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I won a gold medal in heaving

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

I know it’s very common for people to get Olympic fever, but is it supposed to involve vomiting? My Olympic fever last weekend involved vomiting.

It took a long time before I realized my illness was in fact legitimate, and not just Olympic fever. The first two times I vomited, I thought I was just extremely patriotic, but the fourth time I tossed cookies, I knew this was way more patriotism than I was capable of displaying. “I don’t like the Olympics that much,” I thought to myself. As it turns out, I was actually sick.

As Michael Phelps readied himself at the starting line of the 400-meter individual medley, my stomach began to turn. “Oh, that’s just nerves,” I thought. “I must be nervous for Michael Phelps. That’s quite patriotic of me.” As the race started, I felt genuinely ill, like a young boy who has been tricked into chugging a gallon of milk by his cruel friends. As Phelps won the gold, I literally clung to my toilet with both hands, begging God to tell me what I had done to anger Him.

Everyone in the Olympics is a bastard

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

There are few things I hate more in this world than people who are better than me. This is why I have limited patience for the Olympics. It’s also why I have limited patience for doctors, firefighters, hip-hop dancers, John Mayer, and other newspaper columnists. As someone who hates seeing others excel, and is unwilling to put in the effort to excel himself, all these things are extremely painful for me to watch.

With the exception of John Mayer, the Olympics are by far the hardest to endure. Watching people younger than me, more athletic than me, and usually better looking than me run around accomplishing things is not my idea of a great TV viewing experience. I prefer to watch people fail, because it increases my self esteem without requiring me to work hard or improve myself.

The Olympics aren’t capable of providing hilarious failures, because everyone there is already the best in the world. Even if I watch while obnoxiously drunk – which is the only reasonable way to view the Summer Olympics – the inspiring triumphs of mankind both simultaneously annoy and bore the living crap out of me.

For instance, I’ve never attempted to compete in women’s gymnastics, but the fact that Shawn Johnson can get a near perfect score on the floor exercise really irks me. Who the hell does she think she is, sharing her gifts with the world and shit? What a smug bastard.

I’m tired of your baby

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 sorry if I removed you as a friend on Facebook, reader. I really am. I’m just tired of looking at pictures of your ugly baby. You have posted roughly 70 photos of your newborn on Facebook in the past month, and frankly, I’m sick of the damn kid.

I agree that children are precious, but they’re also really ugly when they first pop out. Their wrinkled, fat faces are not precious at all. They’re gross, drooling on themselves and staring blindly into space like lobotomy victims. When your baby gets a year or two older, he or she will turn adorable, but before then they’re pretty much just a blob of lard that screams and produces unspeakable amounts of feces.

Don’t think that I hate children. I actually adore kids, even the bratty ones. If you ask me to babysit a screaming seven-year-old, I’ll jump at the chance. Their unending tantrums and obnoxiousness are offset by the fact that I can play video games with them for eight hours straight without them accusing me of being a loser. Unlike my adult friends, a seven-year-old won’t mock me for treating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as a full meal or for having 11 gigabytes of Looney Tunes cartoons on my computer.

Here comes the panic, Donny

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

Note #2: Today’s column is based on this event.

The citizens of Duluth, MN today passed a Donny Ness tax, requiring all city residents named Donny Ness to pay a flat $5,000 fee each year. The fee will only offset a small portion of the money people named Donny Ness have cost Duluth residents this year.

This new citizen law comes after Mayor Ness’ proposal to charge residents $500 for each use of emergency services. Under the law, citizens would be charged for each use of the police, fire department, or ambulances, and for each car accident they’re in, regardless of whether they’re at fault. If residents were unable to pay, they’d be left to die in their cars or their house would be re-set on fire by the fire department.

If Donny Ness is unable to pay the Donny Ness tax, he will be forced to live alone in a cheap hotel room and go by the name Fled Manders. He will not be allowed to go to work or see his family until he pays the tax that allows him these most basic things in life, things which he has already earned.

“The city deficit has to be paid somehow,” said local resident Flip Bonser. “We either have to charge a Donny Ness tax or follow him around and purposely get into car accidents with him so he’ll repeatedly be charged $500. I think we made the more civil choice.”

Hello McDonald’s, goodbye dignity

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

I’ve tried everything to find employment, but nothing has worked. Not even the shaving cream trick.

I learned the theory of this trick from my dad. When I was a kid, he used to do “The cigarette trick” in restaurants, where if our food was taking a while to arrive, he’d light up a new cigarette and Murphy’s Law would cause the server to bring the food 10 seconds later. He’d have to stub out a perfectly good cig, but it was worth it if he was hungry.

I’m currently unemployed and waiting for job offers, and since there’s no worse time for the phone to ring than when your face is covered in shaving cream, I’ve made sure to shave every single day, and take an extra long time doing it. If Murphy’s Law holds true, the shaving cream trick should make my phone ring.

But it hasn’t. I would happily bury my cellphone in a swimming pool full of shaving cream if it meant getting a steady paycheck, but tricks based on depilatory cream are no match for our current dismal economy. So here I stand, a moron staring longingly at his phone as shaving cream melts off his face. I need to find a trick that makes me look like less of an idiot.