Monday, July 12, 2004

Small-Town Murca

This weekend was the town festival in the town where we get our mail. I agreed to work at the bookstore during the day, and then brought Maia up to watch the parade at 6 p.m. Duly noted:

• A woman ordered and paid for a pina colada smoothie, then never collected it.
• A man actually bought a CD of Swedish folk music (I think it was the same CD that, when playing, inspired me to say, "Is this music, or is it broken?")
• I saw an 8-year-old boy yelling "America! America!" while waving a toy machine gun at a sad clown on a bicycle. Does one laugh or cry at that, or merely observe the fruitless irony of existence?
• Maia is afraid of clowns. "Good instincts," says her aunt.
• Maia loves fire trucks and strawberry smoothies.

The two candidates for the Minnesota House were in the parade. One of them had a big shiny pickup truck covered with his signs. He was walking in the parade and came right over to us and shook our hands (I was sitting in the bookstore parking lot; the candidate owns a meat shop two doors down, and so has a stake in the business community). He made eye contact, spoke confidently, and walked on. His truck was followed by an camo Humvee being driven by a man in an Army uniform. The Humvee was followed by our state senator, who had put his kids in the back of a pickup truck and made them sing "God Bless America," "Proud to be an American," and, oddly, "This Land is Your Land," but not with the subversive verses.

The other candidate walked behind a ladder with a handmade sign on it that said "Working to Build the Minnesota House for the [party name]." He had about 30 people marching with him. About 10 of them were kids and another 10 were not from our district. Two people were wearing toolbelts and carrying power tools -- I assume to match up with the "building" theme, although it was hard to tell. They all wore the candidate's T-shirt. The candidate was nowhere to be seen. He might have been marching with them, but I didn't see him. I was surprised; I expected him to come running over to the people who own the bookstore, whom he is relying heavily on for all sorts of resources.

Guess who I'm going to vote for? The answer might surprise you.


  1. I'd say your assessment of Swedish Folkmusic is spot on! :)

  2. when you mentioned The Minnesota House, for some reason i misunderstood and thought you meant some sort of experiment in pre-20th century living, a la Colonial House and Frontier House. like some sort of historic experiment where people in minnesota lived the way minnesotans would have 150 years ago, or something.

    and then i realized you were talking about the House, as in, like, the state legislative body that is not the senate (in new york it's called the Assembly, which probably explains my confusion). duh.

    i still think a "Minnesota House" would be cool.

  3. Catarina, it was Karl Oskar Days! Woot!

    Roxy, LMAO. In Minnesota House, all they ever serve is hotdish, and everyone is passive-aggressive at each other.