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If you can shower in two minutes, you have failed

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

How long did you spend in the shower this morning, reader? 10 minutes? 15 minutes? You greedy sack of shit. How dare you! Mother Earth is screaming in pain as you overwash your genitals! Mother Earth also screams every time you shave, do laundry, or flush a toilet that only has urine in it.

I recently read an article about eco-friendly college houses where a whiteboard is placed outside the bathroom. The residents record how long it took them to shower that morning, and the winner gets the satisfaction of knowing they did the poorest job of washing themselves.

The day the reporter visited the house, the winning shower was two minutes and 18 seconds. I suppose that’s not hard when you skip the unnecessary parts of showering, like getting wet or washing your body with soap. Why not just line everyone up in the backyard each morning and spray them with the hose?

Two minutes is way too short. It takes me at least five minutes in my daily shower to mutter angrily about all the things I hate in my life. Then I spend a few minutes washing my hair and soaping myself, and then I fall asleep standing up. My shower ends when the hot water in my apartment runs out and I wake up.

Let’s have a talk about drinking, you little jerks

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

You know a war has been going on way too long when states start proposing to lower the drinking age. Politicians becoming interested in a cause only young people care about? That’s your prize after 4,000 of you die in an unnecessary war. Yay! The deaths weren’t in vain!

Yes young people, your time has come. After nearly seven years of grizzly war, the age-old argument of “Old enough to be shot by an Arab, old enough to legally puke on your own shoes” is back again. Wisconsin, South Carolina, and Kentucky are proposing lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18.

It’s convenient to have Wisconsin included, because many 18-year-olds there are so fat and inbred that they look like they’re 30, which bolsters the argument that they should be able to drink. It’s also convenient that Kentucky is included, because it allows journalists to post photos of Jack Daniel’s bottles along with their articles. I used to be a journalist, so I know firsthand how much they love posting photos of JD in professional newspapers. It makes them feel rebellious.

As longtime readers of this column might suspect, I’m heavily in favor of lowering the drinking age. But what may surprise you is that it’s not because I’m a bitter anarchist who wants to turn America into a Mad Max style playground for drunks and bastards. I support it because it will actually keep kids safer.

My Wikipedia profile

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

Paul Christopher Ryan (born May 4, 1979) is an American writer, newspaper columnist, and general nuisance. Some of his most memorable work includes that column he wrote about his bowel movements, that column he wrote about his ass, and that column he wrote about his dick.

Paul Ryan was born Edmund Shirley del Monte in his hometown of Vagicourse, MN. After years of physical abuse – wherein his cigar-smoking mother forced him to collect Nazi artifacts and then beat him with them – Ryan ran away from home to secretly live in the backyard of poet Robert Bly. Bly, quite old and senile, thought Ryan was a stray cat and brought him saucers of milk and canned tuna fish each morning.

Ryan was a horrendous athlete in school. As a boy, he would often cry after striking out in baseball, and would repeatedly pretend he had low blood sugar during football practice so he wouldn’t have to run sprints. In high school, Ryan hit a growth spurt but found he was still shitty at both baseball and football. His crowning achievements included dropping the only pass thrown to him in a varsity football game, and getting beaned in the ass by a pitcher who later played minor league ball for the Minnesota Twins.

I’m still drunk from Memorial Day

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: This is my 1,000th column for this website.

You may think today is Thursday – or, if the editor put the paper out a day late, you may think it’s Friday – but it’s not. Today is Memorial Day, and I’m taking the day off. Again.

Its a little-known fact that if you get drunk on Memorial Day, the holiday continues until you sober up. If you can remain legally intoxicated until Thursday, then Memorial Day extends through Thursday. If you can stay drunk for six weeks, then you’re on paid vacation for six weeks. Our fine Constitution keeps your employer from docking your pay.

In fact, this law stays true for all holidays, not just ones honoring our servicemen. The longer you stay plastered, the longer you’re able to enjoy whatever seasonal celebration you used alcohol to ignore in the first place. It’s been Valentine’s Day in my apartment for the past three months!

This law even applies for holidays held by other religions. You’re not Jewish, but you hate Hitler, don’t you? Of course you do. So celebrate Hanukkah as if it were St. Patrick’s Day. You’re not African-American, but you’re voting for Barack Obama, right? Then head to your nearest Kwanza-friendly neighborhood bar.

The Young and the Popeless

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

Joseph Ratzinger is in his garage, tinkering with a car. A nubile, shirtless 16-year-old boy enters with a cup of coffee and breakfast.

Boy: Good morning, Pope! My, you’re up early today!

Pope: Yeah, there’s a popping sound from the left exhaust of the Popemobile. I replaced the spark plugs, but it’s still doing it.

Boy: Maybe the compression is low on one of the cylinders.

An awkward silence.

Pope: Who’s the fucking Pope here? Me or you?

Boy: Sorry your holiness. Here’s your coffee.

Pope: So what’s going on in the world today? Anything I should know about?