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I have some questions about your Halloween party

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

I received the invitation to your Halloween party the other day. I greatly enjoyed how it looked like something a four-year-old would make, and how you used adjectives like “spooky”, “ghastly”, and “terrifying” to describe everything from the food and drinks to the condition of your home. I would have added “white trash” to the list of descriptions, but it’s your party, not mine.

I’m invited to a lot of lame holiday gatherings in the suburbs. Everyone knows the best parties are places people don’t care about destroying, like cabins and college houses, but no one invites me to those. Frankly, I’d rather drink at home by myself with my pants off. But if you insist on inviting me, I just have a few questions about your Halloween party:

Is your guest bathroom on the main floor? Am I going to have to walk up the stairs every time I pee? I know you don’t want people dropping stink bombs in your classy bathroom or using your good towels to mop up vomit, but walking up the stairs every time I have to bust a pee is tiring.

Tips for hunting grouse

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

Minnesota’s grouse season is nearly a month old, and the estimated numbers are down from last year. To fix this problem, Duluth’s most prestigious game wardens have personally asked me – and not rival columnist Sam Cook, whose mustache they deemed unprofessional – to write a column helping hunters thin out the population of these dangerous and bloodthirsty birds. Here are a few helpful tips:

– You’re allowed to hunt grouse with the following weapons: Shotguns, sniper rifles, Scud missiles, land mines, tear gas, catapults, chloroform, trained bears, a jaunty song, alcohol poisoning, and punching them to death.

– Looking to make your outing more efficient? Hunting grouse with a flamethrower will both kill and cook them at the same time.

– If you plan to hunt grouse with a gun, you should load it with bullets first. This is the only real tip I know, because I’ve never been hunting once in my entire life. I heard deer will poop all over you if you cut them open wrong. Is that true?

Please don’t fire me from my late night talk show

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

I’m glad you folks are reading tonight, and I’m glad you’re in such a pleasant mood, because I have a little story I’d like to tell you. Do you feel like a story?

This started three weeks ago yesterday. I got up early, to write my humor column early, and I went out to get into my car, and in the backseat of my car is a package I don’t recognize. I get to looking through it, and there’s a letter in the package, and it says, “I know you do some terrible, terrible things, and I can prove you do these terrible things.”

Now, this is a very vague description. I’ve been writing for this newspaper for nearly seven years, and pretty much every column I’ve ever written qualifies as a “terrible thing.” In fact, nearly everything I’ve done over the past seven years, in print or otherwise, has been just awful, so I have no idea what particular incident this man is referring to, but he’s going to put it into a movie unless I give him some money.

Little Armando, the urban achiever

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

I thought it was a spam e-mail at first. “Progress Report for Armando.” But I still looked, because if someone has an awesome name like Armando, I’m 93 percent more interested in whatever they’re selling. If a guy named Chad tried to sell me Viagra, I’d say no because I don’t need it. But with a guy named Armando, I couldn’t help but think it would make my lovemaking a little more Hispanic.

Sadly, the e-mail didn’t address passionate Latin lovemaking at all, and was instead a student’s weekly grade report from a teacher. She had sent it to my e-mail address by mistake. I’m not sure how the parents of a kid named Armando have an e-mail address that in any way resembles “paulryan”, but perhaps the teacher has a drinking problem.

This theory seemed ever the more promising after I responded to alert the teacher to her mistake and she replied with “Ok. Gotca.” I can only assume she meant “gotcha”, as in “I understand what you’re saying and will fix the problem immediately.” Yet in the following weeks, I continued to receive updates on little Armando’s progress.

I don’t care about the Emmys

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

I live in Hollywood and occasionally work in the entertainment industry. As such, I am required to care about the Emmys. It’s the top awards show for my industry, so not blabbering on endlessly about it would be a form of silent blasphemy punishable by severe beatings. TV studio employees not liking the Emmys is like Hermy from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer preferring dentistry over making toys.

The trouble is, I don’t give half of one shit about the Emmys. It’s four hours, it’s full of sterile jokes that only a 90-year-old could love, and most shows aren’t nominated until at least three years after their prime. I would rather eat Dennis Anderson’s toupee like a steak than watch the Emmys.

Every year the Emmys have millions of viewers for ten minutes, and then seven viewers for the remaining three hours and fifty minutes because everyone else has changed the channel to something more interesting. The host is usually given the blame, but you could make Hitler the host and the show would still be boring. Neil Patrick Harris was very cool and hip, but even he was met with awkward silence after telling the standard safe Emmy jokes, which were written back in the Bob Newhart era.

I’m not saying the Emmys should be full of boobs and explosions, or even exploding boobs, but when people who don’t even like football would rather watch the Cowboys play the Giants, you know something’s seriously wrong. Hell, I was tempted to watch reruns of Sanford and Son instead, and that show’s so old that the footage during the opening credits is literally two minutes of a man pulling a truck into a driveway.