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Someone wants to hire a lovable loser!

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

At the age of 28, I might finally get a full-time job this week. To most people, this would be good news. Comfort and financial stability are common goals of society’s upstanding citizens. But I’m not an upstanding citizen. I’m a worthless deadbeat, so for me the idea of full-time work is downright terrifying.

If someone hires me full-time for a real job, that means I can’t get bored and ditch out after two weeks, right? And when the work on my desk starts piling up, I’ll have to actually complete that work instead of just finding a new job, right? No sir, I don’t think I like this new way of doing things.

I’ve always been this way. As a kid, anything my parents asked me to do would take no fewer than 15 working days to complete. Clean my room? I’ll just move the mess around with my foot until it looks different. Take out the trash? I think we can cram a few more items into that thin, weak plastic garbage bag, mom. Whenever guidance councilors suggested what I should do with my life, all their options seemed like a lot of work. “Can’t I just wake up at noon, drink and bitch about ‘The Man’ all afternoon, and end my day at 7pm by throwing up all over the toilet seat at Pizza Luce?” Usually this honest question would receive a horrified glance in return.

I like to pretend the candidates are delicious

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

Does anyone else think “Obama” sounds like a delicious name for a candy bar? “Obamabar! Seven times the nougat!” It sounds youthful and exciting. I imagine an Obamabar being like a giant 3 Musketeers bar bursting at the seams with fluffy chocolate nougat.

Wait. Is that racist? Was I just being racist? It’s really more cannibalistic than racist, if you think about it. Whether that’s worse is for you to decide. Personally, I’d be less concerned about racism than about my apparent belief that human beings might be filled with nougat.

A “Clinton bar” sounds kind of old and played out, like a Clark bar. But to be fair, Clark bars are underrated. They’re actually quite delicious, despite all the criticism directed at them. It’s just that their position on the Iraq War has never been steady. Damn Clark bars won’t commit to a timetable, only to their own deliciousness.

I suppose Hillary Clinton could go with “Hillybar”, but that’s even worse. It’s too close to “Hairybar”, a product you couldn’t make me eat if you aimed a pistol at my groin. A shady, inbred name like Hillybar won’t stand a chance against Obamabar, a name which implies excitement and tidal waves of fluffy nougat crashing into my face.

I am a bum, and my parents will soon find out

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

My parents are coming to visit next month. Jesus Christ. How the hell am I going to make my apartment look respectable in a month? Should I quit my job? Should I vacate without notice and move into a nicer place? Is a month enough time to claim squatter’s rights in an abandoned building?

It’s not a matter of cleaning. My place is clean. It’s just a really awful apartment. The floor is slanted slightly to one side, the gas stove reeks of methane for 12 hours after each use, and the view out my window looks directly into some fat guy’s apartment. The only way to make my apartment building presentable is to demolish it and build a new one.

The surrounding community is even more worrisome. My neighborhood is interesting, but not in a “What an intriguing bunch of characters” way. It’s more of an “Oh my God, that hobo’s taking a dump in a burnt-out Ford Festiva” sort of way.

Cats don’t belong in the washing machine

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

My apartment building’s washing machine smells like cats. Don’t ask me why. I’m not God. I can’t even explain to my parents why I’m 28 and not fully employed, so don’t expect me to solve complex mysteries about cats and laundering devices. All I know is I put my clothes in the washer, add detergent, and my shirts come out smelling like freaking cats.

I can only assume that someone in the building has a cat, and chooses to wash that cat in the machines. The dryers do not smell like cats, probably because cats are self-drying. It would be silly to waste 75 cents drying a cat.

But why would someone wash a cat in a machine? That’s what buckets are for. You fill the bucket with warm, soapy water and force the cat into it. Then you scrub the cat with an adorable, brightly-colored sponge while it hisses and tries to claw your eyes out. There’s no need to bring technology into this reputable cat washing method. The “delicates” setting on a washer is meant for fancy underpants, not household pets.

There’s a sign in the laundry room reminding residents not to use the washers for cleansing rubber items, making tie-dye t-shirts, or cleaning pieces of wooden furniture. I have added the words “WASHING CATS” to this sign in large letters. I can’t imagine fitting or even wanting to fit a coffee table in the washer, but if people have to be warned against that sort of thing, there’s probably some asshole washing cats in there as well.

I’m the greatest person to ever graduate from UWS

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

Do you see the great cloud of shame forming over Superior, WI? No, not the cloud of failure. That’s always been there. No, not the blanket of alcoholism. That’s been keeping the city warm for over a hundred years. It’s a new shame, deep as the debt of its residents, smothering the city alive.

While Superior has always been shameful, its residents have never had any shame whatsoever. But that is slowly changing. This fog has begun forming over my alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Superior, as plans are made to build a new student center.

What’s shameful about building a beautiful new student center? Nothing, except the bastards aren’t planning to name it after me.

It’s long been known that I am Superior’s most famous former resident. The city’s historians often give Paul Ryan tours, showing areas where I vandalized and befouled the town. “Here’s the Hardee’s restaurant where Mr. Ryan stepped on the toilet seat and broke it, and then wrote ‘Balls to everyone’ on the wall. Here’s the Spur station where Mr. Ryan ate two bags of mashed potato balls only to vomit them upon the side of the building. Here’s the Globe, where Mr. Ryan purchased an old Playboy magazine for 50 cents and randomly placed it in the mailbox of a city resident.”