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So, much like the Republican Party's future with Donald Trump at the helm, summer is over. Yes, those carefree days of June, July and August flew by faster than a Lakesider leaping for the phone to complain to the mayor about concert noise and we have officially moved into that season known as "Back To School." To commemorate the occasion, I have scoured the distant crooks and crannies of my brain for some random thoughts that are as tenuously connected to this time of year as Bob Dylan is to Hibbing. You may even have experienced some of these thoughts of randomness yourself.
So a lot of people's ears were burning last week. Not from other people talking about them, but from the music emanating from Bayfront Festival Park. Apparently, a concert called Tribute Fest was taking place down there and was a bit too loud for some people's liking. Naturally, they did what any of us would do: They contacted the mayor and complained. Because, of course, it's all his fault. Tribute Fest, in case you don't know, is an annual benefit concert that raises awareness and funds for homeless veterans in the state of Minnesota.
As you can probably guess, I'm frickin' hilarious. It's true! There hasn't been a news story in the past 20 years at which I couldn't poke some fun. Well, except for that whole "Stewart Mills cut his hair" thing. I mean, there's nothing funny about all those shimmering follicles being shaved and shorn. It may seem like it now, Mr. Mills, but hair is not necessarily a renewable resource! And if you're fortunate enough to have been born with long, lustrous, beautiful hair, you shouldn't take it for granted! You should keep it as long as you can and not just toss it away!
So I recently ran across a word with which I was unfamiliar. Now, you'd think this would happen more often as I am a regular listener to the jolly word stylings of local radio announcers, but it usually takes a real word to confuse me, not one that's been mangled. ("All of the language with none of the enunciation.
So I was lounging about the living room a few mornings back, sipping coffee and sporting what I generously refer to as pajama "pants" (apologies, by the way, to our new neighbors but those drapes should arrive any day now) when suddenly, the power went out. It wasn't that sputtering kind of outage, where the lights waver between whether to keep shining bright so you can cut your bingo balls out of the Duluth News Tribune or plunge you into inky darkness, blacker than a lion-hunting dentist's soul. No, this was an instantaneous loss of electricity.
So we're right in the thick of being nowhere near the presidential election of 2016 and some significant, thoughtful contenders have entered the race to be the next commander in chief. And then there's Donald Trump. Since this is a humor column, I'll give you three guesses as to whom I am going to focus on today and the first two don't count, unless you said "Donald Trump" twice. Donald Trump is a serious candidate for president in the same way that the little blue Slip Bridge in Canal Park is a serious candidate for being a bridge.
So our neighbors moved away a few weeks ago. They were fine folks who occasionally mowed our lawn and did other neighborly-type favors. In fact, they were so nice I kind of regret never learning their names. However, in my defense, they only lived next to us for three years. I think. But even though there's no possibility of them moving back next to us (sorry again about that "Backyard Barry Manilow 3 a.m. karaoke" phase), I would like them to know that they are missed.
So my favorite gathering of wild animals and hairy beasts is in some trouble, and though you'd be mistaken in assuming I'm referring to Grandma's Sports Garden on a Friday night, that would be an awfully good guess. But I'm actually talking about the Lake Superior Zoo. Like many fine Duluth institutions (Spirit Mountain, School Board, Barbara Reyelts' limousine), the zoo has hit a few potholes. They are running out of money and are exploring various options on how to stay open. Surprisingly, no one has asked me for my ideas yet.
So it's the end of another busy, stress-filled week and you're ready to relax with a stop at one of your favorite watering holes. Unfortunately, those watering holes are all closed because the health department found a batch of e.coli floating on them that resembled Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia eating moldy Froot Loops. So you decide to go to a bar instead, but that leads to one, inescapable conclusion: You have to go to Wisconsin. I know, I know. You don't want to go to Wisconsin. NOBODY wants to go to Wisconsin.
So it's time to wish happy birthday to a couple of old guys who keep getting better with age: the United States of America and me. (I'm the younger of the two, but America has more hair, especially around the armpit states.) In honor of these momentous natal day anniversaries, I thought I'd share some Random Thoughts that I stumbled across while unloading the cranial crates that were stored waaaaaaay back in the musty recesses of my mind.