Outside Magazine, the nation’s fortieth most popular magazine about going outside, held its annual contest for the best outdoor city in America last week. Duluth, Minnesota won first place, narrowly defeating Provo, Utah, a town mainly known for socially awkward Mormons and crippling boredom.
Duluth bested a total of 63 other cities, most of which didn’t realize they were nominated.
“Outside Magazine?” said Fred Tarkenton of Boulder, Colorado. “That’s not a real thing, is it? Are you sure you don’t mean Outdoors Magazine? That sounds more like a real publication.”
Ironically, the winner of the contest each year is usually whichever town has the most homebound residents who prefer voting in internet polls to actually going outside. However, since Provo is almost exclusively populated by Mormons who believe coffee is too technologically advanced for society, most of them don’t even own a computer.
“Well, Bill has one of them fancy ‘puters,” said Milton Davis, a local high school janitor who is also Provo’s mayor. “But he’s a child pornographer, so he needs one.”
Many Northlanders were surprised that Duluth was even nominated. Temperatures in the region range from 0 to 40 degrees fahrenheit in the summer, and -60 to -80 degrees in the other 11 months of the year. Annual snowfall is around 700 feet. Since the entire town is built on the side of a large hill, driving is nearly impossible whether it’s snowing or not, and the winds coming off Lake Superior are so icy and brisk that the coldest conditions have been known to permanently seal a dog’s anus in 12 seconds.
“Does anyone who voted in this contest actually live here?” asked Tim Dickcup, a local taxidermist. “It’s cold as witch tits, the snow is only pretty for a few days until it turns brown and gross, and our downtown can’t even keep a strip club open. Sure, there’s a place to get sauced every 10 feet, but that’s because getting drunk is the only way to keep warm. I don’t wanna start a thing, but Duluth is kind of a boner town.”
Liquor is both the largest import and export of the region. One in seven local residents are employed in the healthcare industry, mainly to care for all the alcoholics. Downtown Duluth has the highest rate of strippers over the age 40 per capita in the nation. George Clooney once visited Duluth by train, stayed for an hour, and then left abruptly and never returned. The late poet Maya Angelou once wrote an entire poem about Duluth:
The lake is full of farts,
my mouth is full of erections.
In this lonely grey town
the men give no rejections.
I exposed my breast
for a gram of weed.
Summer in Denfield,
where I stopped to pee.
Duluth Mayor Don Ness has a framed copy of this poem hanging above the beanbag chair in his bathroom. He finds it to be a perfect description of the region’s many outdoor activities.
“She was a beautiful, talented lady,” said Mr. Ness. “I’m glad she enjoyed her time at our local rest stop.”
Fourteen-year-old Taco P. Ness, editor in chief of Outside Magazine, was very excited that Duluth won the contest.
“Oh my God, everyone but me is dumb,” he said. “Do you have any idea how many hits this spur of the moment contest got me? Like millions! All these inbred rubes from the middle of nowhere spammed the link to their friends like 12 times a day, and I made a fortune off Google ads. Thanks, morons! Boom! That’s the sound of Taco Penis droppin’ the mic!”
Mr. P. Ness plans to hold the contest again next year, after which he will buy himself a sex boat and a cloned unicorn.