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Archives: Apr 2009

Hunting for ‘The Man’

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

 
What is The Man? The Man is always bringing people down, but who is this invisible bastard? Who is this omnipresent godless whoreson who constantly plagues us, siphoning the marrow from our brittle bones? Who is this sadist who keeps us close, so that he may someday break us like Lindsay Lohan, leaving us with nothing more than an empty bank account and a pair of aging hooters?

Does The Man wear a suit? Does he smoke a cigar and laugh heartily when his stock rises? Does he have an assistant? A butler? A gold-trimmed limousine with a 24-hour driver? Does his mansion have a money pit, like Scrooge McDuck? Does his office have a Newton’s cradle, where the metal balls on strings clink against each other back and forth? Does his pen cost more than dinner at a steakhouse, and come with its own case? Does he make gentlemanly wagers to amuse himself? How many meters can he dive underwater before his watch stops working?

On weekends, does The Man hunt people for sport? I’m pretty sure I saw a movie about that once, and if there’s anything The Man would do, I’m sure it would be that.

Is The Man multiple people? Are Wall Street traders The Man? That seems like a lot of stress and work for The Man to be putting up with. Are cops The Man? That’s seems like a pretty low paycheck for his type. Are politicians The Man? I doubt The Man would make it so easy for us to vote him out of office. Are the bankers at AGI The Man? That doesn’t seem right. If The Man failed, I’m pretty sure things would get better for us little people. Wouldn’t The Man losing mean we had won?

Don’t trust old people. Especially me

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

 
“We have a saying in the movement that we don’t trust anybody over 30.”
-Jack Weinberg, Free Speech Movement leader, 1965.

In two weeks, I’ll turn 30 years old. This may come as a shock to some of you, as my column photo makes me look 14 years old, and the content normally found within this column makes me seem roughly half that age. Well believe it, reader. The man whose fart jokes you cherish will soon be part of that group that MTV warns the youth of America to never trust.

Which is kind of ironic, since most of the people who work at MTV are 40 or 50 years old. Kurt Loder himself is 90, and goes to the bathroom using a robot penis.

Regardless, in a few weeks I’ll officially be considered untrustworthy to America’s youth. In response, let me ask you this: Should you really have been trusting me before? I drink too much, I spend more time playing video games than most college kids, and I write 850-word essays about barfing. I’m not exactly a suitable replacement for your neighborhood priest or rabbi.

Perhaps I can get you a discount

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

 
The other day, I applied to be an administrative assistant at a sperm bank.

I was going to write a long column explaining the harsh realities of this economy, but I think it’s much easier to just say, “The other day, I applied to be an administrative assistant at a sperm bank.” I find that repeating this sentence to my friends causes their sympathy for me to skyrocket in ways that couldn’t be accomplished with typical tales of hardship.

If I’m applying to work – not contribute, mind you, but work – at a business that specializes in collecting semen, that tells you everything you need to know about this economy. When times are good, you work for companies with mission statements like, “To provide respect, integrity, and excellence to our customers.” When times are bad, you work for companies with mission statements like, “Collect semen from as many different men as possible.”

I’m a big fan of self-deprecation, and this one job application really packs an entire 850-word column full of mockery all into one sentence. I have no money, and therefore I’m willing to accept a career in jizz banking. I’m willing to spend forty or more hours of my life every week in a building that mainly consists of rooms where dudes ejaculate for money.

Hooker safari

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 been alive for nearly 30 years, and last week was the first time I’ve ever heard the phrase “hooker safari”. I’ve combined the word “hooker” with many other words – stupid hooker, fat hooker, ugly hooker, TJ Hooker – but never a hooker safari.

I wasn’t sure what it meant. Did it involve elephant guns? Would I have to wear a khaki-colored oilskin hat? Was it done online using Apple’s Safari web browser? My friend Mike, who originally coined the phrase, quickly dashed all these hopes with his description:

“You just drive around sketchy neighborhoods and try to spot hookers.”

This confused me. It struck me as the kind of hobby an aspiring serial killer might take up. Mike made it very clear that this was not about making use of hookers, and certainly not about hunting them for sport. It was a tourist’s version of a safari. We’d drive through their natural habitat and safely observe them from the car, but would by no means rouse the hookers from their domain or roll down the windows to pet and feed them.

We weren’t playing the role of bratty kids going to the fish store to tap on the glass. We were taking part in a thinking man’s game, a mystery where you use visual clues to deduce whether a woman standing on a street corner is a prostitute or not.