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Jerks can’t find me

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

 
Did you know I once got drunk at a party, threw up all over their upstairs hallway, and then left? Did you know I once paid $30 for a pill of ecstasy, only to find out later that it was herbal and contained no actual drug effects? Did you know that during college, my roommates and I used to go to a grocery store where our friend worked and get $100 worth of groceries for $6 because she wouldn’t scan half the items and would enter in a bunch of generic coupons for the items she did scan?

No, you wouldn’t know this stuff, because unlike the rest of you dopes, I have a generic first and last name that can’t be searched on the internet. Want to find me on Facebook? There are over 500 results, 16 of those people in Los Angeles. Want to find me on Twitter? I went through about 50 results before I stopped looking. Want to find me on MySpace? You won’t, because I’m not in a band and I’m not a child molester.

If you search for Paul Ryan on Google, you’ll find the Wisconsin Congressman, the Marvel Comics artist, the fictional character on “As the World Turns”, the headmaster at Princethorpe College, the captain and mine warfare expert in the Navy, the gay theater director/actor/author/comedy coach/corporate speaker, and the internet search coding expert who works for Microsoft. You won’t find me, because depressingly enough, I’m less talented than all these people.

Just because you’re paranoid don’t mean they’re not after you

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

 
It’s 6am and Gladys Neumann is sleeping comfortably in her bed. She pulls her soft sheets and comforter up to her shoulders and sighs happily. Outside, a bird sings below her window before poking the dirt with its beak. Squirrels playfully chase each other up the trunks of trees. The wind pushes the scent of lilacs softly into her room.

After a moment of silence, a floorboard creaks and the door to Neumann’s room softly clicks shut. She sits up, startled. A man in a dark suit and sunglasses sits in a chair in the corner. His smile is warm and kind.

“Good morning, Mrs. Neumann,” says the man. “I’m from the government. I’m here to wish you a happy 60th birthday.”

“Oh, it is my birthday today!” says Mrs. Neumann. “That’s just lovely. I didn’t know you folks did that.”

“It’s government policy, maam. We visit everyone on their 60th birthday. I also brought you a present.”

The man pulls a .45 Magnum from his pocket and shoots Neumann three times in the head.

“That’ll teach that healthy old bitch to keep living,” says the man. “Add another $7,900 per year back in the government’s pocket! Mission accomplished.”

Let me borrow your children for a month

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

 
Summer is almost over, and you’re not sure how much more you can take. These damn kids of yours are driving you insane, and you need some relief. If they roll their eyes at you one more time, you might just knock them unconscious with a shovel and bury them alive in the backyard.

Well it’s not too late, folks. Just because it’s August doesn’t mean your precious, horrible child can’t still get a rewarding, fully unpaid summer internship with me, famous newspaper columnist Paul Ryan. It’s like getting an internship with Maya Angelou, if Maya Angelou were untalented and living off extended unemployment benefits.

I know what you’re thinking. You think the Reader Weekly is the laughing stock of the community. You think I’m an unpaid volunteer who can’t get published legitimately anywhere else. You suspect that I don’t have a real office and couldn’t possibly offer any benefit to your child’s education. Well, you’re certainly not wrong. But as long as your child is fetching me coffee and spending most of their day staring out a window and sighing, it’s as valid as any other internship, and pretty much identical to their future real world job.

You are unoriginal

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

 
Two extremely attractive 20-somethings are standing in an elevator. One of them is listening to music on his headphones. The audience is given a moment to absorb how hip and pretty they are before the dialogue begins.

“I love The Smiths,” says the girl.

“I’m sorry?” says the guy, for some reason just now noticing the smoking hot chick that he’s been alone with in the elevator for the past few minutes.

“I said I love The Smiths,” repeats the girl.

The guy stares at her longingly. The audience swoons because they know that in the movies, when two attractive people both like the same crappy ’80s band, they will undoubtedly become soulmates.

Tips for dealing with the Hells Angels

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

 
The Hells Angels motorcycle club will be gathering in Carlton, MN next week for their annual quilting, needlepoint and illegal firearms rally. Although police presence will be at an all-time high, here are a few tips in case you encounter members of the notorious biker gang.

– When running away from the gang and crying like a small girl, try not to flail your arms too much. Otherwise people may think you’re a sissy.

– Contrary to pubic perception, Hell’s Angels are not angered by the color red. They’re actually red-green color blind. It’s the movement of your cape’s fabric that will enrage the bikers and cause them to charge.

– Names you should not call them include butthead, farthead, poophead, peeface, turd burglar, gaybo, gayho, gayfer, fatty, beardy, spanky, smelly, arsehole, acehole, icehole, hey you, hey you bub, hey you with the fat wife, and Captain Ladypants.