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Ness will miss some things, others not

So Duluth's soon-to-be-former-mayor Don Ness only has a few weeks left to get all the video games, Cheetos and craft-beer growlers cleaned up and out of the office before soon-to-be-current-mayor Emily Larson moves in.

This must be a bittersweet time for Mr. Ness as he prepares for a new life outside the hallowed halls of government and joins the rest of us in the messy bowels of the private sector. In fact, here are a couple of completely fabricated lists that I'll bet the mayor has drawn up and keeps hidden inside his Hannah Montana lunchbox, carefully tucked behind the thermos full of Cocoa Puffs.


• Helping guide the future of our shining city on the hill.

• Duluth's amazing citizens.

• My secret Canal Park parking spot underneath Uncle Harvey's Mausoleum.

• Free pop refills at every Taco John's in the Twin Ports. Well, except for the one in Superior, but I'm kinda afraid to go over there anyway, so no biggie.

• My other secret parking spot, downtown behind the emergency vat of lukewarm Leinenkugel's at RT Quinlan's.

• Exchanging Christmas cards with Renee Zellweger. (Reminder: get the restraining order against George Clooney renewed, though. Saw him last night at the Red Herring.)

• My weekly coffee klatch with the ghost of Samuel Snively.

• The constant barrage of late-night phone calls about loud concerts at Bayfront. (Oops, this is on the wrong list but I don't have an eraser with me so I'll have to leave it here and remember to move it when I get a new eraser boy is my hand cramping up from all this stupid writ — )


• Having to write out every single list like this in longhand because I don't want to leave any record whatsoever of anything that could conceivably bite me in the backside later. (Thanks for the tip, John Fedo!)

• Duluth's citizens. Sure, they're amazing but they also complain a lot about the streets. I mean, A LOT!

• All the paperwork needed just to obtain a decent pair of gold-plated mayoral lounge pants.

• Again, all the grumbling about the streets. I can't emphasize enough how much Duluth's citizens whine about this.

• Hosting all those Sister City events. I mean, they're all super-nice folks but the ambassador from Sweden is a little grabby.

• Pretending to like Sharla Gardner's holiday macaroons.

• I'm going to need to put the "fix my streets" bellyaching on here again just because whoever reads this will NOT believe the unending stink these Duluth people put up about this one single topic.

• Getting to complain about the streets to Emily Larson! (Oops, this is on the wrong list. I'm really going to have to get a new eraser.)

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 Brian salutes Mayor Ness and wishes him well, but reminds him that the pothole on Central Entrance still needs to be filled!

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