RED WING — Spirits are high within the Lang household in anticipation of their upcoming family road trip to Mount Rushmore, a monument to white supremacy that's very existence any objectively informed person would find morally reprehensible.
Olivia Lang, 35, and her husband Dave, 36, reportedly can’t wait to see the look on the faces of their son Noah, 8, and daughter Riley, 5, when they first lay eyes on the majestic statue. “I have great memories of the place from the time my dad took me when I was a kid,” recalled Olivia, speaking of the massive act of vandalism the United States spent 14 years perpetrating on a sacred mountain range stolen from the Lakota people in 1876, in direct violation of the earlier Fort Laramie Treaty.
“Mom says its going to be a really long drive but I have a ton of new iPad games to play,” said young Noah, blissfully unaware of the illegal land grabbing and attempted genocide (both physical and cultural) against non-whites that stains much of the modern history of every mile of land his family is about to drive past in their 2018 Kia Sedona.
Dave Lang hopes the Rushmore experience will teach his kids some of the proud history of their country. “I hope they come back from this trip knowing a little more about some of America’s greatest heroes” said Dave, in reference to the four presidents carved into the monument, each of whom contributed in their own way to the suffering of Native populations, and not Lakota warriors and spiritual leaders like Sitting Bull, Black Elk, Young Man Afraid of His Horses, Touch the Clouds, and many others.
"Of course, it'd be nice if they could put up some more diverse faces up there too, like Obama" added Dave, completely missing the point.
We’ve all been there: a corporate retreat in your aggressively-beige conference room, and before we get down to business, it’s time for another teambuilder. Everyone’s looking to you to make a decision, and the team is sick of your two favorite choices: another human knot that will make HR sweat or craft an indestructible marshmallow tower without using your thumbs? Is that going to build the type of culture at the office you need?
Well lighten up, because we’re coming right atcha with six lit get-to-know-you activities so powerful that you’ll form a blood bond with your coworkers and forget your husband’s name!
1. Speed Dating!
Feel like you don’t know your coworkers well enough? Stop complaining, and start speed dating! Set the timer for 2 minutes and see if you can get through some basic questions: first job, favorite snack, dream job, and see if the women in the office can get a word in over that guy that’s always in the break room clipping his fingernails! Once you’re through those first 2 minutes, share one deeply personal fact and depart, leave no time for discussion! There will be plenty of time to discuss this when you are re-married you all to your coworkers based on the ranked-choice voting. No, our employee support services do not include couples counseling, you silly bickering newlyweds, and we certainly don’t know where the ashes of your “real” marriage license are, or how to contact your “real” children. Time to embark on your new life!
2. Human Car!
Everyone pick a number between 0-100. The smallest prime number gets to be the driver, and everyone else in the office contorts their body into part of a functional car shape! Roll on up to the nearest drive through and order 100 chicken nuggets! Who needs a family now? You are the proud commander of a human car! Before you know it, you’ll forget to pick up your kids from soccer practice in your actual SUV! Vroom vroom, sick coworker wheels!
3. Baby Photos!
Everyone bring in a photo of themselves as a child. Now, bring in a photo of a sibling or relative, the child your parents truly admired and offered praise to. Wow, good choice, that’s a much better looking baby, we should have hired your cousin! Wait, what’s wrong with your eye in this photo, what kind of baby has that much hair by their eye, did we really put that person in charge of Marketing? Each employee will take a turn placing the photos side-by-side and presenting key differences in appearance, attitude, and career path. 15 minutes will be allowed for audience comments and critiques. By the end, you’ll be so deeply aware of your faults that you’ll never be able to look your husband in the eye again. Better stay at the office every night! Are we learning about ourselves yet or what?
4. Secret Time!
Pick the person in the office you’d murder if you had to and, deep down inside, discover why you would do such a thing! What’s your method? Are you a flashy sword murderer, or a stealthy poison type? Whisper it to one other person in the office. You can learn a lot about your coworkers (and yourselves!) by the choices you’d make in a premeditated crime! For a fun twist, tell your target it’s them! Beyond that, never tell another soul, definitely not your family members, especially not HR, they’re the cops!
5. Ropes Course!
Consider a ropes course! Pushing yourself to get over your fear of heights would be good for you!
6. Escape Room: Office Style!
There’s a basement, yes? Or some storage unit? Go there first. Everyone put on a thick blindfold, yes, one where no light can get in and the door isn’t visible from any windows, it’s important that no one sees us go in. Secure the blindfolds with duct tape. Stop crying. If your families don’t find you or call within 12 hours, you lose, you have to stay there! Texts don’t count! We’re your sightless family now.
Any one of these ice breakers will get your team clicking, communicating and huddling together for warmth in no time.
Local woman Shari Anderson took to social media to claim the title “cultured” after a visit last weekend to Midtown Global Market. Thanks to ordering from Taco Cat and pretending to consider purchasing a brightly colored poncho of now-forgotten national origin, the 32-year-old Edina woman is now far wiser in the ways of the world, having immersed herself within the immensity of the human experience.
“I can admit now that I was sheltered before in my first-world American lifestyle,” said Anderson while trying to find the perfect lighting for an Instagram shot of her tacos “I feel that this new awareness will transform me into a more worldly citizen of the world.”
Anderson then moved on to the Hmong Crafts stall, where she eagerly asked the owner, “Wait, where are you from?” Anderson was amazed when he patiently explained that he is, in fact, from Minnesota.
Anderson reported an increased motivation to eat more global foods and check the privilege that allowed her to afford an UberBlack for the 2-mile commute to the market. For her next trip, she has vowed to experience a different lifestyle by riding her bike while wearing Lululemon leggings.
“Before today, I had never tried a salsa spicier than mild,” said Anderson. “Now, I’m a whole new woman. Namaste.”
Anderson added a selfie featuring bubble tea to her online dating profile to let potential matches know that she is a globally savvy woman, vowing to only message “exotic-looking dudes.” Next weekend, she is considering either joining the Peace Corps or placing an artful map of the world on her apartment wall to add more cultural flair to her life. She also vowed to adjust her budget, taking a little money she had planned to donate to nonprofits to instead purchase “globally inspired” jewelry on Etsy.
In fact, Anderson expects these undertakings to shift her lifestyle so much that she will have to turn down her friend’s invitation to teach English-language classes to recent immigrants, instead investing the time reading as many Wikipedia pages on world cultures as she can find.
Anybody can have a hot girl summer, including us gays. But with cuffing season around the corner, Minneapolitan queers need not to look in a bar, a dating app or a coffee shop to meet their next beau. Skip your traditional cruising spots and head to your local overpriced grocery store with questionably appropriated incense bundles to meet your next future ex-lover.
1. The Wedge Co-op
This classic co-op is the perfect place to meet a queer cutie who sells upcharged molly to Uptown bros. You’ll exchange Gay Eye Contact while he’s in line for an $8 smoothie. You’ll Facebook-stalk him and see you have 73 mutual friends: confirming his gayness. Unfortunately, things will take a turn for the worse. Even though the sex is great and his tarot card readings are accurate, he will fuck all of your friends and use his birthchart to to justify it.
2. Seward Co-op
This West Bank co op is the perfect place to locate all kinds of queer cuties with funky-pattern button ups and septum piercings. You’ll meet a cute cashier who compliments your “they/them” pronoun button. You fantasize about her perfectly shaggy mullet until you write about it in Twin Cities Missed Queernections. Two days later, you have your first date. Two weeks later, you move in together. Twelve days later, you break up, but your name is on the lease for the next 10 months. Good luck with that one, hope you’re not allergic to cats.
3. Lakewinds Co-op
If you’re ever stuck in Minnetonka for a bar mitzvah or your aunt’s divorce party, slide into the Lakewinds Co op for a Kombucha-pick-me up and to cruise for other cuties who are stuck in the suburbs. You’ll chat up a tattooed gay strolling out with some specialty protein powder and grass-fed beef jerky. He seems cool, but there’s a red flag when he says there’s both sides to every argument. Then you notice he has blue lives matter tattoo. Oh god, he’s actually a cop get the hell out of there.
4. Linden Hills Co op
Chickpea flour cheetos aren’t the only snack you’ll pick up at this cozy co-op. You’ll brush hands reaching for the same vegan chocolate torte and feel a tingle of destiny. You’ll hit it off right away, read The Ethical Slut together, share custody of your balcony plants and decorate your apartment with your favorite Alok Vaid-Menon quotes. It’ll all feel too good to be true until you snoop into their social media and notice you have the same ex, and another same ex and...oh honey you know how this ends.
5. East Side Co op
As you stroll out of this Northeast co-op with your organic cat food, you’ll notice a denim-clad hottie protesting outside of the store. You bravely approach this anti-capitalist cutie and share your stories about getting arrested at Pride and exchange ACAB patches. But as much as a match you may be, this leftist love affair will crumble when you find yourselves as rival producers of DIY poetry slams.
Life is short, so sashay down those produce aisles like you’re meeting your future domestic partner! As John Travolta once said in the incredibly problematic classic Grease, “summer lovin’, had me a blast…”. But alas, like Elio and Oliver in Call Me By Your Name, some gay summer affairs just need to have a predictable yet needlessly dramatic ending (but at least it was fun).
In a startling turn of events, Jenny Preston, Minnetonka resident and owner of a gorgeous pontoon boat, has shown no sign of responding to your barrage of recent texts about her summer plans, despite the fact that you grew up in the same subdivision but actively avoided each other for the majority of your adolescence!
It's really odd, but looking back through the dozens of messages you've sent her over the past month, there's definitely a logical explanation. Half of these texts probably got lost in cyberspace and didn't even reach her! Jenny must still be on her family's Sprint plan, or something. Ugh. It's so challenging to have a conversation with someone who has no reason to give you attention!
It's honestly just weird that she wouldn't reply to something so clearly intended to be kind and not self-serving at all, like your message at 10:03 AM on July 27th:
“hey J! hope your summer’s great! see you on the lake for byob?”
Of course, when she didn't respond within 10 minutes, you sent a follow up:
“lol byob definitely means bring your own boat ;) hope it's cool if we use yours?”
So crazy that you didn't hear back from her, but thank goodness for social media. You sent Jenny a quick DM on Instagram (water looks gorgeous! can't wait to join you! which dock should I meet up with you at again???”) after seeing 18 stories in a row prominently featuring a party on her pontoon.
She didn't respond to that, either, but it's probably because her phone fell in the lake and is now ensconced in a bowl of rice. It's definitely not because you two don't have any semblance of a friendship and she's blocked you from viewing her private account!
It's such a Jenny thing to read messages without responding. It's definitely nothing personal! How could it be personal? She barely knows you! Which is why it's so important that you get to know each other better this summer. On her boat.
OMG! Jenny just responded to your texts saying “Please stop contacting me. You’re not my friend and you’re not going on my boat,” which is totally her random sense of humor.
ALEXANDRIA, MN — Even as hundreds of massive, multi-ton vehicles speed past, missing his fragile body by mere inches, a turtle in the middle of I-94 is reportedly feeling more alive than it has ever felt in its entire life.
The ten year old male painted turtle was crossing the busy freeway in an attempt to find a mate but once he felt the roar of the engines zooming above him deep in the pit of his soul, he realized his true calling was not to propagate his species - but to experience the unrivaled thrill of living life on the edge.
“This is freaking awesome!” exclaimed the shelled adrenaline junkie, who’s most exciting moment in life up until now was when a curious child picked him briefly seven years ago. “After this, how am I going to be able to go back to my humdrum daily routine of basking in the sun for hours to maintain an internal body temperature between 17–23 °C?”, he added.
At press time, a well meaning passerby has managed to stop and “rescue” the turtle, totally killing his buzz.