In case you didn't notice, the Willamette Week has revived their former annual investigative feature "Hydro Hogs" (originally known as "Water Hogs") in which they snoop into people's water bills to discover... HEY! WHO'S HOGGIN' ALL THE WATER??
This naturally reminded me of one of our former annual investigative reports that we lovingly called "Butter Hogs" in which we snoop into people's grocery bags to discover... HEY! WHO'S HOGGIN' ALL THE BUTTER??
Here's a snippet:
1855 NW Lovejoy
BUTTER USED: About one stick of butter a day—that's enough to comprise... an entire stick of butter. A DAY!
ANNUAL BUTTER BILL: $350
PREFERRED DISH (TO BUTTER): Toast
"I just have toast in the mornings," Samantha Wright, a lonely widow, age 64, lamely tells us. "And I make a lot of other things. Cookies. Mac and cheese. My hobby is cooking, so I use a lot of butter."
"Oh, really?" we asked her, surprising her at 6:45 one morning, toast (glistening with butter!) in hand. "Hitler had a 'hobby,' too—IT WAS KILLING JEWS! Now, what do you say to all those people who can't eat butter because of all the butter you've eaten?"
"C'mon," she said dismissively. "There's no butter shortage." That's beside the point, Mrs. Wright! If you'd stop cramming your mouth with BUTTERED toast and making batches of BUTTERY cookies (Her weak defense? "They're for my niece's birthday."), maybe you'd realize you're one of the hoggiest of Butter Hogs! Lucky for you, your husband is too dead to read about your bitter humiliation.
And yes, that was former Commissioner Randy Leonard (and Butter Hog #1!!) on the cover! QUIT HOGGIN' ALL THE BUTTER, FORMER COMMISSIONER BUTTER HOG! Read the whole thing here.
Hey guys! Remember the time we hung out with Rihanna? Probs not considering our archives are holy hell to drudge through, which is why we're poking around for treasures in our palatial archives. Twenty floors below our office there's a huge and mysterious room full of New Columns!, stupid features about Mercury employees trying out patent-pending sex toys, and tales of a charming streetcar who has a thirst for blood. Here let me grab my smoking jacket and ascot whilst I recline in my leather chair... because it's time for our new weekly blog series Mercury Bullshit of Yore.
From former Arts Editor Chas Bowie's brief but memorable hangout with Rihanna at Benson High School in 2006:
The 18-year-old singer answered the students' questions with unnerving poise and maturity. One boy in the audience stood up suavely, cocked his hat to the side with a slow deliberation, ran his fingers like a pistol all the way to his thigh, then asked the singer if she'd accompany him to prom. The boy's friends were so thrilled with his proposition that they leapt out of their seats and ran small circles in the aisles. When a female student asked about becoming a famous singer, Rihanna invited her to sing onstage.
There are lots more odds and ends in the archives.
Last week, all of us Mercury minions were sitting around at an editorial retreat, where there was a surprising lack of hot stone massages and salted caramel enemas, and an unsurprising amount of waterboarding and listening to Steve talk about monkeys wearing clothes. But bearing through the pain, it came to our attention that maybe Blogtown readers don't know about the wealth of funny that's currently gathering dust in our palatial archives. Twenty floors below our office there's a huge and mysterious room full of New Columns!, stupid features about Mercury employees drinking their faces off, and the collected and sordid diaries of a soiled mattress down by the river. Here let me grab my smoking jacket and ascot whilst I recline in my leather chair... because it's time for our new weekly blog series Mercury Bullshit of Yore.
This 2001 gem of a New Column! made me fall in love with the romantic notion of soiled mattresses down by the river, of which our city has an abundance. It's an advice column that shoots straight:
Dear Soiled Mattress Down by the River
Dear Soiled Mattress Down by the River,
I have been dating a boy for three years and I'm afraid the romance has left our relationship. Can you offer any tips that might add a spark to our love life?
The Thrill Is Gone
What you say is sad. But have you tried me? The soiled mattress down by the river? Picture this if you will: a beautiful, clear moonlight walk. You and your lover hand in hand. Whispers and flirts pass your lips. And then? You come upon me, the soiled mattress down by the river. My soft, plump body beckons you. Now you stare deeply into your lover's eyes and say, "Yes, lover. I must have you now!" Arms and legs intertwine as you tumble on to my intricately soiled fabric. You brush aside the greasy Burger King wrappers and empty bottles of MD 20/20, and frantically tear at each other's clothes. Then you make love with your lover. The scent of your love co-mingles with the odor of the hundreds that were here before you. Oh! Will a passerby discover your love? Perhaps they will; for you are on a soiled mattress down by the river. But the fear of being caught only lends to the erotic fervor, as you and your lover surrender to the throes of ecstasy. And upon the completion of your love, as you pick up your bra off the muddy ground, you will be reminded of the lengths lovers must sometimes go in order to restore their love. Maybe you will even say, "Oh, thank you, soiled mattress down by the river. After feeling my lover's bare skin pressed against your damp matted stuffing, I've truly discovered the meaning of love." No thanks are necessary. Who better understands the nature of love than I; the soiled mattress down by the river.
Do you have a question for the Soiled Mattress Down by the River? Then send them to "Dear Soiled Mattress Down by the River," c/o Portland Mercury...
Ol' dirty matty has a tiny spot in our archives with only one other appearance in July of 2001, where it shared a column with Osama bin Laden in which they both gave questionable advice to the lovelorn.
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