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Sam Cook detained after office burglary

Five men, one a high-ranking columnist for the Duluth News-Tribune, were arrested Friday in what authorities described as an elaborate plot to alter votes for the Duluth Reader’s annual Best of the Northland awards. Police apprehended the suspects at 2:30am Friday in the Reader offices.

Three of the men were native-born Cubans and another was said to have trained Cuban exiles for guerrilla activity after the Bay of Pigs invasion. The fifth man was famed News-Tribune columnist Sam Cook, age 97, who has won the Reader’s “Best Columnist” award for the past 73 years.

There was no immediate explanation of why the suspects would want to alter the awards, which are essentially meaningless and don’t even help the winners get laid. Police chief Frank Willis said the only logical motive is Cook’s trophy lust.

“I guess he just has a massive ego that will never be fully satisfied by any amount of praise,” said Willis, speaking about Cook, not second place columnist Paul Ryan. “I’ll bet his mind is filled with all sorts of figmental rage. Every award loss and negative comment from a stranger on the internet just piles up inside him like crusty old turds, these inconsequential slights festering and building in his mind until he can’t take it anymore and wrongfully lashes out at everyone in the community through the crude jokes and unnecessary cursing that have now become standard fare in his childish, tiresome columns.

Please don’t judge me based on my alcoholic dog

My dog is drunk. It embarrasses me to say that, because dogs aren’t supposed to be sloshed. Yet as I type this, drunk little Gonzo is sloppily falling off the couch. His front paws are valiantly trying to grip the cushions as he slides to the floor. He hit the ground with a soft thud and remained in that position for a good two minutes, blinking and staring dreamily at the ceiling.

Just like me back in college. A real chip off the old block.

I’d lie about my dog being drunk, but there’s no denying it. He’s straight up trashed. His little pupils are dilated. His breath smells like he visited every bar in Superior, WI. When he walks around the house – or rather stumbles through it like Godzilla through Tokyo – he falls down so often that eventually he gets tired of attempting to walk and remains sprawled on the floor, like a weary prize fighter who desperately needs one more round to cover the bets, but just can’t pull it off.

“Stop the fight!” his eyes say as he stares longingly at the comfy couch he left with reckless abandon, but now so desperately wants back. But I won’t assist him, because this is great stuff and I’m too busy writing it down to lend a hand. Also, to hell with him for stealing my whiskey. I wasn’t done with it yet. Selfish bastard.

Man thought to be missing found not dead

Local police have found a man they initially believed had been kidnapped. It seems Duluth Reader columnist Paul Ryan, age 35, was living his life normally the entire time. He just went unnoticed because he’s not very interesting.

Ryan was initially reported missing by his parents when he didn’t answer his phone. His mother had just watched a particularly spooky episode of “Monk” in which an elderly woman is kidnapped. The intense excitement of the episode sent her into hysterics, leading her to phone the police about her son.

A knock on Ryan’s door from officers went unanswered, as did several phone calls. Co-workers told police they hadn’t recalled seeing him in months, and the people Ryan claimed were his friends had no recollection of such an agreement.

“I’m not his friend,” said Matt Fortner, a man who once accidentally invited Ryan to a party at his home. “I’m friends with him on Facebook, but I’m not his friend. I met him once through a buddy of mine, so I added him for networking reasons. When I sent the party invite to my friend list, I didn’t figure someone who barely knew me would show up. My wife was eating sliced cantaloupe, and Paul remarked to her how the insides of cantaloupes look like vaginas. He had never met her before. That was the first thing he said to her. Then he walked away and never said another word to anyone for the rest of the evening. What a creepy little weirdo.”

Gift ideas for your mail carrier

Your mail carrier probably hates you. It’s nothing personal. You’re just a bit of a putz. Your walkways are unshoveled, your dogs are total assholes, and the magazines you subscribe to aren’t very interesting to read on their lunch breaks. Sports Illustrated? Really? You know they have a website where you can read those articles two weeks earlier, right?

Some mail carriers walk up to 15 miles each day to deliver all those unwanted advertisements to your home. Getting them a Christmas gift is a great way to keep your packages safe and provide a little warmth to a person who will have two or three hernia operations by the time they’re 60 years old. In this way, mail carriers are a lot like your grandpa, except your grandpa only smells funny when he drinks.

If you bribe your mail carrier with one of the great gifts listed below, and they still leave those little package notification slips in your mailbox without knocking on your door, then next year you can bake them cookies with poop in them.

Resolutions are for people who admit to having flaws

I’m a very fortunate person, because I’m perfect. Everything I do is correct, and I have no known flaws or shortcomings. I’m at least four steps above the rest of you filthy animals. Since it’s impossible for me to improve myself further, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I list a bunch of terrible things I did last year that I really enjoyed, and then make pledges to do them again.

For instance, I live on the fourth floor of my apartment building, and I’ve always been too lazy to walk down the stairs and put my garbage in the dumpster. To save time, I throw my garbage bags off the fourth floor fire escape. Roughly 50 percent of the time, the bags fall into the dumpster. The other half of the time, a rogue crosswind or slight intoxication on my part causes the bags to fall into the street. I have never once cleaned it up. I plan to continue this next year, as it’s fun and vaguely reminds me of the Plinko game from The Price is Right.

Last year, I also called my mom on Mother’s Day and made a series of obnoxious noises into the phone until she became annoyed and threatened to hang up. I found that experience very enjoyable, and pledge to repeat it again this year.