Tales From Normal, Mn.--FICTION

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Tales from Normal, Mn. Headline News---FICTION

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Breaking; "Pinnochio" Johnson named Administrator of Normal, Mn====FICTION

Citing a need for "moxie" the Normal, Mn. common council of Normal, Mn. named "Pinnochio" Johnson administrator today, capping a 2 year search. "Pinnochio", affectionatly called "Pin" by his Notre Dame alums, was the clear hands down winner in the competition, by demonstrating an affinity to slavish obedience to any and all authority figures yet a willingness to do almost anything to succeed....an art clearly timely in Normal, Mn. ...stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Dateline Normal School District: "The Battle of the Little Big Horn"---FICTION

Dateline Normal; The Battle of the Little Big Horn---Recap---FICTION

Well. Last weekend was a really hectic one for me. I had just purchased a new movie camera and decided to head on up that long winding road, Hwy 10, north of the Twin Cities, to my favorite little town to relax in--- Normal, Mn. Last weekend was the famous Reinactment of the Battle of the Little Big Horn---or as some know it---"Custer's Last Stand."

After a night of blissful sleep at the Spruce Goose Motel, where all the comforters are pure down, and all the walls are covered with stuffed animals, I awoke, folded the wall bed back into the wall, and headed over to the little diner to meet Herman, my countryboy lawyer friend, for my usual coffee.

Herman had written me that he had a special role for me in the reinactment. I was pretty honored that they had thought of me. I had dreamed all the way up in the car of being in the cavalry. Ah the glory.

Herman wasted no time in dismissing my illusions.

"Shucks no, Wolfman, (that's what he always called me) you're gettin just too old to ride a horse under these high pressure situations."

"But...But....they are such old horses, Herman. I just know I could handle it," I replied.

"Well, " Herman replied, "The truth is that we only have a handful of uniforms, and they are all 42 or smaller. You need to stay behind the camera, and leave the riding and the glory for the younger folks. And besides. Normal has minimul liability coverage, and letting you ride a horse would be "prima facie gross negligence."

I always hated it when he threw that legal stuff at me....but...I had to admit that a 42 would be too tight a fit. I suddenly saw that the camera positon might be a good one for me after all. And besides, Herman promised to help me with the directions on the camera. It would be hard to do the camera zoom on the top of a horse.

After the reinactmact was over, Herman was pretty frustrated.

"That guy Custer just never learns. I do declare. When will it dawn on him? What a waste of human life."

I tried to explain: "Herman---this is a reinactment---it never will change!!!!!"

Then I realized that the beautiful girl that played Custer's wife had caught Herman's eye. If it had been Herman, I think the battle would never have been fought. Amen.

After it was all over. Herman spoke in a loud voice to all the actors------"Well done all. And remember----be real kind to your horses. And more important----SAVE the AMMO. I don't want any wild shooting or celebrating. Ya never know when we might need that ammo."

Two big lessons emerged from the battle. Always save the ammo. And..... Always wait for the cavalry.... expecially the cavalry with the t.v. cameras.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Dateline Normal: "Criminal Complaint Wins National Fiction Award"---FICTION

(Ed. note: This is one of a long series of fictional stories from Normal, Mn., a town just south of Garrison in northern Minnesota. Where fish are fish and bait are bait. Where seasoned anglers are trained to know the difference. Where it's always daylight saving time. Just to keep things simple. )

This morning in the North American Writers Quarterly Newsletter, there was a startling headline------"Normal District Attorney wins National Fiction Award for Criminal Complaint."
Stunned, I picked up the phone and called my old countryboy lawyer friend, Herman, who has a law office in Normal. I was lucky. I caught him just as he was about to head out to lunch at the Hideaway Lounge.

"What's goin on up there, Herman!", I asked. Since when are district attorney's winning awards for great fiction?"

It's real simple, Wolfman, (that's what he always called me.) Up here we do not have a separate category of school for "Fiction Writing." That's for English Majors. Up here---It is a down home part of real life. Just the natural way. "

"We just go over the recent criminal complaints and----well-----then we review which "over" or "under" charge was the most creative.....which complaint showed the best....best.....fictional content. We have real high standards. This is a real competitive category. After all. We gotta get recognition somehow up here. It is in the FICTIONAL category that we really shine. "

I was stunned. "Can you tell me the details of the winning criminal complaint?, I asked.

"Sure, Wolfman. It was the case of a real popular local up in these here parts. He was originally charged with attempted murder, but then he was finally ticketed with jaywalking. The rumble happened in an uncontrolled crosswalk right next to the Hideway Lounge. Up in these here parts----- we have a real tight jaywalking ordinance. "

"That's just outrageous," I exclaimed. And that criminal complaint won a national award? "

"Yup," Herman chortled. "Aint that something." We won a $5000 cash prize for it. It won "Best Under Charge Award."

"Wow. Now you got my attention. We can do better than that right here in Wisconsin. Where do I send the entry. Then Herman gave me the address.

Thank goodness I am back here in good old Wisconsin. Where we can compete with anyone! Even Normal, Mn. Where we have a high quality of fiction. And where our criminal complaints are the best fiction around. And we will show up Herman. I can't wait to win that award.

Dateline Normal School District: "The Marathon Man"---FICTION

Ed. Note. This is one of a long series of tales from the land of Normal, Mn., just west of the Land of Lake Woebegon and south of Garrison, Mn. Any resemblance between these tales and reality is purely an accident. These tales are available from ITunes in the comedy section under "Tales from Normal" and also can be downloaded from the Observer site. When shipped in CD format, they are shipped in a brown paper wrapper clearly marked "FICTION." )

It has been quite a hectic week here with the pace of the school board election picking up, so I decided to brave the cold of Northern Minn and head up HWY 10 to my favorite town, Normal, Mn.. The roads were pretty slick, but after I stopped at Osseo at the Norske Nook cafe and had a little of their good home cooking, I was powered up for the long drive. I got to Normal and quickly checked in at the Spruce Goose Motel, the only motel with all goose down comforters, and a trophy game on every wall, and where you get a little mini-dove bar in the ash tray as a little up-scale treat.

I headed over to the local diner and met up with Herman, my old country boy lawyer friend. I remarked to Herman that the drive had just been very tiring, with the weather and all. I asked him what he had been up to.

"Well," Herman smiled, " I have been gettin in shape with some marathon training. It is REQUIRED if you are on the school board in NORMAL. It looks like you might benefit from some fitness training, Wolfman (that's what he always called me), cause ya really need it."

" I just don't see what marathon training has to do with serving the public on the school board," I said.

"Just wait and see," Herman replied.

"Up here in God's country, It's just survival of the fittest. Our leaders on the school board schedule marathon meetings that can last as long as 12 hours. Only the very fittest can survive to vote on the finance matters at the very end of the meeting. "

"How could they last 12 hours," I asked.

"Well, it is real tough to cut off the sharing that folks want to enlighten the board with. In fact, it is the real plan to wear down the opposition till only a minimum of board members is still not sleeping in their chairs. Then the approval of bills and the motion to adjourn are lumped in one final motion."

"You mean the meeting is not adjourned till the bills are approved as presented."

"Yup," Herman said. "It is sheer moxie."

"So, I have been in marathon training so I can say awake longer without takin any of that no doze stuff. "

I was pretty tired just thinking about those long meetings. I headed out early to head back to good Old Wisconsin----where we don't have to be marathon athletes to compete for the school boards. Where the bills are a separate motion from the motion to adjourn....and where meetings are not deliberately lengthened to avoid unpleasant topics at the very end.