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Archives: Jul 2007

I like to imagine you naked in the summertime

Note: I’m a columnist for the Reader Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Duluth, MN. Every Tuesday I post a new column.

 
It’s summertime in Los Angeles, where each year we again answer the question, “What would a middle-aged woman look like if she dressed like a high school girl?” The answer, my friends, is nothing you didn’t already suspect.

Is it still summer up there in Duluth? I can never remember if your warm season includes August. If I recall, your igloos begin melting around the middle of July, but you can start driving semi trucks on Lake Superior in September. No matter. As long as it’s summertime in theory, that’s close enough.

I love summer because I get to see women with fewer clothes on, giving me a better idea of what they look like naked. You may think I’m a sexual deviant – and you’re right – but I’m also smart. I like to know all the facts, just like famous literary character Encyclopedia Brown. If thirsting for knowledge makes him smart, then I’m smart too.

High Expectations: Restaurant reviews for the cultural elite

Note: I’m a columnist for the Reader Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Duluth, MN. Every Tuesday I post a new column.

 
Note: Paul Ryan’s column has been terminated in favor of upscale restaurant reviews. The following is the first of many serious, non-comical critiques of local five-star eateries. We hope you enjoy this new serious content as much as the jokes about vaginas that appeared here previously.

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When a man is a member of high society, like I am, he expects a certain standard to be met wherever he goes. His dining experiences are no exception. It’s a shame this restaurant in my first review didn’t live up to the exquisite five-star reputation locals have given it.

The first glaring omission I found at McDonald’s was the lack of valet parking. What kind of patrons do they expect to attract with such an oversight? I honestly can’t remember the last time I parked my own car. My work building has a valet, and at home I have my wife stand in the driveway at exactly 5:30pm each evening so she may pull my car into the garage for me.

There’s a damn gnat in my bedroom

Note: I’m a columnist for the Reader Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Duluth, MN. Every Tuesday I post a new column.

 
I can’t sleep. There’s a gnat in my bedroom. I’m scared of a damn gnat. It is perhaps the tiniest, most harmless living being in the world, but I can’t sleep if one is in my room. Gnats don’t even bite people. They eat plants, for God’s sake. But here I am at 3am, half-naked and clutching a rolled-up copy of Vibe magazine to defend myself.

My neighbor leaves old copies of Vibe outside her door. Don’t ask. I didn’t. The Vibe pile grows steadily each month. It’s slightly unsettling. I’ll put it back after it has served its purpose.

I can’t see or hear the gnat, and it hasn’t buzzed by my head for 40 minutes or so, but I know it’s still here. It’s waiting until I go back to sleep. Then it will buzz around my ear again and I’ll freak out, waving my arms everywhere and kicking the bedsheets halfway across the room. My pillow will be chucked in a random direction, in hopes of hitting the gnat as it flees.

Minnesota will threaten you, then buy you a drink

Note: I’m a columnist for the Reader Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Duluth, MN. Every Tuesday I post a new column.

 
Don’t ever cross a Minnesotan. People in Minnesota mean business. We may not be the biggest or the best-known state, and brain-dead people in California may think we’re a providence in Canada (true story), but we’re a state worth respecting.

Who built the world’s biggest mall for absolutely no reason whatsoever? Minnesota. Who had an openly gay Republican running for office without much controversy? Minnesota. Who elected the first Muslim to Congress? Minnesota. Who has a festival every year called “Taste of Minnesota” that is held specifically so fat people can get fatter? Minnesota. Who has voted for Democratic presidents consistently since 1976, longer than any other so-called liberal state? Minnesota.

Those hippies in Berkeley and hipsters in New York have nothing on us. When you piss off a Minnesotan, we do crazy things like shout at you in Norwegian or chuck a beer bottle at your head. If you’re really rude, we might do both at the same time. If you’re too far away to have a bottle chucked at you, we might secede from the United States just to spite you.

No, really. On July 13, 1977, the town of Kinney, MN seceded from the United States because they couldn’t get money to repair their water system. Their population had doubled because of the mining boom, and they badly needed the repairs. They asked for state funding and were denied. They asked for national funding and were denied. Then they said “You done tickled my angry for the last time, city folk” and wrote an official letter of secession.

A drunk man’s recap of the Democratic Party debate

Note: I’m a columnist for the Reader Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Duluth, MN. Every Tuesday I post a new column.

 
Fade in on wealthy white people looking uncomfortable amongst the sea of black people at Howard University, or as I like to call it, “Obama Slam Dunk Country”.

Patrick Swygert is introduced. I assume he’s the moderator, but he’s not. I roll my eyes. Tom Joyner is introduced. I assume he’s the moderator, but he’s not. I sigh audibly. Seven thousand more people are introduced. None of them are the moderator. I throw my bottle of scotch at the TV.

Tavis Smiley is introduced. He claims to be the moderator. I’m now suspicious of anyone who claims to be the moderator. Smiley’s stern opening speech makes me think he’ll open the debate by shouting things like “How many black people have you met! Answer me, Biden!” This thought makes me giddy like a schoolgirl.

The candidates are introduced. Hillary Clinton has been wearing the same pantsuit since 1993. Jesus. Haven’t they invented a second kind of boring work clothing for women yet?

Barack Obama gets only slightly bigger cheers than the rest of the candidates. Somehow I find myself offended by this, despite my lack of blackness.