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Wednesday, June 07, 2006


A night of evil

Seeing that "666" only comes once a century, I felt an immoral obligation to acknowledge it somehow. So last night I rolled downtown while blasting "Sympathy for the Devil," "Running With the Devil" and "Yummy Yummy Yummy" (compliments of KISN) to see what sort of people roam the streets on a hell-iday.

Ok, that should be a sufficient amount of lame wordplay.

So how do the citizens of Portland celebrate 666? From what I could tell, the same way they celebrate any other Tuesday- by sitting at home and watching TV. 2nd Avenue was pretty dead but that's not to say I didn't encounter any displays of satanic tomfoolery. Here's a rundown of various incidents with an accompanying "level of evil" meter:

DANTE'S: The sign out front said "666! The end is coming!" Since the world didn't end yesterday, maybe it was referring to the ancient, rust spotted Pinto sitting in front of West Burnside's infreno-themed nightclub. I wouldn't bet on that thing to survive another year on Oregon's roads. A guy in a blue jacket covered with stars was standing out front. Other than that, it looked like business as usual down there.

Level of evil: Undetermined. I didn't actually go inside but if the gin and tonics at Dante's are still as expensive as my last visit, I give the club's 666 celebration an 8 out of 10 plastic pitchforks. [What's with the line? See the correction above this post.]

GROUND KONTROL: The folks at Chinatown's vintage arcade celebrated 666 with horror movies and live music. Zombie was screening when I first got there. So far, so.... good (?). But as I plopped on stool in front of Mrs. Pac Man, a local band jumped on stage and began what would become the Worst Live Show I Have Ever Witnessed. They had their amps set to 11 and spent the first 15 minutes of their set alternating between tuning their guitars and rushing through minute-long, one chord blitzkriegs. They were even worse than a band I saw open for Modest Mouse a few years ago that spent an hour banging on cookie sheets while screaming "YOU'RE ON MY LIST!" Because of last night's act, I failed to get Ms. Pac Man past the fourth maze. My attempts to patrol the moon in Moon Patrol were equally futile. Getting past Ryu with Blanka in Street Fighter 2? Not even an option. Thanks, jerks. Sure, you've got the 666 spirit but how about some guitar lessons?

Level of evil: Zombie and Ground Kontrol in general? 0 out of 10 talking Krusty the Clown dolls set to "evil." What can I say, I consider the place heaven on earth. But the unnamed band's set? 9 copies of Slayer's Reign in Blood out of 10. Almost pure evil.

POWELL'S BOOKSTORE: Out front I spotted a guy standing out front reading a copy of the Portland Mercury. He was dressed in a red suit, was sporting a cliched devil goatee and had his hair gelled up and dyed red to look like a fireball.

Level of evil: 2 out of 10 satanic puppies piddling on million dollar rugs. He was trying a bit too hard, no? Now if he had been reading a copy of Lady's Home Journal, that would be another story.

THE TACO BELL ON BURNSIDE: I wound up in line at the drive-thru behind a Jeep Cherokee with a pentagram bumpersticker. The jeep's custom plates? They read: "WYTCH." The witch/wytch behind the wheel spent a full five minutes ordering twenty dollars worth of gorditas and got into an argument with the clerk working the register.

Level of evil: 5 out of 10 "Pit of Ultimate Darkness" sketches. This one would have ranked higher but this sort of thing is par for the course at this particular Taco Bell. Since "Pyscho Safeway" and "Psycho Burger King" have faded into the pages of Portland's book of yore lore, I think it's time this fast food franchise realized its destiny and offically become "Psycho Taco Bell."

THE HOLLYWOOD VIDEO ON BARBUR: They had The Omen parts 2 and 4 in stock AND Rosemary's Baby but nary a copy of The Omen parts 1 or 3.

Level of evil: 10 out of 10. Aside for not keeping more than one copy of each movie in stock, there's little fault to be found on HV's part. But whoever went in there on 666 and snatched not only part 1 but part 3 as well, which follows a satanic Sam Neil's quest to take over the world?

Pure evil, pure and simple.

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