Impounded by the Ginger Nazi

If you had an acne problem, a Wintergreen Kodiak habit, a gun, and a shiny new City of St. Anthony badge, and you spotted a curly haired giant driving a rusted out ’87 Dodge Dynasty with a bad muffler, what would be going through your mind?

The correct answer, kids? “Revenue.”

I got pulled over driving to my girlfriend’s house on Larpenteur just past 280 last night. It was about 12:30, and I wasn’t drunk; just a couple of madeiras at the 112 after checking out my buddy Henry Phillips at Acme. But when Richie Cunningham pulled me over, I still got that burst of adrenaline that comes along with the new .08 law. My girlfriend is a biochemistry grad student, so while Opie was back in his prowler running my bar code, she reassured me that my glucose levels were probably fine. But I still babbled a bit when firecrotch asked me for my license and my proof of insurance. I even muttered something about “going to Costa Rica” as I handed it over. I wasn’t drunk, but I must have volunteered my travel plans because my impending Costa Rica trip is the reason I’ve been draggin’ my feet transferin’ the Dodge’s title and updatin’ the IN-surance policy. (My WBL roots are showing…again.)

And this information popped up on Ginger’s onboard computer right away.

He came back to my window with his nightstick and a more pronounced drawl. Another fly in the trap, cooter!

“Sir, would you mind comin’ back and talkin’ to me for a minute?”

He didn’t want to make me stand on my toes or count my ABC’s backwards–the man wanted to talk finance. He asked me to get into the back of the squad on account of the wind. Ok. Not a lot of leg room in these fuckers though.

“It says here the policy was cancelled for non-payment on the 19th. Were you aware that the car is uninsured, sir?”

“Not really,” I kind of lied.

“Can I call your mother at this hour?”

“Sure,” I sighed.

“Will she answer the phone this late?”

“If you keep trying.”

He got ahold of her on the second go. “M’am, this is St. Anthony Police, and I have your son here…” I could hear my mother worrying through the cop’s cell phone. After she told him the good Catholic truth, he told her he would be issuing her a ticket for allowing me to drive her car without insurance (even at 30, I’m still an awful son). Then he told me that he would have to impound the, no, no, I’m sorry, sir, I’m aware that you’re only two blocks from your destination, but I can’t, it’s city policy. It’s okay. I get it. The insurance company octopus has managed to choke the fair city of St. Anthony’s good sense and autonomy. It’s 2007. And everybody needs to make a buck.

At least he gave us a ride home.


9/11 Truth in MN Daily

Was reading Prison Planet today, and it linked to the a new series of articles in the Minnesota Daily by reporter Adri Mehra, on the topic of what Mehra calls his personal “9/11 Skepticism.” The first column used the board game Jenga as a rudimentary model for how the towers collapsed. Maybe not the best start for a serious journalistic examination of the fallacies of the 9/11 Commission Report, but crazy conspiracy theorists like myself have to bear in mind that most people haven’t seen Loose Change or 9/11 Mysteries. And it’s an encouraging sign that a daily publication with the largest college circulation in the country is devoting some ink to this topic. But to quote the Sports Guy quoting Mr. Wolf, let’s not start sucking each other’s dicks just yet. This isn’t a “mainstream” news outlet. It’s a college paper, for college kids, the same sort of people who think Lady Sovereign is worth listening to.

The Sports Gal/Courtney Love

I’m a big Sports Guy guy. I enjoy wagering on football and The Karate Kid, and I’m even kind of a Celtics fan (before the Timberwolves existed, my middle school era bedroom was croqueted with Larry Bird posters). But it’s not just subject matter that draws me to Bill Simmons. I love his geeky frat boy style–he’s as hilarious as my stoner Sega Genesis hockey addicted college buddies were back in the day.

This year, the Sports Guy challenged his wife, “The Sports Gal,” to pick football games against him–in order to prove his point that the NFL is getting impossible to handicap in the era of relentless parity. In exchange for her picks, he “allowed” his wife to write a short weekly column that usually comments on chick stuff, like the US Weekly cognoscenti. It’s been as sharply written as Bill’s stuff.

In fact, so sharply written that I think it has to be written by him.

I don’t mean to be one of those chauvinist assholes that relishes pointing out the influence of a good man behind a good woman: Kurt behind Courtney, Lindsay behind Stevie) while never quite recalling the importance of a good woman behind a good man (Diablo behind Johnny. But, of course, I am one of those chauvinist assholes. I mean, other than Diablo behind Johnny, I can’t think of another example of good woman ghostwriting for a good man. At least, I can’t think of one off the top of my chauvinist head. I can think of amitious shrews like Lady MacBeth or sexpot muses like Dante’s Beatrice. Anyway, here’s my thesis: when Bill wrote his US Weekly fantasy league piece last May, I think he unearthed a compulsion to write about the frivolousnes of the female pop culture world, in the same way he writes about the frivolousness of the male pop culture world. I think he’s also interested in the ladies’ benign (even cutesy) annoyance with jock types like him. So he wanted to find a way to write about this stuff without coming off like, well, a woman, and alienating both his male readers and his female readers. It’s almost like he wanted to cross-dress publically, but figured that society wasn’t ready for it, so he invented the Sports Gal’s persona. Now, the Sports Gal’s real life attitude and personality have probably influenced the character of “The Sports Gal,” but I find it hard to believe that she’s as adept with a pop culture joke as her husband. And I know that pop culture jokes aren’t high literary style or anything, but there is a certain timing and rhythm to The Sports Guy’s writing, and The Sports Gal seems to share too much of it.

Not that it matters. “Her” columns are amusing, and sometimes, even serve as PSA’s for dudes, who can read them, especially when they’re properly ghettoized instead of potentially taking away from their beloved Sports Guy’s column inches. The real question is why do I care enough to point it out that the Sports Gal is the Sports Guy? I mean, it’s not like she has a hit record out and faked her husband’s suicide in order to obscure her jealous hubris. Why is there this perceived male/female we-ghostwrite-them-and-they-never-ghostwrite-us paradigm out there? Is there a women’s studies major out there that can clear this up for me?

Finally, a Critic Worth Reading

Check this guy out on Amazon. He’s fantastic, or should I say he’s SLENDO-GLORIA! I don’t think I’ll ever really finish Ulysses, but I will finish all of Kyle C. Foley’s reviews. Check out his !!!MANGLEMENTO!!! review of Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake or his !!!ZESTICA!!! review of Tolstoy’s Anna. But he doesn’t stick to the classics–he reviews The Washingtonienne’s book and Star Wars: Episode III too. He seems to be writing in his own language; a mix of ragged verse, tripped out Freudian argot, broken English, and comic book exclamation. Maybe he just reminds me of my Brazilian ex-girlfriend. I wonder if Kyle’s book is any good. Is sounds like a Van Halen song translated by Petrarch. !!!ROCKETA!!!