Tag Archive | Minnesota

Liver Shunt & Butter Queens

Here I am not eating deep fried Twinkies at the Minnesota State Fair. My buddy John got one and did his best to push some of it on me, but by this point I had already ingested a small bucket of poutine, five to ten ancillary cheese curds, five to ten hush puppies, half a corn cob, a massive chunk from someone else’s pork chop on a stick, and a large Coke. Did I mention at this point my party and I had only been at the fairgrounds fifteen, twenty minutes tops? Considering I’d later throw down a blueberry malt, five to ten spam curds, and a slightly-larger-than-personal pan pizza, I think I made the right move sparing my body the harmful effects of Super Twinkie.

I am also happy to report that the LARGEST STATE FAIR IN AMERICA™ delivers on its promise of local beauty queens sculpted in butter. Yellow, chunky, and vaguely human, the busts are housed in a very odd-looking (refrigerated) display case at the far end of the “Dairy Complex.” The whole thing looks like a “Batman” set piece. I kept waiting for Otto Preminger to bust in there, fishbowl on his head and freeze ray in his hands, swearing revenge on the Butter Princess who broke his heart. Of course, that didn’t happen. Otto’s been dead for thirty years.

Other bits of interest from this Midwestern Über-Carnival: goats aplenty, pigs aplenty, horsies aplenty, a massive boar named Kenny with testicles the size of small globes, an entire floor of 4-H science projects (I finally know what liver shunt is!), flamenco dancers, guitarists of the flat-picking variety, a fish pond containing actual muskies and crappie, some guy in a hipster Bigfoot costume (regular Bigfoot costume plus extra small t-shirt and sunglasses), a taxidermy booth featuring a dead squirrel in a canoe, several booths hawking home window installation, a parade of local mascots that included a dancing My29 logo, and far too many shirts reminding you that the Minnesota state bird is the mosquito.

All this nonsense wonder and you know what? The fair’s custodial staff managed to keep the grounds cleaner than Disney in July. Going in I was expecting sights and smells on par with Woodstock ’94. To my surprise and delight that mutha stays straight sanitized. Hats off, janitorials!

Oh yeah, as you can see, I also wore a Gilligan hat to this swingin’ party. Why not? I was on vacation.

Tiptoe Through The Afterlife

Here I am last Friday at Tiny Tim’s grave, which as you can see isn’t so much a grave but a tomb. Yes, I spent Labor Day 2013 in the Minneapolis / St. Paul area, because why the heck not? I’ve been very candid during this campaign about my lust for the Twin Cities. Four visits now and I still haven’t seen and done everything on my bucket list for that region. Their motto should be the Twin Cities: We Got So Much Goin’ On!

By the way, the mausoleum that houses Tiny at the Lakewood Cemetery is enormous. This is what the hallways (Tiny Tim’s mausoleum has hallways!) look like:

Tulip Boy buried in that swank shit.

I’ll write more later about my Midwestern adventures, including the glorious five hours I spent at the Minnesota State Fair (the largest state fair IN THE WORLD) and the uncomfortable twenty minutes I spent at a store called Moods of Norway. Oh, there were some moods in there alright!

Get Well, Slim

Slim Dunlap, who took over as lead guitarist of the Replacements after Bob Stinson was bounced out of the group in 1987, suffered a devastating right middle cerebral artery stroke Monday morning that landed him in Minnesota’s Hennepin County Medical Center. Although reports on Tuesday described Dunlap as being “sharp and aware” with his speech intact, the musician cannot move the right side of his body and faces a long road to recovery. Here’s hoping Slim feels better ASAP. He’s a talented, smart dude (evidence of the latter can be found throughout the oral history All Over But The Shouting).