Randy, The Reader's Rep …

(A semi-regular Q&A with "Randy" the new Star Tribune Reader’s Representative, most frequently found on the corner stool at the Dry Dock roadhouse, in the shadow of the big microwave tower, Chaffey, Wisconsin.)

Randy, Your Reader’s Rep: Dang but stuff piles up. I come back from baitin’ a few bear traps, havin’ a couple beers and getting old Jonsered ready for cuttin’ season and look at all this mail. Sheeeit. When the Star Tribune hired me back, I had no idea they really meant a weekly gig. I thought with little Par out sun-bathin’ it’d quiet down.

Guess not. So here goes.

Question: I heard that the staff at the Star Tribune all got flu shots the other
day? Is this true? Where did this happen? Were these shots administered in a sanitary way? And did the top executives
join in?

Randy, Your Reader’s Rep: That is definitely true. Flu season is coming on pretty strong, and Avista Capital Partners, the really fine folks that own the paper want all their Full Time Employee Units running like a big pack of Dodge Hemis. There are a lot of very big stories that are going to mean plenty to the Avista folks’ year-end numbers. Like for example, ‘Who is going to buy them damned parking lots?’, and whether the folks in Eveleth and Granite Falls are going to pitch in to build a new stadium for the Vi-Queens, which would mean Avista might have half a chance of selling the main building to what’s his name, the billionaire dude from New Jersey.

As for "where it happened"; it wasn’t in the butt, Bob.

I know. I know. I heard some pretty risque jokes about everyone standing up, dropping trow and bending over at their desks while Chris Harte went down the line pokin’ tushies. But the truth is everyone took it in the arm.

Don’t know about the sanitary thing. I suppose a bunch of $4 coffee drinkers like that crowd used … ooooo … pre-moistened towelettes, like you get at Famous Dave’s. But I’m not sure. I mean, hell, I usually just wave a butane lighter under my buck knife to cut out slivers.

But yeah. Chris Harte himself took a pokin’. Right there in line like he was a normal person or something. Ain’t that something?

Funny though how happy and agreeable everyone was for the rest of the day.

Question: I was reading that bastard Nick Coleman’s column a couple days ago and I noticed that right next to his little picture, the one where he doesn’t look anything like George Clooney, it said, "One view". Was that a typo or something? I mean, he’s writing a column, right? Who else’s view were we supposed to think it was? And does this mean that all the other columnists, like Katherine Kersten and C.J. and Sid Hartman and Reusse are going to have "One View" next to their pictures. (And none of them look much like George Clooney, either.)

Randy, Your Reader’s Rep: That’s a good question. Tell you the truth, I didn’t notice until you brought it up. So I sent a note asking what the deal was. Nobody wrote back. But I hear through the old company grapevine that no one told Coleman about it and no one knew who put it there. But come on, there are so many brave and courageous editors at the Star Tribune doing so many important things to, you know, enhance the quality of life in the better zip codes of Minneapolis they probably just overlooked it.

My guess is all whoever stuck it there meant to say is that, "This is that commie prick Coleman’s view, not our view." In fact, I gotta check and see if it says, "Our View" next to Kersten’s and Sid’s pictures the next time they write.

Question: That blonde Republican babe, Sarah Janecek, wrote a story this week saying how a couple of your reporters used some pretty foul language talking to the MnDOT people. Those guys McEnroe and Kennedy sounded like jerks. I suppose they were pretty ashamed when that story came out, and they must really be pissed that people know how obnoxious they are.

Randy, Your Reader’s Rep: Oh yeah, and how. I tell you, nothing
makes those two stick their tales between their legs more than everyone in town knowing they shout in the phone and use words like, "bullshit". I don’t know what they were smiling about after that thing ran.

Because, we have a very strict policy about bad language here at the Star Tribune. Penalties, too. If you’re heard saying, "This place is total bullshit", you have to put a dollar in the Save Par jar. If you say, "I’m going to cap the next a**hole who assigns me an Eagan Sewer Commission story", you have put in $5. Of course if you say something like, "These Avista douche bags wouldn’t know a paragraph from a parsnip," you have a choice between hurling yourself off the roof or editing a Katherine Kersten column.

Question: I see that you are starting to run more editorials supporting a new Vikings stadium, which would be built practically right next door and most likely goose up your real estate value pretty nicely. Don’t you think you need to at least mention that fact every time you write opinion pieces? You know, maybe a standard little box at the top that says something like, "If you stupid chumps bite on this deal we’ll make a shitload of dough."

Randy, Your Reader’s Rep: Man, I’ve heard cynical. But you about take the jelly donut. You got something against football? You want to see a place without a team I suggest you come up to Superior, because that’s what you’re going to end up with if you don’t close ranks and play to win, pally.

The folks at Avista Capital Partners, some of whom have even heard of Green Bay, are actually doing you one shiny ripe favor. They are looking out for your interests when obviously you won’t. They are family people just like you, and they know that special feeling fans get when they contribute a little bit extra out of every pay check to have a place where, you know, if they cut their coupons and save up a couple months they might be able to take their kid to see a game. Three months if they want to park and have a beer.

Until next time. Think transparent thoughts.






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