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Stay on your own side of the bridge, Wisconsin

So the dreaded emerald ash borer finally showed up in Duluth to eat our trees and wreak more havoc than Rush Limbaugh at an all-you-can-eat waffle buffet. These trespassing pests remind me of teenage ne'er-do-wells sneaking onto Park Point late at night and preparing to destroy that precious spit of pristine sand. For this, I have just one thing to say:

Thanks, Wisconsin.

Yes, just like every other pain-in-the-ash-tree that shows up here in Minnesota, we can thank our cheesehead-wearing neighbors to the east for this wonderful gift of invasive bugs. Last I heard, those beetles were chowing down on Superior's trees, so I figured they had a taste for cheap foliage that reeked of despair and Blatz. And yet, here they are.

Thanks, Wisconsin.

It was bad enough when the state tried foisting creepy-crawly Scott Walker on us. Luckily, a bigger, ickier insect named Donaldus Trumpipennis came along to squash it down before it wriggled across our border, but it was still a little too close for comfort.

You're always trying to unleash your Wisconsin pestilence on our pristine Minnesota. Like Kwik Trip. I had no problem with occasionally crossing the Bong Bridge (when it was open and not clogged up with orange cones and construction barricades, that is) to pick up a couple of cheap avocados. But now these spelling-challenged convenience stores have snuck across the St. Louis River and you can't swing a slippery bag of milk without tripping over one! They're everywhere! A brand-new one just sprang up in my garage!

Thanks, Wisconsin!

Speaking of colon-crunching road construction, how about the roundabout that is now inexplicably placed at the foot of the Bong Bridge? I bet the Wisconsin Department of Transportation put it there to prevent unsuspecting drivers from ever being able to leave that godforsaken state. My uncle drove over to the Hammond for a six-pack of Pabst to watch the Vikings game but he got trapped in that fiendish circle for six hours! His red, white, and blue started turning yellow, green, and gold!!


You have the nation's worst rest areas for travelers! ("Wayside Rest"? More like "Hole in a Board!") You originated the combination fireworks/liquor store! (Keep track of the three shots of tequila you drink by counting on the fingers of your left hand!) I'M WARNING YOU, BUCKY BADGER!! KEEP YOUR DISGUSTING PERSONAL HABITS WITHIN YOUR OWN FIST-SHAPED BORDERS ONCE AND FOR ... oops, wait a second. I forgot about cheese curds and brats. You can toss some of those over the fence every once in awhile.

Thanks, Wisconsin.

Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater, and visit their website at He actually likes Wisconsin. Some of his best friends are from Wisconsin. At least, they were his friends before this week’s column.

Brian Matuszak

Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater and visit their website at