This Week in the Mercury


Thursday, August 14, 2014

It's Dirk VanderHart's Worst. Night. Ever!

Posted by Courtney Ferguson on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 10:29 AM

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Welcome back to the Blogtown series we like to call "Worst. Night. Ever." Every Wednesday when we're discussing our event picks for the week, someone suggests an event that's the equivalent of throwing acid in our eyes—but we also realize a more enlightened person might love it! Hence, these "risky" events are often unfairly pushed aside. WELL, NO MORE. Instead of allowing these potentially worthy events to vanish forever, we're asking you—yes, YOU—the Blogtown readers to decide which of these events one of us should attend... whether we like it or not!

Every week an editorial staff member will be presented with three events that do not match their personality or interests... like, AT ALL. And here's the fun part: YOU will vote on and pick the event that must be attended by our unlucky staffer. Afterward he or she will review it right here on the blog! NOTE: Everyone's taste is different, right? So while an underwater hula-hoop dance-off might send Erik into stabby fits, Steve might willing show up to it in a gold lamé onesie! That's why you might find a perfectly pleasant event or two in the list below. Also, competitors must stay for at least two hours (or until the event is over, whichever comes first) and are not allowed to get drunk or use any substances (drugs) or distractions (phone/reading material) to dull the pain they may experience. Now, let's see who's up:

NEWS REPORTER DIRK VANDERHART'S WORST. NIGHT. EVER!

Okay guys, Dirk has strong feelings about the following subjects: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the literary talents of George R.R. Martin, and disc golf, which eliminated about half of our choices for his Worst. Night. Ever! Last year, Blogtown readers voted to send Dirk to the huge Scientology compound downtown to take Emperor Klaktu's patented personality test, where Dirk learned that he was "unhappy and depressed," "extremely critical"," "in a complete state of nervousness," and "irresponsible." It sounded like a complete downer of an experience, but I'm sure this year's outing will be even worse. Dirk's future misery in three parts:

Attend the Bi-Mart Willamette Country Music Festival: I'm sure you've seen the billboards for this hillbilly fest, which takes place two hours away in Brownsville, Oregon. This is a music fest with a strange fixation on toilet talk, offering private porta-potties for VIP campers. ("When nature calls, she ain’t leavin’ no voicemails... Each unit will be stocked with four rolls of toilet paper and hand sanitizer... You can [and should] bring a lock so that only the people you want touching your can. We are not responsible for drunken idiots or entitled jerks attempting to use your unit.") The Mercury will not be springing for a private crapper for Dirk, so he might want to prepare for can-touching and unit-using. For this event, Dirk must camp overnight and listen to the musical stylings of a barn-load of adult-contemporary-country musicians, the sounds of which are enough to set most stray dogs to howling.

John Edward: He sees dead people.
  • John Edward: He sees dead people.
A Group Reading with John Edward: John Edward is a psychic medium. His website describes him as a "tireless warrior for the work" with his "uncanny ability to predict future events and communicate with those who have crossed over to the Other Side." This novel writer, psychic, and personal-growth-system seller's private readings usually go for $850 (because "John is anxious to share his ability with those that need him, [but] he is unwilling to compromise the quality of his work for the quantity that seek him out), but at the Oregon Convention Center, Dirk—along with hundreds of attendees—will be guaranteed* a convo with his dead loved ones, all for the cheap, cheap price of $150.

* "No one attending any John Edward event is guaranteed a reading."—John's website

Hot Dog Eating Contest: Dirk must enter (and hopefully win) Zach's Shack's 11th annual hot dog eating contest on Saturday afternoon. It lasts 10 excruciating minutes, wherein our intrepid news reporter must cram as many wieners and buns into his mouth as humanly possible. Last year's winner scarfed down 25, and he'll be back to defend his title. Rules say: no booting; all tube meat products and their accompanying bread must stay down. Winner gets a championship belt, golden T-shirt, and sweet, sweet wiener glory. Bonus: We can go cheer Dirk on. I think you know what to do here... vote wisely.

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