The Problem with Positive Thinking

Because I am writing this column almost two months before it will show up in print, we can have ourselves a little scientific experiment. See, I just read The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, a book designed to help me tap my hidden personal powers, and I’m going to think convincing thoughts in order to test […]

The Least I Can Do

I love television. Loves it! The only thing that is better than watching television is eating while watching television. I especially love what I call “helper television.” It’s vulgar entertainment with a psychology lesson—all rolled into one fun-filled half hour. Do you live in a filthy, dysfunctional, crap-clogged house? Then I guarantee one of your […]

Putting My Ethics on Hold

We’ve all done things we’re ashamed of—line dancing, acting innocent after unleashing something silent but deadly, heresy. If by chance you just thought to yourself, “Not me!” Well, the heck with you. Tell you what. Save yourself some time and page through to another article, because I think you’re lying. Twenty years ago, I had […]

Nice Folks and Nitwits

People will tell me anything. I have that kind of face. I got it from years of practice. When I was a waitress, I’d listen to people all day long and smile at nice folks and nitwits alike. My livelihood depended on my genial expression. In time, it bled over into my daily life. My […]

Babysitting the Monkey

When I was a kid, I wanted to grow up to be a lot of things. I wanted to be Carol Burnett. I wanted to be a trapeze artist, performing death-defying loop de loops high above the crowds while wearing a dazzling bikini made entirely of rubies and sapphires. I wanted to be a kindergarten […]

Parallel Parking Our Future

I just saw a television commercial for a self-parking car. I don’t know, folks, but it seems that if you just had one of these, you could add an automatic flushing toilet and a pre-mixed Smirnoff canned drink and Friday night would pretty much plan itself. If they could figure out how to apply the […]

The Magical Mystery Cure

The first time I smoked pot, I was in eighth grade. I smoked it. I inhaled. And I enjoyed it. The inaugural inhalation wasn’t planned or anything. My best buddy and I happened to be snooping around her older sister’s bedroom, and we happened upon her hookah. Holla! Just having that opium den artifact in […]

A Calm Panic

Max Marti’s bus ride home from Capitol Hill Gifted and Talented Magnet School in St. Paul is typically kind of boring—especially for a kid like Max, a budding rock guitarist who loves run-and-gun computer games and ValleyFair thrill rides. On September 15, the lanky fourteen-year-old was among about forty first- through eighth-graders aboard the bus. […]

The Unseen Perils of Getting Fit

I’ve been going to the gym pretty early these days: Monday through Friday, 5:30 a.m, whether I want to or not. I’ve turned over a new leaf, you see. I now realize that abdominal muscles do not appear magically as a result of wishing on Starburst wrappers. I have now reached an age at which […]

Hell in a Hamburglar Glass

I had a garage sale a couple of weeks ago. I relish regularly purging my home of crap. However, I also think it is a special kind of hell to have to arrange crap artfully on card tables in the driveway, assign a value to each item of crap, and look at the neighbors with […]