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Idolizing the normies

All of my childhood heroes turned into douchebags. Kirby Puckett was a great baseball player and a magnificent public urination hobbyist, but he was also a wife beater. Pee Wee Herman was funny and charming, but his choice to splooge in a public theater was less so. Fred Rogers, the late host of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, was murdered by seven men in a Kmart parking lot when a Pokemon trade went sour.

He wanted a Bunnelby for a Magicarp. That is some ignorant bullshit.

The list of failed heroes is endless. Former Twins pitcher Frankie “Sweet Music” Viola was arrested at a Chuck E Cheese restaurant for pooping in the ball pit. Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton leaked five episodes of Game of Thrones this past weekend. Newsie Brian Williams beat a Muppet to death with a rotary telephone. It wasn’t a popular Muppet, but it’s still a crime.

So you’re moving out of an apartment you ruined

You can smell it in the air. Desperation. It’s that time of year when college students like yourself are realizing you’ll be done with the school year soon, and the apartment you rented looks like a meth den. Sure, you could do the ethical thing and just let the landlord keep your deposit, but that’s not your style. No, you’re going to fight this one to the bitter end, no matter how pointless and stupid it is.

I’m here to help you make it stupider. If you follow these bits of advice, you’ll get back at least $3 of your $800 deposit. Guaranteed! By the newspaper, not me. Please forward all bills to the newspaper. They’re totally on board with this. I’m not just making it up to anger them.

– Use warm water mixed with a small amount of bleach to remove all those giant penises and satanic pentagrams you drew on the wall with a magic marker.

Columnist watching Walking Dead finale instead of writing April Fools Day articles

Duluth Reader columnist Paul Ryan, the only staff member who regularly writes humor for the newspaper, has once again contributed absolutely nothing to the annual April Fools issue. According to several eyewitnesses, Ryan has been “dicking around all goddamn weekend” instead of writing.

Ryan also contributed zero articles to last year’s April Fools edition. He stated that he couldn’t write because his wife had died, yet there is no public record of him ever being married. In 2013, Ryan claimed he was visiting a remote region of China without access to phones or computers, yet a brief glance at his Instagram showed he was actually visiting a local grilled cheese festival. Back in 2012, Ryan claimed to have broken both his hands in a “misunderstanding” at a strip club.

In 2011, Ryan was unemployed and claimed he wasn’t drunk enough to be funny. He would only participate if the publisher sent him a $95 bottle of bourbon. In 2010, Ryan said his computer keyboard was too sticky and was being professionally cleaned the entire weekend. In 2009, Ryan announced he had cancer, and then on April 1 sent an email joyfully revealing the fatal illness to be a joke. In 2008, the single article Ryan submitted seemed to be a plagiarized grade-schooler’s book report of “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

It was a toilet, but it was our toilet

The Toilet is closing, and I’m a little sad about it.

The warehouse-sized Toys “R” Us store in Bloomington, MN – affectionately dubbed “The Toilet” by those of us who worked there in 1997 – was indeed very toilety. Every shelf had a layer of dust and dirt. The musty smell of water damage mixed with cheap plastic created a gag reflex for some customers. The 1970s speckled linoleum floors housed dozens of permanent stains and damage that had become as much a part of the store as the sign out front. The dark blue/bright orange paint scheme of the walls looked the way most employees felt when arriving each morning: Hideous.

When I was 16 years old, The Toilet was the only business that would hire me. They were desperate. The Christmas season was quickly approaching, and the increase in customers meant hiring an additional 15-20 temporary employees over a short period. They would literally hire anyone with a pulse. If you came to the interview with pants on, you got the job.

I think I’m the only person who’s stoned in this art gallery

All I had was a five dollar bill, and I sure as hell wasn’t giving it to this bow-tied asshole. I searched my pockets over and over again, hoping there was a single I had forgotten about. No luck.

The bartender was now watching me intently. If I had simply walked away without tipping for my complimentary beer, he would have been too busy to notice, but I lingered too long. Now my awkward pocket searching was the focus of the entire room. Now I was the asshole. All eyes were trained on me, waiting to see what this unreasonably nervous man would do.

At least that’s how it seemed in my head. It probably didn’t help that I was a little stoned. I wasn’t faded enough to look stoned, but I had to focus more than usual to accomplish things that were normally handled subconsciously. I had to focus on holding my beer so I didn’t drop it. I also had to focus on keeping my eyes fully open, instead of half closed like a stoner. I had to focus on holding my arms at my side in a normal fashion, because was I doing that? How do people normally let their arms hang? Am I doing it right? Sweet Christ, someone tell me!