When you're exiting I-5 into the Rose Quarter, the last thing anyone expects is a fiery death, caused by a leering three-story tall Barry Manilow. And NO, I don't care if the billboard is advertising his benefit concert for cystic fibrosis—because this 30-foot horrifying plasticine Manilow will undoubtedly kill more people this year than cystic fibrosis could ever dream of. WHAT'S UP WITH THAT BUILDING ANYWAY? It was fine when they put up the 30-foot-tall scantily clad LumberJax dancer—that girl had more leg than a bucket of chicken! But to replace her with that towering LumberJax player—who I'm sorry, looks like a mongoloid—and THEN the Saran-Wrapped face of Barry Manilow?!? WHAT'S NEXT?? A three-story tall senior citizen eating diarrhea?

Girls Wearing Furry Barbarian Boots with Designer Jeans Instead of Silver Bikinis

Seriously, unless you're hunting fanged muppets on the planet Thanagor, lose the idiotic boots. And while we're on the topic, the same goes for those extreme low rise and (do I really have to say it?) cursed skinny jeans! They are so not invited back—not only in 2007, but for the rest of my lifetime. And yes, the same goes for hipster girls wearing high-waisted "mom" jeans. How do you know if you're wearing this unfortunate style? If you have to dab cherry flavored chapstick on your nipples to ease the chafing—your jeans are too high.

Half-Assing It

Excuse me, but why are you always half-assing it? Society has given us each a role to play—a role that's necessary to the continuing functionality of the collective. You may be a waiter, artist, musician, politician, customer service representative, or drug dealer—no matter who you are, we depend on you doing your job with professionalism and at least a modicum of enthusiasm. And yet? You choose to half-ass it. Perhaps you think no one cares or notices. Well, we notice. We notice you half-assing everything you do, every day around Portland. Now you may be saying to yourself, "Well, the Mercury half-asses it, too." No, we don't. We full-ass it. Every fucking week. Some issues may be better than others, and we make our share of mistakes, but it's not from half-assing it. Or even three-quarters-assing it. When it comes to assing it—we don't go half-way. And we expect the same from you. So in 2007, kiss half-assing it goodbye, and start kissing full-assing it hello.

Talking Strippers

Dear Strippers: Most perverts are too timid to mention this, but trust me on this one, sugartits: Nobody cares about a single word coming out of your mouth. Your MySpace page got hacked? I'm fairly certain I don't give a shit. If I want to hear women complain, I'll watch The View. Your baby daddy kidnapped your son and ran off to Boise? Well, boo-hoo-hoo. Unless you've trained your vagina to recite the alphabet backwards, I'M NOT INTERESTED. I have a lot of things I could be doing with my dollar: Buying a small Frostee from Wendy's. Snagging a Slim Jim from Plaid Pantry. And if I can get away from my nagging girlfriend for two minutes? Staring at your babyrat in PEACE AND QUIET. So take it off... but for the love of god, ZIP IT. (If any strippers feel inclined to respond to this, I suggest rereading the first sentence.)

Mayor Potter's "visionPDX" Project

$1.1 million could buy a lot of things. For instance, it would buy 1.1 million lottery tickets, which would have been a much smarter investment of city taxpayer money than "visionPDX," Mayor Tom Potter's feel-good public opinion survey. It's embarrassingly generic and useless—worse, it's one of the few things Potter has actually managed to do. Hey Potter, want to know what Portlanders value—and want from—their city? Here it is: Jobs, affordable housing, eco-friendly development, transparent government, a river that doesn't function as a sewer, and, most of all, they want their GODDAMN $1.1 MILLION BACK! There you go. And that didn't cost you a penny.

Matt Davis' Thirst For Blood

Mercury news reporter Matt Davis may be the only person on the planet who saw the movie Alive and thought, "That looks delicious!" Barely a day goes by without Matt dragging his sizable ass into the office, bragging about the lamb, pig, or dolphin he ate last night—and then BLOGGING ABOUT IT. In size and scope, his thirst for blood is matched only by his distressing lack of conscience. No animal is too beautiful or exotic for Davis' outsized need to kill and devour. And if his blood-soaked maw showing up every day on Blog Town, PDX wasn't bad enough, the monster thinks it makes him "cool." On the upside, America may have just found its solution to pet overpopulation—in the mangled jaws of this British sociopath.

Police Officers Who Fall On You

It's been a pretty hard year for the officers of the Portland Police Bureau—but it's been even worse for people unlucky enough to get mangled under their freakishly large bodies. Take one little pee on a wall, and the next thing you know, WHAM! Your insides are pulverized by an overweight cop. That's why we're uninviting the entire police bureau to 2007—and warmly inviting, with loving and open arms, the cast of Police Academy 3: Back In Training to take their place. If we're going to be killed by uniformed thugs, at least we can get a little comic relief from the likes of Steve Guttenberg, David Graf, and Bobcat Goldthwait, with some sound effects help (crushing bones, trickling blood, last gasps of air) from the hilaaaarious Michael Winslow.

Snowbound Idiots

While we here at the Mercury don't actively wish icy, snowy death upon anyone, we admit to being less than riveted by 'round the clock coverage of Mother Nature asserting her supremacy over ill-prepared adventurers who've lost themselves between the peaks of her chilly bosom—and without so much as a GPS tracking device. We invented technology so that we could conquer the natural world, remember? And yet, every winter the rest of us are forced to confront our own mortality every time hikers get lost, or some clueless, Prius-driving dad decides to take an off-road short cut during a blizzard. In related news, natural selection is welcome to stick around for another year.