Another big honking exhibition at the DECC


So the 73rd annual Twin Ports Arrowhead Duluth Home, Boat, Travel, Kiwanis Builders, Job Fair, Pancake Day Sports & RV Show wraps up this weekend and I hope you all had a chance to check it out. I was going to go, but when I walked into the DECC lobby, I changed my mind. The place was packed. I mean, I get claustrophobic wearing wooly socks. So I made my way to the more wide open spaces of the Mariner Mall, where I had room to breathe. And run laps. And unleash a wild herd of moose and river otters.

I just don't understand the current trend of cramming a bunch of extraneous presentations into these proceedings. For instance, in addition to all the vendors, entertainment and mini-doughnuts available at the Home and Builders Show, there was also a 9/11 Exhibit, which seemed out of place to me. Certainly, we should remember the details of that horrific day and honor the brave men and women who sacrificed themselves trying to save others. But it's odd to have it part of the same event that features live parakeets and seminars on how to grout the tile in your bathroom.

I first became aware of this overcrowding phenomenon last year when Bob Eubanks and his Traveling Game Show were a part the Home Show. That also seemed really weird.

BOB: Answer this question correctly, Chester, and you could win a chance at maybe winning a close association with a $25,000 voucher good for solar panels and compost bins! Are you ready?

CHESTER: What? No! I can't concentrate with all these $#%! parakeets flying around!

Promoters, I realize you have a challenge to get people in the door every year — I mean, you've seen one seamless gutter protector, you've seen them all — but I can help you make it less strange yet more accessible for local audiences. Plus I have time right now to lend you some marketing expertise. Steven Seagull wants me to advertise his new hotel, but the SQUAWK-A-DAY INN trademark hasn't come in yet. So here goes.

• Hire WDSM radio host Brad Bennett to talk about the best geothermal solutions for a home or business. He's a hot-air professional.

• Former Duluth Mayor Don Ness could head up an interactive Build-An-Energy-Efficient-House-Out-Of-Leftover-Books-In-My-Garage-They-Make-Wonderful-Mother's-Day-Gifts-I'll-Even-Wash-Your-Car-If-You'll-PLEASE-JUST-BUY-ONE-OR-TWO-OR-A-DOZEN!! demonstration.

And finally ...

• Grow Your Own Hydroponic Toupee: Co-hosted by Denny Anderson and Pat Kelly.

You promoters don’t need to send Brian any money when these ideas take off, but he wouldn’t say no to a lifetime supply of yardsticks.