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Archives: Apr 2008

Summertime is a time for boobs

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

 
I love summertime. No, not the song by Will Smith. Having heard that song roughly 1,000 times annually since it was released in 1991, I’m quite sick of it by now. I’m talking about the actual season of summer. Summertime has warmth, sunshine, blue skies, green grass, and women everywhere trying to stuff their four pound boobs into a three pound sack.

Or top. Whatever you want to call that particular piece of clothing. Referring to a shirt as a “sack” sounds funnier. Claiming that boobs weigh four pounds is also funnier. I considered using metric system measurements – 1.81 kg boobs in a 1.36 kg sack – but that would not have been funnier.

Because it’s summertime, I’ve been thinking about boobs a lot lately. Well okay, being a man, I’m always thinking about boobs, even if I’m at a funeral or presenting our department’s annual budget in a meeting at work. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t thinking about boobs, or some subject in relation to or eventually leading towards the thought of boobs.

If I was dying of dehydration in the middle of the desert and I spotted a small oasis in the distance – one with an icy waterfall of cold beer – I’d probably still be thinking about boobs the entire way there. Not water. Not shade. Not the refreshing, clean taste of a cold beer. Boobs.

In one year and two weeks, I will turn 30

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

 
“Oh my God, you’re so fucking old. What are you doing here?”

That’s a quote I’ve dreaded for years. It’s what a college or high school aged kid says when you tell them you’re in your late-20s. It’s understandable. I used to say things like that. When I was 18, the idea of turning 30 – or even 25 – was so ridiculously far away that I couldn’t even comprehend it. People that age didn’t exist. People that age were douchebags.

Now I’m a douchebag.

Well break out the vinegar and water, folks. This douchebag is about to become douchier. To say I’m turning 29 on May 4 doesn’t really fit. I’m not turning 29, I’m turning almost 30. I’m old. Rolling up your jeans is cool again? I remember when it was cool in the ’80s. I remember when CNN had news instead of just commentary. I remember when Magic Johnson didn’t have AIDS. I’m like a goddamn historian.

Flavored coffee is going the way of Hammer pants

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

 
It was 6:50am at McDonald’s. A withered old man in a corner booth coughed violently, groaning and wiping the phlegm from his chin with a cheap paper napkin. A few tables away, a morbidly obese man – at least 350 pounds – devoured his breakfast platter, barely chewing, with a second breakfast nearby. Across the empty restaurant, a half-retarded homeless man muttered and stared angrily at his hands.

Normally, this sort of scene wouldn’t be out of the ordinary here. The gross old man, sickly obese guy, and deranged homeless person are as much a part of every McDonald’s as Ronald McDonald himself. What made this scene bizarre is that each of these loonies were drinking gourmet iced coffee.

Starbucks fans, your coolness factor just dropped like shares of . . . well, take your pick. They’re all dropping.

It doesn’t matter that McDonald’s new “gourmet” coffee sucks compared to your upscale coffee. What matters is that tacky, low-class people now like the same trendy drink as you. These buffoons will chat you up about it at work, relating how they love the subtle flavors of gourmet coffee, just like you. Within a few years, trendy people will have to abandon gourmet coffee altogether, desperate to find something, anything to drink that will keep lesser folk from talking to them.

Single men should not own houseplants

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

 
I bought a houseplant the other day. As a single man in my late-20s, I don’t feel good about this type of purchase. It feels out of place. It seems similar to a single woman in her 40s buying a cat, and that scares the bejeezus out of me.

When telling other people that I bought a houseplant, I often feel the need to reiterate the fact that I’m still cool. “I’ll bet Ryan Seacrest has houseplants,” I’ll say nonchalantly, forgetting that Ryan Seacrest is not the least bit cool. “Yeah, having a crappy, second-rate plant that can only survive indoors really adds some decoration to the room. Plus it looks nice and, um . . . cleans the air in my apartment? Maybe?”

I also feel the need to remind people that I don’t spend my free time wallowing in depression. “It’s a plant, not a companion,” I’ll say through clenched teeth, annoyed at my friends for bringing up the subject. “It’s not a replacement for hot ladies. Houseplants attract hot ladies. I bought it because . . . stop saying that! It is not like buying a damn cat!”