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Archives: Jan 2010

I am a pilot, and I will not shut up

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

This is your captain speaking, welcoming you to flight 774 with Sun Country, the affordable airline that doesn’t yet charge you for using the toilet. Our flight time will be three hours and 45 minutes, assuming I don’t get distracted while surfing the internet and bypass our destination entirely.

Our flight attendants will be coming around shortly to offer $8 pairs of headphones you have no interest in buying, as well as to re-stow your carry-on luggage for no apparent reason, mashing it ever deeper into the overhead compartment. Have a wonderful flight, and thank you for choosing Sun Country.

* * *

This is your captain speaking. We are currently at 35,000 feet, our optimum altitude for the flight. The fasten seatbelt signs have been turned off, which is the cue for our flight attendants to clog the aisle with a beverage cart for the next hour. You can have your choice of tap water, weak coffee, warm Fresca, or an alcoholic drink that costs $17. Alcoholic drinks are limited to two so that even a child couldn’t get drunk off them.

If you’re seated on the left side of the aircraft, you can look out the window and see the bright lights of Las Vegas, a town with so many drunks that it’s the only place on Earth where Cher can charge $250 per ticket and not die of starvation. Those of you seated on the right side of the plane can see the not-so-bright lights of Enterprise, Nevada, the town where I deflowered my wife. Have a wonderful flight, and again, thank you for choosing Sun Country.

Vikings vs. Saints vs. Mitch’s divorce

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

Bill: It’s a perfect 72 degrees here in the Superdome, where the New Orleans Saints are taking on the Minnesota Vikings. I’m Bill Mondue and this is Mitch Barthington, and we welcome you inside the broadcast booth. Here’s what we saw last week. Dallas rode into the game hot, but the Minnesota defense came to life and led the way, shutting them down in all four quarters.

Mitch: Yes Bill, they certainly shut them down with a brutal intensity. I was stunned by their effectiveness. But the Vikings defense is still nothing compared to the stopping force of my dreadful ex-wife, who has successfully shut down all my attempts at happiness. Like the potent Saints offense, my well-built ex-wife has bullied and stiff-armed her way through the legal system, jukeing me right out of my shoes. She then came back and took my shoes, and all other possessions which allow me to feel like a man, Bill.

Bill: Uh, yes. An insightful look at the matchup ahead. I only hope our viewers recognize the humor in your unique style of commentary. You certainly are one of the most brilliant minds in broadcasting.

Mitch: My life is a toilet the size of the universe, Bill. I’m just swirling in circles until I get sucked into the abyss.

Invasion of the snow wieners

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 while driving to work, my dad found a snow penis. It was right there on the side of the road, staring at him longingly, almost as if it were wishing him a wonderful day at work. As he drove past, he swore to me that it waved at him and blew him a kiss.

For the uninitiated, a snow penis is exactly what it sounds like: A giant penis made out of snow. When teenagers or sex offenders feel the need to express themselves in the spirit of the season, they sometimes build a snow penis in place of a traditional snowman.

I’ve never made one myself, because I don’t need to build what I already own. But the process seems fairly easy. Instead of rolling three balls of snow, you just have to roll two, and add a giant length of snow that looks like a sausage. Then just turn it upright so it appears as if it’s happy to see you.

Nose blowing is overrated anyway

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

“Don’t blow your nose for two weeks,” said the doctor. “Your sinus surgery is finished and it will heal nicely, but for the love of God, don’t blow your nose for two weeks.”

This is the conversation that went through my mind one week after my surgery, as I idiotically boarded an airplane to fly home for Christmas. If I couldn’t even blow my nose for two weeks, then it was entirely possible that flying on a highly-pressurized airplane after one week would cause my entire face to explode.


Would I become deformed, my face a twisted, tortured version of its former self? Would the inside of my face melt into some form of non-delicious saltwater taffy? Would I poop myself, pass out, and collapse on top of the elderly woman seated next to me, trapping her underneath my stinky corpse for the duration of the flight? The possibilities were endless and intriguing, and I giddily awaited the potentially gruesome outcome.