Friday, August 19, 2016

Dakota Chautauqua Bloopers


Last week was the 12th time I'd spent a week in Farmington, Minnesota, performing scenes and songs written by Pete Martin and Eric Peltoniemi (and even a few by me!) in a little production called Dakota Chautauqua. It began as a way to commemorate the sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) of the founding of Dakota County, Minnesota. It has continued as a way to promote Dakota City Heritage Village and the Dewey Roth Sweat-Your-Way-To-Your-Perfect-Weigh weight loss plan.

Of course the hitch to the whole weight loss thing is all the fair food I ate throughout the week (which ends up sounding like the 12 days of Christmas): 32 ounces of fresh cut fries, 1/3 pound Angus burger, one-and-a-half servings of deep-fried cheese curds, two waffle cones, two roasted potatoes (with bacon and cheese), one Pronto Brat, a root beer float, and a New Zealand Breakfast Meat Pie.

The show itself was stuffed full of the weird and goofy things that make Minnesota and its overwhelmingly Scandihoovian residents...how shall we say it...unique.

For example:

  • Norway vs. Sweden: The Lutefisk Controversy (white sauce or butter?)
  • Spam
  • "Doncha know"
  • Moonshine-makin' mamas



  • An obsession with Paul Bunyan
  • Arsonist, thief, and murderer: Marjorie Congdon Leroy Caldwell Hagen
  • The total fabrication of St. Urho (Giving Finns a reason to drink the bars dry the day before St. Patrick's Day)

As for the bloopers mentioned in this post's title?

You should have been there for the opening night performance when the whole cast totally blew the words of the closing song, which  -  appropriately enough  -  was titled "Uffda!" We just stood there shaking our heads at one another and repeating the word "uffda", but with none of the other lyrics intact.


Not to mention my mini panic attack every performance because I could never guarantee whether I would say the scripted "We keep the chicken-heads out of Wisconsin and they keep the margarine out of Minnesota" or if "marmalade" would inexplicably spring from my lips instead. 

Oh wait...I guess I DID mention it.

Gotta love live theater.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Observed Absurdities™ 24 - Say What?


I really have no words for this.

Too bad the guy pictured here couldn't say the same.


If anyone should be feeling shame, it's not the people trying to read this add.

Friday, August 5, 2016

...You Just May Have A Problem


Time to self-evaluate:

If you refuse to go through a four-way stop when there are any other cars present...you just may have a problem.



If you think it's important to decide whether you want ketchup or catsup...you just may have a problem.

If you can remember the words to the SuperChicken theme song, but not where you put your glasses...

If it takes you longer to pee than to sing the national anthem...

If you order an Angus Three-Cheese & Bacon sandwich and large Curly Fries at Arby's, and consider NOT getting a cherry turnover with it a weight-loss methodology...you just may have a  problem.

Friday, July 29, 2016

25 or 6 to WHAAAT?!?


There are certain songs in the Rock-N-Roll Universe that are semi-famous for being semi-incomprehensible. Whether it's an issue of the vocalist being so mumble-mouthed that the words themselves can't be understood (Can you say, "Louie Louie"?), or the lyricist being so strung-out on a violation of the Controlled Substance Act, the general populace is stumped when asked what-the-farnsworth the song is about.

One such song is 25 or 6 to 4, a 1970 hit for the rock/jazz fusion band Chicago, written by band member, Robert Lamm. Is it an ode to illegal drugs? Is it a tribute to chaos theory? Is it the result of a roomful of monkeys pounding on a typewriter?



As a public service, and to impress my readers with how insightful and wise I am, allow me to definitively interpret this musical mystery...right here and right now.

Waiting for the break of day
(The sun hasn't risen yet)
Searching for something to say
(I'm trying to think of something to write)
Dancing lights against the sky
(Oh look! The aurora borealis!)
Giving up I close my eyes
Sitting cross-legged on the floor
(I can't do this. I think I'll just sit here and meditate.)
Twenty five or six to four
(It'll be 4 o'clock in 25 or 26 minutes.)


Staring blindly into space
(Looking up without really seeing anything)
Getting up to splash my face
Wanting just to stay awake
(Maybe if I get up and splash some water on my face I'll become more alert.)
Wondering how much I can take
(I'm not sure I can handle much more of this.)
Should have tried to do some more
(I should have tried harder to write something.)
Twenty five or six to four
(3:35 or 3:34 AM)

Feeling like I ought to sleep
(Maybe I should just catch some zees.)
Spinning room is sinking deep
(I'm so tired, I feel kinda dizzy.)
Searching for something to say
(But I really need to get a song written)
Waiting for the break of day
(Dude...is the sun ever going to rise?)
Twenty five or six to four
(Does anybody really know what time it is?)
Twenty five or six to four
(Does anybody really care?)


Friday, July 22, 2016

Temporary Bachelordom


Beloved left yesterday morning for a brief visit back home again in Indiana. (A friend's son is getting married.) That means I've got plans:



  • Open that last can of Skyline Chili and indulge myself.
  • Twice daily, tell myself that I really ought to vacuum and dust the house.
  • Watch movies in which people get chased, suspense gets built, and things get blown up.
  • Pray that it rains so I won't feel guilty about not painting the deck.
  • Sleep soundly...and by that I mean make as much noise while I sleep as I care to.
  • Spend the last 17 minutes before Beloved's return running through the house picking up debris.



Friday, July 15, 2016

I Wonder As I Wander


I've got some questions for you...



Does ANYbody follow the Repeat part of the Lather. Rinse. Repeat. shampoo instructions?

When a nun gets undressed, is she uninhabited?

Shouldn't there have been a live-action, big-screen adventure movie based on the 1960's animated TV show Jonny Quest by now?



Is it possible to retroactively be awarded all the naps I refused to take as a child? (Please?)

What makes a highway high? And is it really safe to drive the high way?

Why in the name of all that is decent do newspapers continue to publish unfunny dreck like Fred Basset and not realize that #FredBassetMustDie?



Word Origins: Was a case of hiccups involved in the creation of the word hickey?

Would there be any digestive difference between eating an ear of sweet corn and swallowing several tiny balls of steel wool?


Friday, July 8, 2016

When Roadkill Gets Funny


Proof that the twistedness of my mind is genetic and totally not my fault:

I'm currently visiting My Old Stomping Grounds...back home again in Indiana. Sunday morning, Beloved, SweaterGal, Dave McCool (my wife, mom, and brother), and I were driving to church and passed a young deer that had lost an argument with a motor vehicle sometime during the night.

I said, "Oh, Bambi!"

My brother: "Nope. Looks more like just BAM."