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Tuesday, March 14, 2006
50 Things Every Portlander MUST Do - the final draft
Last week while killing time at Rich's Cigar Store something caught my eye. Something that practically jumped off a magazine rack and began tugging on a pants leg. It wouldn't leave me alone. "PLEASE, MISTER! MAKE FUN OF ME ON THE INTERNET! I BEG YOU" it seemed to scream.
I tried to ignore this calling. "Can't someone else do it," I thought. Maybe Jack Bog, Furious Nads, Metroblogging Portland, Oregon Media Insiders or the Portland Freelancer would tackle it. MP mentioned this certain something last week but didn't delve into a full-blown lampoon.
On Wednesday, I decided to accept the task and create a parody of Portland Monthly's list of "50 Things Every Portlander Must Do." Try as I did, I gave up after hitting number 25. It was an undertaking too great for any one blogger, or at least any one blogger with a full-time job and an unhealthy addiction to "Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory," to undertake.
I sent out a distress signal and the readers of Welcome to Blog rushed in to pick up the slack. 10 of you wrote in with dozens of suggestions, stunning numbers for this wee little blog hovering on the edges of the Blogosphere.
I promised to and will send a final version of the list to the editors of Portland Monthly. Maybe, just maybe, they'll include parts of it in their letters page in an upcoming issue. Or maybe they'll become so incensed over it they'll use their evil powers to drudge up a mob of well-dressed orcs that will hunt me down while wielding mahogany pitch forks ($750, Pottery Barn, various locations) and custom-made torches ($800 - $2000, Souri's Gifts and Home Furnishings 748 NW 11th Ave.).
Or, more likely, their spam filter will delete it.
So here's the final version of the list. Some of the entries have been tweaked for grammar and to make them less funny. If your favorite one didn't make the cut or, if you don't approve of my edits or their placement, feel free to give me an earful in the comments area below.
50 Things Every Portlander MUST Do (Whether They Want to or Not)
50. Get harassed by a street kid for cigarettes, even if you aren't a smoker.
49. Nearly get hit by a car (if you ride a bike) or nearly hit a bike (if you drive a car).
48. Hear the Shane Company's "he's dull but he's brilliant" jingle once, get it stuck in the head for the rest of your natural life (submitted by Anonymous).
47. Wonder aloud about who Rick Emerson is, what he does exactly and why everyone you know loves him.
46. Ignore the Rose Festival.
45. Tip-toe over spit and trash on the downtown streets of the country's "Most Walkable City" (submitted by KW).
44. Wait 20 minutes to get your gas pumped because the pimply kid running the gas station is on his cell phone with his girlfriend (submitted by Kenny).
43. Visit the Pittock Mansion. Completely lose interest after five minutes (submitted by Jeff (but without that snarky second sentence)).
42. Call in to work and tell them you can't make it in because a quarter of an inch of snow has fallen (submitted by AD).
41. Give people dirty looks when they throw recyclables in the trash. Feel overwhelming guilt when you do it (submitted by Anna).
40. Complain about the weather but become offended when non-Portlanders complain about the weather (submitted by KW).
39. Memorize every Portland/Oregon connection to the movie industry and the music scene, no matter how tangential, and interject them at every opportunity (submitted by Nate).
38. Laugh exactly once at a joke in any given issue of the Portland Mercury. Groan at all the others (submitted by Anonymous).
37. Declare that "you only shop at Trader Joe's" (submitted by M-Nikk).
36. Buy a cookie at a coffee shop, notice that the taste is slightly off, discover that it's actually a vegan cookie, briefly consider going vegan, have a burger for dinner.
35. Choose one local channel's news broadcast and stick with it until you leave town or die.
34. Suggest Papa Hayden's on 23rd for dessert, though you've never actually been there yourself (submitted by K. Martin).
The late, great "Pyscho Safeway."
33. Continue to lament the loss of the old "Pyscho Safeway" on SW Jefferson Street (submitted by Kenny).
32. Attempt to find the Towne Lounge (submitted by AD).
31. Hate Wal-Mart but shop at Target (submitted by Anna).
30. (Read aloud while doing your best Stephen Colbert impression) Forget which City Council member is "the gay one."
29. Pretend to like the Decembrists.
28. Complain about Californians while overlooking your own status as a recent expat from San Jose (submitted by KW).
27. (If you're a Reed student) Make fun of everyone not affiliated with Reed. (For everyone else) Roll your eyes every time you meet a "Reedie" (submitted by Me-Nikk).
26. Pass by Norm's Garden and realize that you probably won't be getting authentic Chinese food there (submitted by Kenny).
25. Get shot at while downtown (submitted by AD).
24. Go to Saturday Market. Realize there's nothing worth buying. Tell yoiurself you still care if its knocked out of its current home by a condo development (submitted by Anna).
23. Know at least one person who doesn't own a TV or a car and is "PROUD OF IT!!!" (submitted by KW).
22. Decide to go to "First Thursday" but never make it out of The Low Brow (submitted by Me-Nikk).
21. Get stuck in traffic on US 26 (submitted by Kenny).
20. Debate which local columnist "phones it in" more often: Jonathan Nicholas or Phil Stanford (submitted by Anonymous).
19. Shed a tear over the "yuppification" of the Bridgeport Brewpub.
18. Drive everywhere despite the Critical Mass sticker on the bumper of your '98 Pathfinder.
17. Have a bus pass you by on MLK because it's full....or they just thought you were a crack dealer (submitted by AD).
16. Hide under a blanket every time you hear the words "meth" and "problem" together in a sentence (submitted by KW).
15. Pretend to care about whatever arcane aspect of the perpetual PGE imbroglio or the Physicians' Hospital closure Willamette Week is covering in its most recent issue (submitted by Anonymous).
14. Take someone from out of town to Multnomah Falls, spend two minutes looking at the falls, wonder why you drove all the way out there, consider hiking up to the bridge but putter around the gift shop instead, come close to dropping two quarters and a penny in the smasher machine, realize that you have no use for crushed coins with an Multnomah Falls imprint and drive back to town wishing you had taken them to the zoo or someplace that sells booze.
13. Turn on KNRK, hear a song by Coldplay, realize that "things [aren't] different here" and turn off the radio in disgust.
12. Count tissue paper piles in Forest Park (submitted by AD).
11. Consider yourself really "global-minded," sophisticated and cultured because you've just eaten in an "ethnic" restaurant (submitted by KW).
10. Forget about the Blazers entirely or bitterly criticize their perpetual run-ins with the law. Then bemoan the possibility of the franchise leaving town after Paul Allen considers putting it up for sale.
9. Get into a fight with a downtown parking meter (submitted by Kenny).
8. One word: allergies (submitted by Jack Bog).
7. Live in perpetual denial of the fact that Pabst Blue Ribbon tastes like puddle water.
6 Endlessly moan and groan about any combination of the following: the OHSU tram project, the bus mall revamp, the schools, various casino proposals, the repercussions of Measure 37 but not bother to pay attention to who's running for governor or the open seats on City Council.
5. Tell friends and family living elsewhere about how wonderful Portland is- about how you're a few hours from the mountain, that you're minutes away from hiking trails, that you can commute everywhere on a bike, etc. Live here the rest of your life without ever once going hiking, skiing or biking.
Local band The Gossip (yes, originally from Arkansas by way of Olympia. I know, I know).
4. Pretend to like Portland's "arts" and music scene. Stutter and stammer when someone asks you for the name of your favorite local artist or band (submitted by KW).
3. Call yourself a graphic designer or an artist (submitted by Me Nikk). Get turned down for 55 jobs in a single month (submitted by AD).
2. Agree with the notion behind those "Keep Portland Weird" bumperstickers but wind up stealing music off the internet instead of supporting Music Millenium.
And # 1 on the countdown is....
1. Cringe at Portland Monthly and its Oaks Park fashion shoots, full-color, glossy jewelry ads and reviews of hoity-toity Pearl District hotspots. Realize that the contents of its average issue are completely irrelevant to any Portlander making under 6-figures. Find yourself flipping through the latest issue at the supermarket anyway (submitted by Anna but with lots of obnoxious additions by myself).