Over the Coals 2007


He never would have caught me if I hadn’t broken a heel
In June, a forty-three-year-old man and his companion—a twenty-year-old male in a skirt, heels, and wig—had a five-hour, multi-course dinner at Temple Restaurant and Bar. After topping it off with snifters of the exceedingly expensive Louis XIII Rémy Martin cognac, which prompted Temple owner Thom Pham to visit their table, the couple walked out on their $410 bill. Three hours later, Pham walked into his other restaurant, Azia, and found the same couple dining on a full rack of lamb, among other dishes. He pulled up a chair and gave them two options: He would accept payment for the earlier dine-and-dash episode, or call the police. The couple attempted a third option: They got up and ran. Pham caught up with them and dragged them back to Azia, where cops were waiting.

Just wait ’til she downloads some hip-hop to her iPod
A concerned parent of a St. Louis Park High School student sought to have Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn banned for “so many usages of the same word,” referring, of course, to the “n-word,” which the parent—once a member of the Black Panthers—found offensive.

Sometimes nature’s even uglier than human nature
An eleven-year-old Long Prairie girl’s palomino horse was found dead, its eyes gouged out and numerous lacerations over its entire body. The family vet determined it was killed and mutilated in a “heinous and cruel” act. Two weeks later, the same vet “reassessed the case” and sheepishly admitted that the horse—which had a history of health problems—had died of natural causes and the wounds were the result of scavenging animals.

Pardon me, but do you have any Grey Poupon?
Chef Landon Schoenefeld, the man who brought “the best bar food ever” to the Bulldog in Northeast Minneapolis, apparently doesn’t care for special orders. In March, a bartender tried to satisfy a customer request for salad dressing on the side, and Schoenefeld responded by spraying his co-worker with mustard.

Area man sets Civil Rights movement back several weeks
In late September, De’Andre June awoke to find a cross burned in the lawn of his Anoka home, an apparent hate crime. Public sympathy dissolved the next day, however, when June was arrested for allegedly setting the blaze himself. According to the criminal complaint in the case, June hatched the plan while in the Anoka County jail two days before the incident, and was motivated by a desire to gain sympathy and money from neighbors and the media.

I was still mad that you like the Replacements
Thirty-two-year-old alt-country icon Ryan Adams demonstrated remarkable graciousness to Minneapolitans yet again. In 2003, Adams gave a legendarily sour performance at First Avenue, in which he kvetched repeatedly about the sound system and even hated on hometown hero Paul Westerberg. Returning last September to play at the State Theatre, he once more bitched repeatedly about the sound before walking off and refusing an encore. In response, fans stood on their chairs and booed.

If Tutu looked that good in a little black dress, we would have invited him long ago
The University of St. Thomas nixed an on-campus speech by Archbishop Desmond Tutu because of Tutu’s criticism of Israel’s policies toward Palestine. Then, following a public outcry, it recanted and decided to let the Nobel Peace Prize laureate visit after all. Only Tutu wasn’t having it, because he wanted the university’s Peace and Justice Studies director, who lost her position for supporting Tutu, reinstated. In related news, Ann Coulter, who spoke two years ago at St. Thomas, recently declared that all Jewish people should convert to Christianity.

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be Don Imus
Last spring, two Macalester students outfitted themselves for a “politically incorrect” party, one as a Ku Klux Klan member and the other in blackface, sporting a noose. Then, last fall, three female St. Thomas students, all black, received threatening notes with racial slurs. Days later, six Hamline football players showed up at a Halloween party in blackface, dressed as African tribesmen.

YouTube killed the cable access star
“Chocolate Rain,” a repetitive mixture of sophomoric bedroom-recorded synths and asinine lyrics (Chocolate rain / Worse than swearing worse than calling names / Chocolate rain / Say it publicly and you’re insane), got four million viewers on YouTube, propelling its creator, twenty-five-year-old U of M grad student Tay Zonday, into the national spotlight. Zonday shunned record company offers, but in November, he released an elaborate, MTV-style music video, Cherry Chocolate Rain, which showed the little man with bling, babes, and back-up from rapper Mista Johnson. If the new video was all too ubiquitous—it got 200,000 views in its first eighteen
hours—that was because it was also a not-so-subtle promotion for a new Dr. Pepper soda.






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