Marlo’s Castle

Gracie and Marlo bonding time

After spending a night in a dingy, paper-thin walled boarding house in Bend (yes, that happened), we were ready for some good old fashioned mooching in Portland.

Mooching is defined as reaching out to friends across the country and coordinating with their busy schedules to a) crash on their living room floor, b) use their washer/dryer for a much needed load or two, and/or c) use their bathroom for a much needed hot shower, or ten.

We drove into Portland hoping to mooch for one night with Andrew’s high school pal Danell, then our worlds got rocked when she proved she was far cooler than we could have ever expected.  First off, Danell gave us her bed to crash in.  Then she introduced us to her roommates: the incredibly kind and equally generous Rebecca and the morbidly obese yet still shockingly spry cat Marlo.  Marlo was named after a lead character in Andrew’s favorite show, The Wire, so we were obviously fast friends. Then she gave us her wireless log-in. Danell’s wireless network was named “Marlo’s Castle,” which was perfectly appropriate.

Marlo the TV character, not the cat.

And as if our introduction to Portland couldn’t get any better, Danell quickly invited us to join her and her boyfriend at a very, very Portland event: Hecklevision. She said it was a must-do.

We weren’t sure what Hecklevision was, but we were already sure this mooch was unparalleled.

We met Danell and Derek at a movie theater in NE Portland. Then we proceeded to have one of the best life experiences we’ve ever shared.

Here’s the Hecklevision equation.  A horribly bad movie + audience-provided commentary in the form of subtitles = our ideal kind of entertainment.

The featured Hecklevision film was the renowned Leprechaun in the Hood, starring Ice-T and Coolio.  This piece of filmmaking genius was clearly misunderstood in its day, so Hecklevision provided the perfect venue to re-release it.  For a far too brief hour and a half, we joined in the Hecklevision fun by texting subtitles to a shared number and laughing along as our commentary was printed along the bottom of the screen.

Now, for those of you who are unfamiliar with this groundbreaking film, here’s one scene:

A pint-sized leprechaun comes on the screen and begins to fist fight with three misguided youths from Compton, L..A.  These boys are highly annoyed at the leprechaun for messing with them, since they’re trying desperately to get to Vegas for a hip hop singing competition.  The fight ensues and the teenagers (brilliantly) electrocute the leprechaun with a heating pad.

Sample audience subtitles throughout this scene:

I’ve seen this electrocution experiment on MythBusters. Myth NOT busted!

These boys are clearly not participating in Race to the Top.

Where are their parents? Book club?

Ice-T and Coolio aren’t providing these young men enough musical life guidance.  Where’s Ceelo when you need him?

In short, even though we had a fun-filled three days of exploring the city, walking for miles, tasting everything in sight, and sampling local beers and sipping delicious Stumptown coffee, Hecklevision was our Portland highlight, no question about it.  Can this make its way to the Midwest please?

Danell, put Marlo on it.  He’ll call in a few favors and make it happen.


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