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Archives: Jul 2008

I’m tired of your baby

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

I’m sorry if I removed you as a friend on Facebook, reader. I really am. I’m just tired of looking at pictures of your ugly baby. You have posted roughly 70 photos of your newborn on Facebook in the past month, and frankly, I’m sick of the damn kid.

I agree that children are precious, but they’re also really ugly when they first pop out. Their wrinkled, fat faces are not precious at all. They’re gross, drooling on themselves and staring blindly into space like lobotomy victims. When your baby gets a year or two older, he or she will turn adorable, but before then they’re pretty much just a blob of lard that screams and produces unspeakable amounts of feces.

Don’t think that I hate children. I actually adore kids, even the bratty ones. If you ask me to babysit a screaming seven-year-old, I’ll jump at the chance. Their unending tantrums and obnoxiousness are offset by the fact that I can play video games with them for eight hours straight without them accusing me of being a loser. Unlike my adult friends, a seven-year-old won’t mock me for treating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as a full meal or for having 11 gigabytes of Looney Tunes cartoons on my computer.

Here comes the panic, Donny

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

Note #2: Today’s column is based on this event.

The citizens of Duluth, MN today passed a Donny Ness tax, requiring all city residents named Donny Ness to pay a flat $5,000 fee each year. The fee will only offset a small portion of the money people named Donny Ness have cost Duluth residents this year.

This new citizen law comes after Mayor Ness’ proposal to charge residents $500 for each use of emergency services. Under the law, citizens would be charged for each use of the police, fire department, or ambulances, and for each car accident they’re in, regardless of whether they’re at fault. If residents were unable to pay, they’d be left to die in their cars or their house would be re-set on fire by the fire department.

If Donny Ness is unable to pay the Donny Ness tax, he will be forced to live alone in a cheap hotel room and go by the name Fled Manders. He will not be allowed to go to work or see his family until he pays the tax that allows him these most basic things in life, things which he has already earned.

“The city deficit has to be paid somehow,” said local resident Flip Bonser. “We either have to charge a Donny Ness tax or follow him around and purposely get into car accidents with him so he’ll repeatedly be charged $500. I think we made the more civil choice.”

Hello McDonald’s, goodbye dignity

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

I’ve tried everything to find employment, but nothing has worked. Not even the shaving cream trick.

I learned the theory of this trick from my dad. When I was a kid, he used to do “The cigarette trick” in restaurants, where if our food was taking a while to arrive, he’d light up a new cigarette and Murphy’s Law would cause the server to bring the food 10 seconds later. He’d have to stub out a perfectly good cig, but it was worth it if he was hungry.

I’m currently unemployed and waiting for job offers, and since there’s no worse time for the phone to ring than when your face is covered in shaving cream, I’ve made sure to shave every single day, and take an extra long time doing it. If Murphy’s Law holds true, the shaving cream trick should make my phone ring.

But it hasn’t. I would happily bury my cellphone in a swimming pool full of shaving cream if it meant getting a steady paycheck, but tricks based on depilatory cream are no match for our current dismal economy. So here I stand, a moron staring longingly at his phone as shaving cream melts off his face. I need to find a trick that makes me look like less of an idiot.

A nation of poop sandwiches

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 a warm night, heat still rising off the cracked pavement of the old road. A pair of eyes shone out of the darkness, fixated on my car as I crept through slow traffic. I moved and the eyes followed, tracking me like a fratboy ogling an underage girl: Never approaching, just staring.

A car turned, shining light on the predator. It was a police officer crouched near the side of the street, radio in hand. He was trying to appear inconspicuous, but stuck out like an elderly man jerking off at the movies. I passed and he stared eerily at the next driver, shooting her the same icy glare.

“What the hell was that?” I wondered. Why was he staring at me? Had I forgotten to wear clothes while driving again? Had I drank seven beers before leaving the house? Had I murdered someone and left the trunk open, exposing the corpse? All were very likely possibilities. I mulled it over some more before it finally hit me: Today was July 1, the day California’s cellphone-free driving law went into effect. The officer was looking for cellphone users and radioing ahead to another officer in a patrol car.