Skip to content

Archives: Sep 2009

Little Armando, the urban achiever

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

I thought it was a spam e-mail at first. “Progress Report for Armando.” But I still looked, because if someone has an awesome name like Armando, I’m 93 percent more interested in whatever they’re selling. If a guy named Chad tried to sell me Viagra, I’d say no because I don’t need it. But with a guy named Armando, I couldn’t help but think it would make my lovemaking a little more Hispanic.

Sadly, the e-mail didn’t address passionate Latin lovemaking at all, and was instead a student’s weekly grade report from a teacher. She had sent it to my e-mail address by mistake. I’m not sure how the parents of a kid named Armando have an e-mail address that in any way resembles “paulryan”, but perhaps the teacher has a drinking problem.

This theory seemed ever the more promising after I responded to alert the teacher to her mistake and she replied with “Ok. Gotca.” I can only assume she meant “gotcha”, as in “I understand what you’re saying and will fix the problem immediately.” Yet in the following weeks, I continued to receive updates on little Armando’s progress.

I don’t care about the Emmys

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

I live in Hollywood and occasionally work in the entertainment industry. As such, I am required to care about the Emmys. It’s the top awards show for my industry, so not blabbering on endlessly about it would be a form of silent blasphemy punishable by severe beatings. TV studio employees not liking the Emmys is like Hermy from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer preferring dentistry over making toys.

The trouble is, I don’t give half of one shit about the Emmys. It’s four hours, it’s full of sterile jokes that only a 90-year-old could love, and most shows aren’t nominated until at least three years after their prime. I would rather eat Dennis Anderson’s toupee like a steak than watch the Emmys.

Every year the Emmys have millions of viewers for ten minutes, and then seven viewers for the remaining three hours and fifty minutes because everyone else has changed the channel to something more interesting. The host is usually given the blame, but you could make Hitler the host and the show would still be boring. Neil Patrick Harris was very cool and hip, but even he was met with awkward silence after telling the standard safe Emmy jokes, which were written back in the Bob Newhart era.

I’m not saying the Emmys should be full of boobs and explosions, or even exploding boobs, but when people who don’t even like football would rather watch the Cowboys play the Giants, you know something’s seriously wrong. Hell, I was tempted to watch reruns of Sanford and Son instead, and that show’s so old that the footage during the opening credits is literally two minutes of a man pulling a truck into a driveway.

Tips for students and other worthless people

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

It has been brought to my attention that the current month is September. I was unaware of this, because I’m unemployed. After the third or fourth month of not leaving your apartment, your entire world blurs into a mess of Price is Right reruns and various shows where southern people with bad haircuts yell at each other. I only know a full day has passed because I wait for the mailman as eagerly as a golden retriever.

The month of September signals that it’s time for me to write my annual “tips for students” column. This is a fairly pointless exercise in a newspaper that’s only read by aging hippies, but as Harold Macmillan once said, “Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.” I’m not sure who Harold Macmillan was, but Wikipedia says he went by the nickname “Supermac”, and that’s good enough for me.

So again I will cater to all my readers who want to pretend they’re still cool enough to hang out at a college, or worse yet, think I’m still cool enough to hang out with college students without them asking me if I’m there to pick up my son.

Prodigious posse watching parking violators

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

On a recent trip to Duluth, Darlene Pooburn parked in a Canal Park lot that serves Caribou Coffee. Pooburn and some friends got drinks at Caribou and went to a few gift shops, returning before the hour was up.

They were stunned to find a fat guy sitting on the hood of their car.

“Gimme $80 and I go away,” said the man, in between loud belches.

When Pooburn refused, the man laid across her hood, spread eagle, and again reminded her that she couldn’t leave until she paid him.

“I’m fat, gimme $80 or I no let you leave,” said the man, a loud fart vibrating through the hood of the vehicle. She had no choice but to pay the man.