Stampeding once again toward the promise of the weekend’s alarm-clock-less freedoms, we consult the Mighty iPod.
O bringer of personal tunes, inducer of dance steps both awe-inspiring and mock-worthy, divine the weekend’s potential through my morning commute’s playlist!
Or, to steal from the great Rocky and Bullwinkle: Eenie meenie jelly beanie! The spirits are about to speak!
Ain’t No Sunshine by Me First & The Gimme Gimmes
Suddenly…(I Miss Carpaty) by Gogol Bordello
Too Fake by Hockey
Tiger by Maximum Balloon
Outta-Space by Billy Preston
Questions 67 and 68 by Chicago
Mandinka by Sinead O’Connor
Totally Nude by The Wallets
You see what I do, don’t you? Click on the PayPal link and order my book "I Was Raised to be A Lert"? What? You don’t see that?
That’s weird. I see that quite clearly…
Welcome, one and all, to What’s Up with My Neighborhood?, a new Friday feature.
Let me begin by saying that I love my neighborhood. Northeast Minneapolis is the "Arts District" of Minneapolis, a neighborhood full of restaurants, bars, art studios, live music, sidewalks and trees and people walking their dogs.
And sometimes, sometimes there are some real freaks as well. Remind me to tell you about Stephanie, the Tattooed Lady. She would like to sit next to you at the bar, bemoaning the fact that the tattoos on her face have seriously impeded her ability to get a job.
Lousy establishment! The Man is keeping her down!
She’ll go away if you buy her a drink.
Consider it money well spent.
But that’s not what we’re on about today. Oh, no. Today, my friends, I would like to introduce you to the Beverage-y Hillbillies.
The Beverage-y Hillbillies moved in to the bottom half of a duplex three houses down roughly four years ago. They lived there for five months.
But I’m ahead of myself.
Sit back! Today’s story is “The Beverage-y Hillbillies Move In”.
There is a lovely park directly across the street from us. There are mature trees for shade, open spaces for Frisbee-hurtling, dog-walking, and the occasional couple making out on a blanket. Our neighbors are a mix of couples with children, retired folk with meticulous lawns, and the work-a-day types like myself hustling toward and away from bus stops at regular intervals.
We are Middle America.
Our new neighbors moved in on an early summer day. After enduring the face-peelingly frigid attempts of Mother Nature’s to make us move south, the neighborhood was fairly giddy with the prospect of bare arms and bare legs.
And when five battered pickup trucks pulled up in front of the duplex that had recently had a “For Rent” sign removed, we were naturally curious.
And “curious” is the word we’re looking for here, because despite the number of trucks involved, our new neighbors’ possessions seemed to be restricted to several large-screen TVs, several frighteningly worn and possibly antique mattresses, and children.
Moving said items didn’t take much time, of course; and before you could say “what the??” our new neighbors had set up a ping-pong table on the sidewalk in front of their house.
And a recliner.
And three coolers that we came to know were filled with beer because of the empties that eventually littered the boulevard.
The new people played ping-pong until it was dark.
Whereupon they played in the dark.
It was all delightfully audible.
The ping-pong table stayed on the sidewalk for several weeks, until the police were called and they were required to remove it and the beer cans from the public walkway.
They moved it all up into the front yard.
Where it sat next to the recliner, which they also moved.
Oddly enough, this did not bode well – and it’s surprising how often a good boding turns out to be for a good reason.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
1 hour ago