“He enjoys life—as do all who are spared the curse of intelligence.” —H.P. Lovecraft

I may as well add my two cents worth on the subject of Portland being dubbed the unhappiest city in America by BusinessWeek magazine. I never thought of locals as being sad, merely preoccupied with their projects. Let’s see how much time a BusinessWeek reporter has for frivolity while trying to master stilt walking, maintaining a website about kittens, playing in a jug band, and booking gigs for a subversive puppet troupe—all while toiling a back-breaking six hours a week at the co-op. It’s no picnic. Small wonder we’re a city of serious imbibers.

When I notice my own enthusiasm waning, I send out a smoke signal to my rotating cast of degenerate drinking buddies to meet me at some watering hole or other. Granted, this doesn’t make anyone happy as such, but there is something to be said for that old saw about “misery loves company.” Sorrow is definitely a more manageable state in a group setting. Especially while tossing back Tanqueray and tonics.

This issue we have thoughtfully provided you with five compelling reasons to have a stiff drink. I have a feeling we’re just scratching the surface on this topic, so please let me know what you’re drinking and why. It helps to share.