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Things Not Invited Back to 2014

Did You Annoy Alex Falcone in 2013? Well, It's a New Year... So Cut It OUT.



Bucket drummers

Drums are fine. They play an important role in most bands. But nobody has ever listened to a song and thought, "I love the drumming so much, I wish there was a way I could get just that for hours on end in front of a mall using garbage instead of drums."

Long breakfast lines

It's gotten to the point where some people even seem to ENJOY waiting in line for breakfast—which is THE SIMPLEST MEAL TO PREPARE. Portland is suffering from Stockholmelette Syndrome, and it needs to stop. It's time to tap into our strategic breakfast reserves, because demand is clearly outpacing supply. And while we're on the topic...

Paying extra for toast

There's a war against toast. More serious than the War on Christmas (because it's real), and less serious than any real war, the Toast War is being waged at breakfast joints all over this great city. I just waited an hour in line for these decent-but-not-life-changing eggs, don't make me pay extra for toast! Toast is a fundamental part of the breakfast process. Stop taking it away from me.

Aggressive fundraisers on street corners

Stop pretending you're just being friendly, puffy-coated charity salesman. You don't just want to shake my hand and tell me about the environment. That's a lie. You're a for-profit fundraiser, a high-pressure salesman using deception and a binder with a picture of a sad kid on the back.

Many groups are so aggressive they'll even stake out multiple corners on the same block so you can't avoid them by crossing the street. They'll follow you. They'll touch you. And they want your credit card information really, really badly.

Naming contests

Naming contests are the laziest way to make bad decisions. You might think it's going to make people feel involved in the process, but really you're just proving the whole city lacks creativity.

TriMet's naming contest for their no-cars-allowed bridge is ongoing, so it's too early to complain about the name they choose, but we all know anytime a corporate website says "Be creative!" the results will be anything but.

Themed fun runs

Every week, another group closes down a bunch of city streets and charges people $50 to throw on an ugly costume and power walk for a mile and a half. Come on, you guys. Go on a pub crawl and keep the streets open. It's not a huge personal accomplishment for you to walk five kilometers with a stroller. It's a waste of public space.

No-Shave November

This is the laziest charity event of the entire year. You're not shaving to raise awareness of cancer? Great. I'm not doing dishes to raise awareness of osteoporosis. Next year, let's do something that actually helps fight prostate cancer and doesn't add to the number of mustaches. The only people who look good in mustaches are dads and otters. Wake me when it's Rocktober.

Facebook prayer circles

As all biblical scholars agree, when you get sick, God just counts up the number of prayers in favor of saving you, those against, and all the abstentions. If you get enough "aye" votes, he fixes your cancer or your cat's UTI or whatever. If not, he lets you die and it's your friends' fault for not praying hard enough. Facebook hasn't changed this system, it's just made it easier to get enough signatures on your petition for life. So yeah, keep posting Facebook statuses asking for prayers. It's working.

Referring to stuff as porn when you just mean "well-lit pictures of food"

It's not "food porn." Nobody is coming on your food. That's what porn is—people coming on or in or around things. Well-lit pictures of food are just food pictures.

Cowboy festival billboards

I'm sure the Bi-Mart cowboy Woodstock is a terrible festival. But for some reason, three days of music have to be advertised for AN ENTIRE YEAR on billboards. As soon as last year's festival billboard went down, up went the August 2014 ads. Stop it, Blake Shelton.

Also, Scientology billboards

Oh, but I'd rather spend a day staring at the twang-fest 2014 billboard than another minute looking at the Scientology billboards. Who is looking at this and thinking, "Well that alien girl is a Scientologist... I should be one, too!" Nobody, that's who.

The melodramatic Timbers slogan RCTID

You sound like emo teenagers, Timbers fans. It's a sport, not a rebel army. This is Portland. A more honest slogan would be "Rose City 'Til I Get a Job in New York."

Silly Black Friday protests

I appreciate everybody taking to Facebook to tell everybody not to buy things. It's really sweet of you. On the other hand, we're old enough to decide our own feelings on capitalism. We buy things. We buy things on normal days, we buy things on holidays. We buy things for regular price and on sale. And it's fine.

If you really think humans shouldn't exchange goods for currency, fine. But disparaging a season of people buying GIFTS FOR OTHER PEOPLE is not your best argument.

Pizza Schmizza

Your name is literally what people would say if they thought your food wasn't good enough to be called pizza. And they'd be right.

Couples saying, "I married my best friend"

I've heard this so many times this year I lost count. No, ya didn't. You married your boyfriend. Boyfriend is ABOVE best friend. So when you say, "I married my best friend," you're really saying, "I don't have other friends besides this one, so I thought I'd lock it down."

The phrase "That would make a great band name"

No, it wouldn't.

"Man Cave"

Caves are for ancient paintings and bat poop. What you've got there, sir, is a den where your wife kindly allowed you to hang your neon Miller Lite sign. Call it what it is, a "Sadness Nook."

The Oxford Dictionary "Word of the Year"

Every winter, the good people at Oxford take a word that the kids are saying and make it permanently lame by etching it on their "Word of the Year" plaque. "Selfie" was a perfectly usable word that we can't say anymore because you made it annoying. Stop ruining good slang.

Rap CDs with "skits" on them

Who the hell are these for? Nobody says to themselves, "I love rap music, but what I really like is to have it interrupted for two minutes with a radio drama about porn."

The War on Christmas

A few weeks ago, I saw a checker at Target say "Happy Holidays!" to a customer and Jesus opened fire. It's an ugly war.

Let's all just agree to say "Merry Christmas," so those poor oppressed Christians don't have to acknowledge the existence of other people.

Freaking out about weather that doesn't even happen

A Portland snow globe would just be a glass ball with a school inside. And when you turn it over, no snow falls but the school closes anyway.

Washington's coal export terminal being built on an Indian burial ground

Have you ever seen a movie, coal exporters? Indian burial grounds are to curses what Bonneville is to salmon. THEY SPAWN THEM.

Racist billboards in Chinatown

Remember when KXL thought it was funny to put up a billboard that said, "We love you long time," in Chinatown and then said they were just "referencing a famous rap song"? Yeah, let's not do that anymore. And for the record, quoting a 2 Live Crew song is probably never a good business decision. Not with songs like "Dick Almighty" or "The Fuck Shop" or who could forget that classic number, "Who's Fuckin' Who" (which should probably be "Who's Fuckin' Whom," but that's a whole 'nother complaint).

Discussions of the sanctity of marriage

Oregon is going to pass a gay marriage bill this year, which is awesome. Let's have 2013 be the last time anybody utters the phrase "sanctity of marriage." There is no sanctity to something that can take place between two people in Star Wars costumes.

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