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Thanksgiving is great for freak watching

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

 
An odd little man sits in the empty restaurant, quietly buttering his toast. He has a face that wouldn’t be unusual on a fish – thin, yet puffy at the lips – but it looks slightly odd on a person. Centuries ago, when fairy tales of magic and spells were still believed, he might have been mistaken for a frog that was kissed by a princess but never fully became human.

The man’s clothing is perfect vintage 1950s wear, not ironic or exaggerated. The faded brown bowling shirt with the tiny collar, the conservative brown slacks, and the horn-rimmed glasses are not reproductions. His entire wardrobe took years of hard work to acquire, yet it’s so simple and authentic that it’s almost unnoticeable.

The waitress asks to refill the man’s coffee, and he smiles and politely thanks her. Despite his introverted nature, he’s always friendly. He doesn’t hate people, he just hates conversations.

Californians approve gay drinking fountains

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

 
A little-known rider to California’s gay marriage ban is requiring all gays to use separate drinking fountains. The state will spend $7.3 million installing the specialized gay bubblers. Anyone who is bisexual, transsexual, or plain old vanilla gay will be forbidden from using any drinking fountain marked as “Straight”.

To be safe, any man who has not had sex with a woman in the past year will also be required to use the gay fountains. Priests, children, and unmarried people who want to go to heaven will be exempted.

“We’re not taking any chances,” said Ron Prentice, head of the California Family Council. “If there’s even a chance that someone is gay, we want them separated from normal people. I wouldn’t want my children drinking same-sex water.”

Homosexual water has never been a concern of the populace, but Prentice says it would be with the right television commercials playing four times per half-hour. While there are no medical studies or realistic examples showing gays having any effect on straight marriage, Prentice still dedicates his life to showcasing the veiled differences of others.

The morning after the election, your conservative boss became huffy

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

 
What do you think you’re doing, young man? Get that festive hat off your head! Stop singing! Is that ginger ale I smell on your breath? You’ve been partying, haven’t you? I don’t care that the first good candidate in eight years has been elected president. Today is a weekday and we do not party during the week.

There is paperwork to be filed. There are phones to be answered. There are lattes to be attained in timely manners. Your duties leave you little time for dancing, prancing, or mancing, which is a manly form of prancing. Yesterday was just an election, like any other.

Yes, I know he’s the first black president. Don’t talk to me like I’m stupid. I’m aware of minorities. I know whether they have been president or not. What’s that? No, I don’t think Ronald Reagan looked a little Asian! No, not even in low lighting! Look, I don’t care about race. Today is a work day and you will work.

Are you calling me racist? How dare you! I approvingly viewed black people on my television set back when you were still a gleam in your father’s loins! Have you ever heard of a little show called “Different Strokes”? How about “All in the Family”? I’m pretty sure there was a black person on “All in the Family”. There wasn’t? Well, they were still discussing race, so it counts.

Duluth Presidential Election Sample Ballot

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

 
Info
This ballot is a sample only, and cannot be used to actually vote. If you cut this out of the newspaper and bring it to a polling location, the unpaid volunteer working the registration table has the legal right to euthanize you. Please don’t worry about completely filling in the ovals, because there aren’t any. I don’t know how to make ovals on Microsoft Word. Again, this is only a sample ballot, so feel free to spill Arby’s on it.

Same Day Registration
If you’re stupid, lazy, or have Alzheimer’s and forgot to register, you can register to vote on election day. Please bring a driver’s license and 12 different pieces of mail sent to your house that have your name and address on them. At least one of those random mailings will probably be accepted as proof that you live here. You can also bring a neighbor to vouch that you live in your precinct, but most people think that’s kind of gay.

Rules
Please don’t drink in the voting booths. Please don’t mistake the voting booths for portable toilets. Dogs, firearms, and wives cannot go in the voting booth with you, as each are required to vote separately. Please don’t wear Halloween costumes to the polls. Please refrain from drawing wieners all over your ballot, as this may confuse the vote counting machine. If you need help reading or marking your ballot, our volunteers will sigh loudly, begrudgingly help you, and then mock you after you leave.

Did You Know?
Federal law dictates that if you’re disabled and can’t easily leave your car, polling station workers are required to bring the ballots out to you as if the polling station were a Carl’s Jr drive-thru.

What slutty character will you be for Halloween?

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

 
There’s nothing worse than a bad Halloween costume. A man dressed in a cow outfit is pretty cool for the first five minutes, but after two hours of lugging it around and realizing that no woman on Earth will have sex with a man who’s dressed as a barnyard animal, he quickly regrets it.

Surprisingly, there are few costumes men can wear that they won’t later regret. Allow me to read through the list of men’s costumes on Amazon.com to prove my point. Animal costumes? A hassle. Batman costume? You and 20 other people will be wearing that. Headless horseman costume? You won’t get any women if they can’t see your face. Star Trek costume? Nerdy. Pirate costume? Gay. Spartan warrior costume? Gay. Teletubby costume? Gay. Harry Potter costume? Gay. Popeye costume? Gay. 1970s disco costume? Gay. Priest costume? Really gay. Police costume? Insanely gay. Napoleon Dynamite costume? That movie came out four years ago, you loser.

There is literally nothing left to dress as that society has not in some way made homoerotic, boring, or both. You pretty much either have to dress as a vampire or other predictable character, or create your own costume.

I’m not sure if I’m dressing up for Halloween this year, because I avoid group activities like the plague, but if I do dress up, I plan on making my own WaMu costume. This will basically consist of a cardboard box made to look like a skyscraper adorning the WaMu bank logo. The skyscraper will be on fire with various little stick people jumping out the windows and screaming.