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Minnesota will threaten you, then buy you a drink

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

 
Don’t ever cross a Minnesotan. People in Minnesota mean business. We may not be the biggest or the best-known state, and brain-dead people in California may think we’re a providence in Canada (true story), but we’re a state worth respecting.

Who built the world’s biggest mall for absolutely no reason whatsoever? Minnesota. Who had an openly gay Republican running for office without much controversy? Minnesota. Who elected the first Muslim to Congress? Minnesota. Who has a festival every year called “Taste of Minnesota” that is held specifically so fat people can get fatter? Minnesota. Who has voted for Democratic presidents consistently since 1976, longer than any other so-called liberal state? Minnesota.

Those hippies in Berkeley and hipsters in New York have nothing on us. When you piss off a Minnesotan, we do crazy things like shout at you in Norwegian or chuck a beer bottle at your head. If you’re really rude, we might do both at the same time. If you’re too far away to have a bottle chucked at you, we might secede from the United States just to spite you.

No, really. On July 13, 1977, the town of Kinney, MN seceded from the United States because they couldn’t get money to repair their water system. Their population had doubled because of the mining boom, and they badly needed the repairs. They asked for state funding and were denied. They asked for national funding and were denied. Then they said “You done tickled my angry for the last time, city folk” and wrote an official letter of secession.

A drunk man’s recap of the Democratic Party debate

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

 
Fade in on wealthy white people looking uncomfortable amongst the sea of black people at Howard University, or as I like to call it, “Obama Slam Dunk Country”.

Patrick Swygert is introduced. I assume he’s the moderator, but he’s not. I roll my eyes. Tom Joyner is introduced. I assume he’s the moderator, but he’s not. I sigh audibly. Seven thousand more people are introduced. None of them are the moderator. I throw my bottle of scotch at the TV.

Tavis Smiley is introduced. He claims to be the moderator. I’m now suspicious of anyone who claims to be the moderator. Smiley’s stern opening speech makes me think he’ll open the debate by shouting things like “How many black people have you met! Answer me, Biden!” This thought makes me giddy like a schoolgirl.

The candidates are introduced. Hillary Clinton has been wearing the same pantsuit since 1993. Jesus. Haven’t they invented a second kind of boring work clothing for women yet?

Barack Obama gets only slightly bigger cheers than the rest of the candidates. Somehow I find myself offended by this, despite my lack of blackness.

My life is not like Penthouse Forum

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

 
There comes a time in every man’s life when he must look God in the eye and say, “Wipe that smirk off your face, wiseass.” Today is that day for me.

God and I have always had a rocky relationship. When I was born, he only gave me the useless skill of writing fart jokes. In junior high school, he gave me diabetes. In college, he guided me toward a degree in print journalism. And yesterday, when I went to the laundry room of my apartment building, there was a moderately attractive woman doing her laundry while dressed only in a t-shirt and panties.

My birthday was two months ago, and though God didn’t send me a card with money in it like my grandmother did, I figured this was his version of a belated gift. I gave a wink towards the sky and said, “Way to spot me, wingman.”

Before I was even done introducing myself, the woman was nonchalantly mentioning her boyfriend. Strike one, two, and three, all in one sentence. Thanks for the great birthday gift, God. I hope you kept the receipt.

For the love of god, let me pay the bill

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

 
Where the hell is the check? Why hasn’t the waitress brought the check yet? I’ve asked for it three times. She keeps walking past our table and ignoring us. How can you serve someone a gigantic chili burger with heaping piles of beans and onions – a sandwich with so much chili that it must be eaten with a knife and fork – and leave us for 40 minutes without our check? Is she trying to convince me to ruin their bathroom instead of my own?

I normally have nothing against public restrooms – I don’t have a phobia or anything – I just really shouldn’t use a public one right now. If I’m going to crap out something the size of a loaf of bread, I’d prefer to do it at home. Unless they have a sewer drain the width of a bowling ball, some maintenance will be required afterward. They might have to close down the place for a few days.

That’s nice. Can you dump your boring story into a blog?

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

 
A lot of people hate blogs. Not me. I love them. If half the people I’m forced to converse with every day put everything they wanted to say into a blog, that information would be a hell of a lot easier to ignore. Your son did something really cute the other day? Great. I’ll just skim that part of our conversation. You have some sort of rash that’s been bothering you? Delightful. I’ll just stop reading our conversations entirely.

What a brilliant world it would be if boring people had blogs. One of them would start telling me a boring story and I could sidestep the entire hideous experience by saying, “Oh yeah. I read about that in your blog. Good luck.” I could cut right to the end of unbearable conversations, saving myself hours of suffering each day.