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So we're a couple weeks into the Emily Larson administration and here's where we stand ...
Editor's note: As you know, Mr. Matuszak writes a weekly column for the Budgeteer. Usually, they are hand-delivered by a mysterious bald man wearing a floppy chicken hat and sweatpants. This odd person insists I meet him every Friday night behind R.T. Quinlan's, where he hands me several sheets of notebook paper covered in scribbled sentence fragments and regret. Being an accomplished editor, I have always been able to reconstruct this mess into a semi-coherent article of "humor." Until this week.
So we are now a week into the new year and I think I can safely say that 2016 is a catastrophe. Where are the flying cars? The peanut-butter cups that unwrap themselves? Why am I not a millionaire yet? THIS IS THE YEAR I'M SUPPOSED TO BE A MILLIONAIRE!!! And that reminds me .... I'm supposed to have more patience! MY RESOLUTION WAS TO HAVE MORE PATIENCE! AND TO STOP TYPING IN CAPITAL LETTERS!! AND TO USE LESS PUNCTUATION!! WHY HASN'T THAT HAPPENED!!!?????!!!!??!!!?!?!?!?!?!
So we are now closer to the year 2030 than we are to 2000. It's true. I sat down for nearly five and a half hours over Christmas break and did the math.
So another year is drawing to a close, and with it comes the opportunity for some soul-searching and reflection. Did you do everything in your power during the past 365 days to be a decent human being? Were you able to inspire someone who was down on their luck and help them reach their full potential? And, most importantly, were you able to correctly guess how many Duluth potholes would get filled?
So it's Christmas Week, which means the number of shopping days you have left is shrinking faster than the tree count on Fourth Street. Time to quit your bellyaching, lollygagging and all those other silly-sounding procrastination devices you usually employ, and finish up that shopping. "But Brian," I hear you whining, "I like lollygagging. Have you ever tried it?" (Once. But I was in college and times were different back then.) "Besides," you continue, "my family and friends are impossible to buy for. I have no idea what they want or need.
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.
Dear United States Postal Service, I get it. I do. I realize the challenges your carriers have during the holiday season. Traipsing about in frigid winter air that instantly transforms nose hair into microscopic frozen sticks. Clambering up Mount Unshoveled Sidewalk and hauling 50-pound bags of icy mail chunks. Dodging frosty slobber from bellowing dogs that are (hopefully) chained up in a yard. And yet, they always come through.
So when I sit down with the ghostwriter that I hire to pen the book of my life, it will be an easy process for him or her. You see, I have every Momentous Life Occasion recorded for posterity in a battered "Star Wars" notebook. The first one, of course, is the release of "Star Wars." The second one is meeting my beautiful wife, Sue ... *whisperwhisperwhisper* ... uh, I mean, "Star Wars" is No. 2 and meeting Sue is No. 1. Duh!
So Old Man Winter is getting ready to shove his cranky cold front into our personal space and plop down for a six-month stay. It's a perfect opportunity for me to return to shoveling form by scooping out a few Random Winter Thoughts from the frozen recesses of my brain and toss 'em your way! • Proctor snow melts faster than Duluth snow.