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Modern Warfare indeed

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

These streets have a hollow echo. The slightest sound – a rustle of leaves, the call of a distant finch – bounces from wall to wall, leaving behind a trace of vibration and electricity. The city yearns to be alive, to be filled with noise and chaos, but there are no people here.

A light wind, almost soft to the touch, glides through the tunnels and alleyways of the city’s empty corridors. Once through downtown, it picks up speed in the manicured grass and uniformed houses of the suburbs, finally gusting out to the deep forests and thick brush of the true outdoors. There is no one to disrupt it or slow its course.

There is no one to buy coffee or newspapers. No one to smoke cigarettes or do crossword puzzles on the train. No one to ride the buses or drive the cars. No one to trigger the crosswalks or ride the elevators. No good mornings, no hellos, no how are yous. No fuck yous, no kiss my asses, no suck my dicks. Not even a cough, a sneeze, or a deep breath to break the complete, utter silence.

Yet if one listens closely enough, stands still for just one moment, a sign of human life can be heard. It doesn’t matter if one is in the dense city streets or the open rural areas. The sign is the same everywhere. It’s the faintest sound of gunfire, heard through a closed window, coming from a television set. For today is November 10, and everyone in the world is at home playing Modern Warfare 2.

You can’t stop me from drawing your cat

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 going to draw a picture of your cat humping Michelle Obama, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Don’t try to stop me. It’s impossible. You see, our first amendment allows me to draw an unlimited number of pornographic pictures of your cat humping things. Granted, that’s probably not the use our forefathers intended, but it’s still legal, so suck it.

Yes, you heard me. I told you to “suck it.” Our first amendment also allows me to tell you to suck things, blow things, shove things up your bottom, and sit on your thumb and spin. But I’m not interested in that at the moment. I’m much too busy drawing this very inviting picture of your beloved cat rubbing its tiny cat penis against Michelle Obama’s leg for sexual purposes.

Does that anger you? I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to anger you. Drawing pictures of your cat having consensual intercourse with Michelle Obama is just a hobby of mine. There are a lot of things a man can do with his time: Watch a football game, change the oil in his car, build wooden ships, fly a kite, trim branches that are nearing the roof of his home. But I’ve chosen to draw this picture of your cat humping the First Lady, because I hate you, and to some extent, your stupid freaking cat.

Hangover cures, and other things to teach your grandchildren

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

Everyone has their own hangover cure. Go to any restaurant or local dive around noon on a Saturday and find someone who looks like death, and they’ll likely be consuming their own magical concoction. Some go for Bloody Marys, others for greasy or sugary food, and those of faith often ask Jesus for help while promising hilariously outrageous lifestyle changes in return.

I once dated a girl who had her master’s degree in biology, and her hangover cure was to take two aspirin and two ibuprofen, checking carefully first to make sure neither of the products shared an active ingredient. I refuse to use this method because she’s now my ex-girlfriend, and in the two months we dated, I fear she may have been trying to kill me all along.

My personal hangover cure is a cheddar cheese omelet, a glass of water, a cup of coffee and a screwdriver. Eggs are light on the stomach but great at soaking up toxins, cheddar cheese doesn’t feel as harsh to my gut as American or pepper jack, water and coffee help hydrate and get rid of the fatigue, and the screwdriver removes the body’s alcohol withdrawal symptoms while using the orange juice to mask the taste of the offending spirits.

And if Denny’s won’t serve me a screwdriver, then I’ll make everyone who works there wish they had never been born. Even the janitor.

I would like to be a fitness instructor at UMD

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

In light of recent sexual harassment allegations made toward a University of Minnesota-Duluth fitness instructor, it might seem in poor taste for me to inquire about possible fitness-related job openings at that university. Some might say I’m fulfilling my own selfish needs without caring to see justice take its proper course. Others may say I’m being a total dick.

Well balderdash, I say! It’s a tough economy, and if UMD has to replace their allegedly flirty fitness instructor with a non allegedly flirty one, I’m not going to wait around for some other ambitious job seeker to pull the rug out from under me. If UMD needs to hire a new alleged sexual predator to teach fitness, I want them to know I’m the alleged sexual predator for the job.

I should note that I don’t have any actual sexual predator experience. My resume is embarrassingly sparse, with no record of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or even entry-level experience with stalking or restraining order violations. But I’m a man of ambition, and I will do whatever it takes to fill those obvious needs for the university.

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.