Tales From Normal, Mn.--FICTION

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

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dateline Normal, Mn.: Normal Schedules H1N1 Flu Shots for 2015--Prepayment required"---FICTION

Well....it has been a bit frustrating...with the H1N1 flu shots being in such short supply...and being reserved for Wall Street Traders and health care professionals....and the very young.

The firm I work for has delayed its clinic several times. I just wondered how Normal, Mn. was handling the crisis. I figured Herman should know.

I picked up the cellphone and reached Herman in his ice fishing shack.

"Shucks Wolfman (that's what he always called me)----Up here we just got tired of worrying, and after much thought.... boldly scheduled the H1N1 clinic for November 2015---however, patients MUST PREPAY, with cash no checks....and they must live to 2015 cause there are no refunds."

Then he went on.

"We just thought that by scheduling the event in the far future, we could create a market for "swine flu futures" and the flu shot futures could be actively traded in the futures exchanges. After all, what makes our wonderful country great is its ability to create markets and money...there is no greater gift than that....the folks on Wall Street think of themselves as bein real givers...even better than doctors and nurses. The way we see it, even if folks don't live to get the serum, the market they create will do some real good."

WOW. What a shock. But the more I thought of it, since real health care is pretty rare anyway, at least playing with some swine futures would be a nice diversion.

Thanks Herman.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dateline Normal, Mn.: " With a 501(3)c even drinking is tax deductible in Normal, Mn:"--FICTION

I recently spent some time in the Hideaway Lounge in Normal, Mn. during the "magical hour" right before the band starts--and decided to put the hour to good purpose and discuss a question that I have been chewing on for some time. Many newspapers, and yes even bloggers, have been thinking that maybe the 501(3)c is the proper organizational form to take to succeed---that way folks can contribute just as they do to public radio for their news--and the news organization can seek "donations" that would I suppose be .....tax deductible---and anyway...what could be the difference between not making any profit and being a charitable institution.

I wasted no time. I blurted it out. Requested in no uncertain terms Herman's advice on the matter. After all. I always wanted to be a charitable institution.

After the question...the long pause. "Shucks Wolfman( that's what he always called me) there is no reason you could not be a 501(3)c organization....up here in Normal, Mn. everyone is a 501(3)c...even the bars....It all began years ago during a festival of sorts by a charitable organization...and it occured to folks drinking at their beer tent...and it by the way was nothing but the finest of German beer...no cheap stuff...that their drinking was in fact a charitable gift---so the guys all asked for receipts for their purchases. Soon---all the bars in town became 501(3)c. After all...from a larger perspective....there is just a slim difference between doing good....and feeling good......really."

WOW. What a bombshell. Just that short discussion changed my perspective entirely----these weren't just a bunch of drunken fishermen...they were charitable donors. All of a sudden a huge wave of appreciation swept over me. I needed to get a 501(3)c. And soon.

Dateline Normal, Mn.: "State Mandates Mandatory 1K; Needs the revenue; attendance optional--FICTION

Recently after reviewing the decision by the State of Wisconsin to make 5K mandatory for all citizens in Wisconsin, and presumably issuing truancy citations for the children refusing to attend, I thought I would just call my old friend, Herman, the down home countryboy lawyer from Normal, Mn. and brag a bit about how progressive we folks in Wisonsin have become, in these desparate economic times.

I had just started to sing the praises of Wisconsin when Herman cut me off mid sentence.

"Wolfman ( that's what he always called me) we are way ahead of you folks up here in God's country---We just mandated 1K for all the schools of Normal, MN. Here is the bottom line---we need the revenue. Whether the kids actually attend is "flexible" or up to the "discretion" of the school administrator, but we still plan on charging the state for the mandated instruction---ya just gotta remember---It's about the money."

I was just stunned. But after a brief reflection.....I just had to agree.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Dateline Normal, Mn.: "Ready for Swine Flu in Normal; Nobody comes to meetings anyway"----FICTION

Well it has been pretty alarming---the prospect that with the swine flu getting more intense, we might all have to make severe adjustments to daily life----like going virtual, limiting public interaction, working from home on computer, teaching the kids via computer etc.

I just wondered how a fishing town like Normal, Mn. could survive in such an environment. How could the engines of government go on in a fishing town that was so low tech. I rang up Herman, my old countryboy lawyer friend. He should know.

Herman just laughed.

"Shucks, Wolfman (that's what he always called me). We'll do just fine up here in the northern tundra. All we really need is a fishing boat, some fish cleaning utinsils, some whiskey and we'll be jus fine......And besides...nobody goes to the governemental meetings anyway----see we are way ahead of the normal curve on this swine flu panic. Nothing ever happens at the meetings anyway----and it is planned that way. We like it just the way it is."

I never realized how leading edge ....backward...could be. It just worked out that way.