Corn Palace

Sorry, it’s been awhile.

Last week, I was nearly out of commission after “Night of 100 Laughs” at the 400 Bar. It was an amazing show. My pal Ross Brockley guaranteed 100 laughs or your money back, and he had to fudge the count a little (only 69 actual laughs), but he gave the audience some great information about corn as an alien plant, an alternative view of Christianity (“I mean, at the end of the day, isn’t it about being tortured and humiliated in front of your friends”), and tips on how to survive an attack from either nuclear (eat miso soup) or biological (magic mushrooms) weapons. So 69 spoonfulls of sugar to help the medicine go down.

This weekend, I was in South Dakota for the Tapes n Tapes wedding. We showed up late for the ceremony because we stopped in Worthington for The Great Gobbler Gallop. Evidently this turkey race between the local bird, Paycheck (“nothing goes faster than a paycheck”), and a Texan Turkey, Ruby Begonia. The race has been going on for 33 years, and Paycheck has won 19 times. I laid heavy action on the hometown hero only to see Paycheck got completely smoked (is that in poor taste?) by a full minute. On the radio afterwards, they broke the race down and speculated as to what went wrong. Evidently, there’s a re-match in a month in Texas. Anyway, the wedding was beautiful the bride was fun…yada, yada, yada, but the most interesting thing about South Dakota happened yesterday, on Sunday afternoon. We stopped in a local Pub & Grille (what if the “e” was attached to “Pub” too? Then it would be Pube & Grille, right?) to watch the Vikings game.

South Dakota doesn’t have any professional sports teams, so the pube had the NFL ticket going. With all the different jerseys, the place had a lawless, ragtag, Wild West thing going. There was a Giants fan sitting with his San Fran 49ers-jersey wearing father, across a table from an Eagles fan; they were all watching the NY-Philly game. And a San Diego fan was watching the Chargers game. There were some Vikings fans at the bar, watching Minnesota-Carolina (a couple of them were locals wearing “Greenway” purple jersesy. Evidently Chad Greenway, the University of Iowa rookie linebacker that tore his ACL in the first pre-season game grew up in Mt. Vernon, S.D., a few miles away). And a bunch of Cheeseheads were dominating the big screen in the back. Towards the end of the Vikings game, a latino man wearing a Raiders jersey came in with a white woman wearing a Broncos jersey. That kind of interracial dating would never happen in a real NFL city.

Jerry Seinfeld famously said we’re all “just rooting for laundry” when it comes to sports anyway, but there was something disconcerting about sitting in the middle of all those different colored jerseys, watching satellite feeds from around the country. Something rootless and new world order about it all. These people are loyal to nobody really. Unconnected to any community. Dangerous.

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2 Responses

  1. I met a couple at the Taste of the Nation event last night that was at the wedding, too. I didn’t know a single person there, but this guy recognized me from a Northeast Pub Crawl this past spring.

  2. I’m so glad you gave up writing.

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