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So we may have slogged our way through a cold, wet November but it's been totally worth it. Ladies and gentlemen, we are now 30 days closer to the end of the year. Eleven months down, only one left to go. We're just about there, we can do this! Soon, that dusty goat trail called 2014 is going to be in our rearview mirror as we motor straight down Highway 2015. Not that this past year has been all that bad, other than a winter season acting like your crazy Uncle Ralph at Thanksgiving, showing up early and then staying way too long.
So I write far too many columns in remembrance of close friends, colleagues and mentors who have passed away and I'm always torn when I try to construct one. Today, I'm experiencing this conflict all over again as I put together some thoughts about Suzie Bednar-Munsell, the office manager for the Communicating Arts Department at the University of Wisconsin-Superior back in the '80s. Suzie was married to Professor John D. Munsell, the man who created the UWS Theater Department and about whom I've written in a previous column.
So you may remember that a few months back I wrote about someone close to me turning the big five-oh this year. Well, the time has finally arrived for me to let the cat out of the bag and announce that secret someone's identity. First things first ... OK, Froofroo Kitty, let me just move these other Super One recyclable sacks out of the way and set you free so I can move on to revealing who just turned fift — MEOWRARRRHISSSSSSPITSPITSPITMEOWOOOOOORRR!!!! Ahhhhhhh! My pants are shredded!!!! Well, that didn't go as well as expected.
So if you hadn't heard, we just had an election. I don't know how you could have possibly missed it, unless you live in some remote, dank, dark place, like a cave. Or Proctor. Either way, you need to turn off the karaoke machine and pay attention. And this past election was certainly exciting. I haven't heard that much innuendo, half-truths and name-calling since my last high school reunion. But what does any of this have to do with this week's column, you ask?
So, with the end of another fall season comes the beginning of a new winter season, which means lots of crying, begging, huddling together and then more crying. (I just noticed how much a winter season resembles a Minnesota Vikings season.) It also means I'm not going to have sufficient time this week to write my usual compelling, thought-provoking, captivating, gripping and thesaurus-reliant column. I need to start rummaging through the garage to make room for all the summer yard stuff (ceramic cats), then put out all the winter yard stuff (ceramic cats in scarves).
So Halloween is close, you can tell. A frosty chill hangs in the air. The trees lining Skyline Parkway are drenched in golden brown. And squirrels from here to Two Harbors are gathering nuts faster than Fox News. But don't panic. Well, at least about Halloween; Fox News, that's another fictitious story.
So Rubber Chicken Theater just got the worst possible news a local comedy organization could receive, short of Proctor falling into Lake Superior: Mayor Don Ness won't seek reelection next year. How selfish can a politician get? Doesn't he realize how hard it is to break in a new mayor for comedic shenanigans? We just started to figure out the best way to maximize fun-poking at Don and now we have to start all over with somebody new.
"So ... RadSup?" These two strange words would periodically appear in my email whenever Mike Simonson needed a character voice for his weekly program "Radio Superior" on KUWS. Sadly, that catchy, two-word request won't be popping up on my computer anymore. If you hadn't heard, Mike left us last week; the corner radio studio on the third floor of the Holden Fine Arts Center at the University of Wisconsin-Superior has fallen silent.
So I'm sure you've all heard that old chestnut: "We need another word for 'cliché,' so let's use 'chestnut.'" But you may not be as familiar with this bromide: "The early bird gets the worm ... and the opportunity to call clichés 'bromides,' not 'chestnuts.' 'Chestnuts' is stupid." One person who doesn't care about clichés, chestnuts, bromides, or even being early, is Duluth city councilor Howie Hanson, who announced in 2014 that he is going to be running for mayor in 2015. I mean, there's fashionably early and then there's awkwardly early.
So I've been running into a lot of people lately who think they're more important than anyone else, which is silly. It's supposed to be common knowledge around the Twin Ports that no one is more important than me. My mom assured me; she sent out a memo. However, even as the Most Important Person Ever Around Dese Here Parts, Hey Toss Me a Beer (another sign of my momentousness: I speak Wisconsinese) realizes, as human beings, we are all zooming through this universe on the same giant glob of mud and, as such, we owe it to each other to obey the law.