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Archives: Feb 2011

A tooth extraction via Donald’s knuckles

One of my favorite parts of writing this column – and pretty much the only reason I still do – is that I sometimes receive letters from angry people who want to fight me. I get the same sort of joy from reading these letters that Arthur Miller must have had when Marilyn Monroe went on a bender and married him.

A few years back, a man challenged me to wrestle him. Another time, a high school kid told me to “come find [him] after school” so he could “teach [me] what happens to little bitches.” Beloved Duluth folk singer Haley Bonar once wrote a letter to the editor calling me “an obvious idiot” and a “horny little moron.”

When I wrote last week’s column about creating a Facebook profile for a fictitious cat, I wasn’t really expecting a lot of violent threats. Creating a fake Facebook profile is about as controversial as sipping tea without testing the temperature first, or buying a bag of pears and not keeping the receipt. Alas, the combination of alcohol and the internet is a wonderful, wonderful thing. Observe this private message sent to my fake cat by a man named Donald:

Please stop this, right meow

Today, as a social experiment, I created a Facebook account for a goddamn cat. I named the account “Paul Ryan’s cat.” It’s not actually my cat, as I don’t own one. It’s not a friend’s cat either, because I refuse to be friends with lonely people who own cats. In fact, even the photo on the cat’s account is not a cat. It’s a photo of a dog.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I should note that the photo is of a dog pooping. It’s quite blatant. The posture of a dog when it’s doing such things is unmistakable. Regardless, this discrepancy has not kept people from posting messages on the animal’s Facebook wall that say, “Nice kitty!” and “Aww, I love cats!”

I have furthered the scientific value of this social experiment by sending my friends private messages from the “Paul Ryan’s cat” account. The messages merely say, “meow”. That’s it. If they don’t respond, each day I send them a new meow message. I continue this until they either respond to the fictional cat or message my regular Facebook account and say, “Goddamn it, Paul, what is this shit? Stop sending me bullshit cat messages.”

Reasons to build a monorail

According to a recent Duluth News-Tribune article, people unfamiliar with classic episodes of The Simpsons have suggested Duluth build a monorail system. I fully support this idea. Here are some reasons why:

It’s inexpensive
For a place like Duluth that’s bustling with endless jobs and commerce, $60 to $80 million for a glorified ski lift that runs through two percent of the town is a great investment. It’s three miles long, so that’s a mere $26.7 million per mile. Most Americans agree they’d rather pay $26.7 million than walk a mile. Walking a mile is hard.

A lot of people might say, “Hey Paul, you could probably pave one mile of a street in solid gold for that price.” Well that’s nice, but gold would be very slippery in winter. Also, people would probably try to steal the street if it were made of gold. If you instead bury all your millions of dollars in pointless, redundant transportation systems, then it won’t be worth stealing.

Super Bowl letters from readers

Dear Paul,
Remember three weeks ago, when you said if the Packers beat the Bears you’d owe me a Coke, and if the Packers won the Super Bowl you’d buy me “a goddamn car”? I’d like a Nissan Juke SE.
Sincerely,
Aaron F.

Dear Aaron,
First of all, if someone lost a blood money bet with me and owed me a car, and was dumb enough to not put restrictions on said car, I’d probably pick something that costs a little more than $18,000. Secondly, I’d also be very specific about the color and features so I wouldn’t end up with a hot pink car with a penis airbrushed onto the hood. Thirdly, Nissan doesn’t make the SE anymore, they only have the S, SV, and SL models this year, so I’m nullifying our entire agreement and you’re not getting squat diddly. Or diddly squat. You’re not getting either of those gibberish phrases. Suck it.
Cunningly yours,
Paul