Duluth Reader columnist Paul Ryan – known mainly for profane, scatological “humor” columns read only by junior high school students – has been sitting in terminal 2 of the Minneapolis Airport for nearly 30 minutes, attempting to shout away his brutal hangover.
“Gahhhhhhh, Jesus help me!” screamed Ryan, clutching his aching head like an insane homeless person while 70 travelers with children looked on uncomfortably. “Fine! I’ll go to church! You win! Just make it go away!”
Ryan spent the previous evening drinking beer, then whiskey, then beer again, then Irish coffee, then wine, and then wine coolers mixed with Grain Belt Premium. This collection of poor life choices led to both an awful hangover and a morning filled with numerous warning signs of liver failure. Rather than enduring it quietly like a grown man, Ryan instead chose the “scream until someone offers you sympathy” method.
“Daddy, is that man a terrorist?” asked a terrified young boy to his father as Ryan loudly blamed Islam and the cleanliness of Chipotle restaurants for his purely self-inflicted predicament.
“Yes son,” said the boy’s father, not even looking up from his book. “But they can’t arrest him until he vomits on someone. Don’t worry, it won’t be long.”
Onlookers passed the time waiting for their flights speculating as to Ryan’s exact condition. Marlene Winslow of Farmington, MN believed Ryan was a mentally ill homeless person who had wandered in through an unguarded door on the tarmac. Sally Cooper of Richfield, MN believed Ryan was an off-duty employee who had served himself free drinks and forgotten he was still at the airport. Doug Parsley of Minnetonka, MN – the only onlooker who was partially correct – noted Ryan’s nearby bottle of tonic water and guessed that he was a recovering alcoholic.
“No way, I know that look,” said Parsley. “He’s a moron who’s over 30 but still drinks like he’s in his 20s. Most people stop or at least slow down their drinking when they get married, so I’m going to assume he’s been single for a reaaaally long time. He must be a real piece of shit. Like, shittier than everyone he’s ever met put together. What a loser!”
Ryan, who overheard the man’s comment, gave a halfhearted “fuck you” under his breath in retort, at which point Parsley forcefully confronted him, causing the cowardly Ryan to sissy out and claim he didn’t say anything at all.
“That’s what I thought, you sad piece of dog shit,” shouted Parsley, loud enough for the entire terminal to hear. Parsley then returned to his young, attractive friends, high-fiving each of them twice.
Ten minutes later, Ryan was fast asleep in his chair, causing workers cleaning the nearby restrooms to debate whether the unshaven, odorous columnist wearing tattered hobo clothing was dead. After a few minutes of heated discussion, the youngest of the three workers placed a urinal cake in Ryan’s open mouth.
“Look, he swallowed it!” said one worker, astonished both that the crumpled mess of a human being was actually alive, and also that a person could swallow a urinal cake whole whilst remaining asleep.
“BLAAAAAAARGGHH!” blurted out Ryan, awakening just as the finest pink cake made famous in Midwestern restrooms everywhere slid down his throat. “NO FRUITS AND VEGETABLES, I’M ALLERGIC! BLOOORRRG BLAAAAGGGHHH! ANIMAL CRACKERS! BANANA PHONES! I’M DYING! EVERYTHING TASTES LIKE LIMESTONE!”
The inexperienced workers, having never awoken an angry pretend journalist before, fled in terror like a herd of majestic gazelles, prancing gracefully into the airport’s early morning mist.
Ryan reached over to their abandoned cleaning cart and grabbed another urinal cake, taking a bite out of it before rolling over and returning to sleep. The toxic paradichlorobenzene in the urinal cake had a bizarre effect, causing Ryan to have hallucinogenic dreams which he unwittingly narrated out loud to the rest of the airport.
“I’ll take ‘Japanese Female Bukkake Race Car Drivers With Excellent Spelling And Grammar’ for 500, Alex,” said the delusional Ryan, revealing both his dream mate and dream Jeopardy category to a now growing crowd of teenagers who had gathered around the columnist, eager to hear which drunken racial slur or inappropriate sexual comment he’d blurt out in his sleep next.
“Yes, I’d like to buy the Fleshlight shaped like Daisy Ridley’s hooha, please,” muttered Ryan. “May the force be inside you. Yasssss.”
This comment elicited loud applause and cheering – as does anything involving Star Wars: The Force Awakens these days – with the noise “awakening” Ryan from his deluded, half-poisoned slumber. The crowd let out a disappointed grumble and dispersed.
Now awake and borderline sober, Ryan boarded his plane, spending three of the four hours of his flight in the restroom. Passengers and flight attendants pounded on the door repeatedly, unaware that the Northland’s best columnist (award pending) had fallen asleep inside after eating yet another complimentary urinal cake.
“SMELLY POOPAS ON YOUR LEG!” shouted Ryan, still asleep in the airplane restroom, his pants having been accidentally sucked down the portable toilet chute and dumped into the atmosphere somewhere over South Dakota. “GET OFFICER WESLEY AND THE BOYS DOWN HERE! THAT FISH STOLE MY DAMNED PANTS!”
Ryan is scheduled to be released by airport security in the winter of 2017.