Tales From Normal, Mn.--FICTION

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

Friday, January 22, 2010

"You can always afford to Come home to Normal, Mn"---FICTION.

Some years ago, I was speaking to a friend from my youth, and he asked me "Have you been home lately?" When I responded that I had not, he said: "You will not be happy. Check it out."

So I did. And the last time back, I drove with my brother to check out the old haunts....What shock. What had been a small town on the edge of a lake, and yes....there were always the mansions on the lake of the super rich...but there had been a middle class that had a thriving area of town.

Now even the shacks built in the 1930's and 1940's when there was rationing of building supplies were now selling for $250K. And in the new section of town for development, they had packed $400M homes side by side with no space to speak of and it looked just terrible.

Frustrated, I picked up the phone and called Herman from Normal, Mn. He should know what to do.

"Shucks, Wolfman (that's what he always called me.)

"Up here in Normal, Mn, we keep things simple, and well...it is pretty spartan....but the bottom line is that....you can always afford to come home....and in fact that is our hometown mantra. Many towns want to build spanking new buildings, and enlighten the citizens by raising the taxes, but as I remember it, nobody every got saved by higher taxes and less disposable income. "

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Wrestlers Don't Dance in Normal, Mn."--FICTION

Well there is nothing like having a local school board meeting to kick off the week----last night I attended a meeting where the topic of discussion was how to manage the uniform appropriateness of Poms at our local school---they are a sport now, and there has been some concern that in their effort to capture market share from the Dallas Cowboys cheer squad, they might have gone over the edge of propriety and ..well..this might have caused some moral decay or excitement among the fans.

Right in the middle of the discussion of who was more or less inappropriate, one of the poms startled the crowd by saying: "Have you ever thought of the wrestlers uniforms? Some of those are clearly indecent!!!"

The crowd was speechless. Not one wrestler parent was present to defend them. No person had considered that in the lurching to and fro in the discussion, wrestler uniform indecency might be the culprit in a generalized moral downfall of students.

As I sat there, taking notes, I tried to picture the wrestling event. Later, when the meeting had dispursed, I did what I always do when confronting an extremely difficult problem...I gave my old friend Herman, the countryboylawyer from Normal, Mn. a call---he was on the school board...he should know of this problem.

After I explained the situation, Herman let out a huge bellylaugh;

"Shucks, Wolfman (that's what he always called me) I understand your situation. We faced this many years ago. Up here in Normal, Mn., the wrestlers don't dance-----We clearly outlaw wrestlers dancing in the co-curricular handbook. And anyway----most wrestlers could not hip hop if they wanted to...the wrestlers follow the rules. They would not want to corrupt anyone."

Thanks Herman.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Master Garagebuilder Forgets How: Tales From Normal, Mn.: Fiction

Here in Normal, MN., we are sorely in need of a small car---recently a master garage builder who built ..well..mostly every garage in Normal,Mn., built a brand spanking new garage, and.... well....it was too small for two regular size cars.....the entire community was stunned.....and in truth wanted to protect his feelings and such....and wondered what to do.....

I asked Herman, my old countryboy lawyer friend about what to do.
"Is there no accountability, Herman? Do builders just charge extra to fix their own mistakes? What is the deal?

"Shucks, Wolfman,(that's what he always called me), ya got to understand...we are a fishing town of great fisherman and also great big...and proud tradesmen....and so ya got to be careful. Think of it this way....it was not an error....it was just designed for two TATA MOTORS cars. Thus....it was future thinking.

These cars will be arrving in the USA in a couple of years, and will cost about $10,000----and believe me, they are small. Just park the current big cars outside till we can get the TATA motors cars in a couple of years. No point hurting anyone's feelings."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"NO rear view mirrors for ambulance in Normal, Mn."---FICTION

Cruising into Normal, Mn. last weekend, I noticed behind me the flashing of lights, and then the Normal, Mn. ambulance flying by to the rescue---right after it passed me, and yes I did slow and pull to the right, I noticed that the ambulance quickly,...and too quickly pulled over to the right lane, as if not noticing how close it was to me. Then I noticed---something a little odd----it had NO REAR VIEW MIRRORS.

After warming up a bit at the Hideaway Lounge on Friday night, I posed the question to Herman, my old countryboylawyer friend---he was a lawyer and also a member of the Normal, Mn school board---It was a little out of his expertise but I thought I would try--so I asked.

Herman just bent over laughing.

"Shucks Wolfman...that is quite a story. Up here in Normal, Mn., we are real precise and real energy efficient---and we planned the EMS garage with only one inch to spare----and you guessed it, we forgot about the rear view mirrors----but we figured that thinking on our feet, in order to live within the budget, we would just rip off the mirrors---after all that is forward thinking...right?"

So there it is. The mystery of why there are no mirrors on the ambulances in Normal, MN.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

"Investments bought and held over 300 years praised": FICTION: Dateline Normal, Mn.

Well it's that sacred New Year investment game again---every financial pundit with a computer mouse is making predictions, carefully in low monitone voices, about the coming year's stock market results. It just makes a guy wonder.

I picked up the cell phone and called Normal, Mn., and reached Herman, my old countryboylawyer friend---he was in the midst of an ice fishing contest, so I make it quick with the question.

I explained how confusing it was reading all the pundits at year end. Herman just laughed.

"Shucks Wolfman, ya just got to get used to it. Up here in Normal, MN., we are long term investors----We invest for 300 years---that way it works out. From the investors view, the stocks are given to the heirs, and after all, the donors cannot remember what the basis was anyway. And from the receiving end, it is a gift and they do not care a whit. Good feelings all around.

Think of it as you would an ice shack. My grandpappy gave dad this shack, and I inherited it....It will go to my boys some day. It has been a heck of an investment. I just think of the fish, not the shack, and that is the model that works for investments too."

Yup. I guess it makes sense. That must be why some of my investments did not work out----I just did not live long enough.