Central Snark

How to embrace Minnesota by Harmonica Man
Monday, 7 January 2008, 9:26am
Filed under: Cloudman, funny..., lists

jeffav2.jpgWith the exception of a few minor embarrassments such as Jesse Ventura, Vikings football and the fact that we’ve become known as the gay bathroom sex capital of the world, Minnesota is a pretty nifty place.

And one reason is that Minnesota has a lot to offer, such as our beautiful 10,000 lakes, our stellar medical industry and our ginormous mall – formally known as the “Mall of Holy crap, this place is so frikken huge you’ll have to walk 8 miles just to shop at 4 different stores for a pair of gloves!” which of course didn’t fit on the sign (or denote a very positive message for that matter), so they instead claimed it as the representative mall of the entire western hemisphere and shortened it to “Mall of America” instead.

logo from earlier ill-fated attempt at naming our mega-mall

So, even though we have a lot to offer, there are many people who innocently find their way here completely unprepared for life in Minnesota. As a Scandinavian Minnesotan, I am genetically programmed to slog my way through winter and pretend it doesn’t bother me, that’s what we do here. But please don’t be naive – this place is not for everyone.

That’s why I’m here to give those of you who have yet to make the migration to our hardy state some tips that will hopefully help prepare you for the things they don’t tell you in the tourism brochures.

IF you feel you have to live here, you’re much better off embracing the things you can’t change, rather than fighting them to no avail and inevitably regretting your decision to move here in the first place.

For example:

Embrace the seasons – This is what we tell ourselves once summer has ended after only four weeks. “But the colors are SO beautiful in the fall here. THAT’S why I love Minnesota so much!” Learn to adopt that phrase.


Embrace God’s little creatures – Ok, who am I kidding, I’m talking about mosquitoes – who miraculously emerge with the spring thaw (in June) and stay with us until every living crow has been infected with West Nile Virus sometime in late August. But you’ve heard the argument… without mosquitoes, there would be no food for the birds and bats. Without birds and bats… (insert food chain here)… the world would come to an end. We certainly don’t want to be responsible for that now, do we.

Embrace the winter activities – Honestly, how could you NOT be excited about the prospect of fishing for eel pout while sitting on a pickle pail in the middle of a frozen lake in -10 degree weather?


Embrace your auto mechanic – No literally, give him a big hug. Because he will become your best friend and most important ally in the war against winter.

Embrace December 22nd – By the time December 21st (the “shortest” day of the year in terms of daylight) rolls around, some people are tired of going to and coming home from work in the dark. That’s why we celebrate December 22nd as being the “first day that the days only get longer from here on out” day. I know it’s not officially recognized on the list of holidays, but it sure as hell means more to us than, say – Arbor Day.

and finally…


Embrace Lutefisk – Pfffttt, just kidding – that was a sick joke! Except for a few ancient immigrants from the old country, I’ve never met one sane Minnesotan who willingly eats this slimy crap. Recently the word got out that this stuff is actually soaked in lye before it’s cooked and well, that just kind of took that fun out of it. And the taste.

Yes, there are many more “special qualities” to Minnesota that aren’t listed here, but these should be a good start for the screening process to help you decide if you have a thick enough head skin to live here.

But don’t get this confused with what we call the screening process… you know, the process to patch all the holes in our screens – so God’s little creatures don’t get into our houses.


You’ll laugh your ass off, not freeze it off at Humor-blogs.com!


22 Comments so far
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Jeff, initially, i was grateful to find this post in the queue this morning, because i have a dreadful cold which kept me in bed all weekend (meaning i really wasn’t up to writing anything, myself). NOW i’m beyond delighted, if only because you’ve seen fit to share that picture of yourself in that hat! hubba hubba. 😉

also, are you sure Minnesota isn’t somehow connected to Iceland? because i’m tellin’ ya, they sound eerily similar. except for the 10,000 lakes thing (but then, Iceland is surrounded by water, so that’s almost the same). thinking you and teh Penguin have more things in common than either of you might have imagined.

Comment by snuppy

Penguin nods head in agreement, and a big hea dat that 🙂

Loved this post, just loved it and laughed my way through it as well. You just put Minnesota on the map for me and google is busy right now finding interesting sites for me about Minnesota.

here’s something funny (in my inflated head!) Teh only thing I tied so far in with Minnesota is that Brenda Walsh and her brother came originally from there in the series Beverly Hills 90210. Did you just roll your eyes at me? I was a teenager once!

But i am grateful that I have a few more facts to make the place interesting oh and jeff, one more thing: if you want Minnesota and gay bathrooms not to be associated any longer: stop using the word nifty! 😉

also appreciate the insertion of the word ginormous, since it is now fully validated in teh newest dictionaries 🙂

Good job!

Comment by Penguin

Clapping my mitten-covered hands. (thump thump thump) Whistling through my chapped lips at the Mall of the Artist Formerly Known as.

(Hello from Winona, Jeff.)

Comment by Ironic Catholic

Wonderful post! I’ve been to your mall, and was, frankly, disappointed. Sorry ’bout that. I’d heard too much hype beforehand I guess. But since we had reserved a room there for several days, and the mall bored me, we had time to check out many other things. I LOVE Minnesota! And Minneapolis and Saint Paul are tops. We’ve been there in three different seasons, skillfully missing your winter. I’m not as dumb as rumored.

Never did find Lake Wobegon though. Got directions?

Comment by tlp

Forgot to mention your stylin’ hat. That’s hot.

Also love the failed Mall logo. What do you think the problem was? Looks good to me.

Comment by tlp

snuppy – Yuk, hope you’re feeling better soon. 😦
I would actually LOVE to visit Iceland. Plus I would think I’m qualified.

Teh Penguin – We actually have quite a few famous people that hail from MN, i.e. Bob Dylan, Jessica Lange, Winona Ryder, John Madden and more who are all nifty people – not that there’s anything wrong with that. And thank you for the ginormously complimentary comment!

Ironic Catholic – Hello to you too! And don’t forget to use your lip balm.

tlp – Don’t apologize for the mall comment, I feel the same way. The “fictional” Lake Wobegon is actually only 15 minutes from St. Cloud here, if that makes any sense. And about the hat… yes, it’s hot. Well, very warm anyway.

Comment by Harmonica Man

rick said…
You forgot about our fashion sense. For example the hat you’re wearing is the exact same hat Cousin Eddy wears in National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, except of course he makes it look good. As for eel pout, and lutefisk, though both are just cod fish, eel pout are good to eat, lutefisk, not so much.

Comment by rick

I wish I could hear you read the post. I love a Minnesotan accent. Say “hot dish, doncha know” and I’ll swoon.

Comment by Deb

rick – Let’s not forget, you gave us that hat!

Deb – Not until I know you’re sitting down first. I wouldn’t want you to swoon and hit your head on something, doncha know.

Comment by Harmonica Man

I too dig your hat. I had one just like it that I lost at an airport a few years ago.

A few years ago my wife and I took a road trip for about a year, and we gave Minnesota two awards: LARGEST AND MOST PLENTIFUL BUG POPULATION (AS JUDGED BY WINDSHIELD CARNAGE) and MOST RURAL AROMA (LONGEST STRETCH OF HIGHWAY THAT SMELLED LIKE COW POOP). The full entry is here.

Comment by the frogster


There it is. I messed up the link.

Nice post, Jeff.

Comment by the frogster


Okay, that’s it for sure (I forgot to take out the period)(no wonder Diesel needs pepto bismol whenever I do a post for him at the review blog).

Comment by the frogster

OMS you in that hat. I am beside myself…very Fargo of you. Wait, that’s another northern-midwestern/western state. Hmm.

And capital of gay sex bathrooms. I mean, let’s put that on Minnesota license plates.

You don’t know mosquitos until you’ve been to the subtropics. Size of dragonflies. YEAR ROUND. Because it NEVER freezes here. Winter average temp? 60-65.

Today? 80.

Hot winters can bite my…never mind.

Comment by juliepippert

frogster – Three’s the charm! And you’re right, MN does have some VERY poopy-smelling highways. No doubt about it.

julie – EVERYTHING is bigger in Texas, right? Although, you may have the bigger mosquitoes, but we probably have more of them, what with the 10,000 lakes and all. Hmmm, who’s responsible for the mosquito census anyway?

Comment by Harmonica Man

Well, Hawaii doesn’t suffer your cold weather, but the trade off is, we have mosquitoes 24/7 – 365. At any given moment I look like a dot-to-dot puzzle.

Comment by QuillDancer

Ya, you betcha!

Comment by Heather

We have friends in MN, but they never mentioned all of these wonderful highlights. I think they’re trying to keep all the good stuff for themselves. Very funny and your hat is groovy.

Comment by nessa

I recognize the same hat and coat you wore during your christmas tree blog. You are clever. Who could charge a street person full price for anything. Put the cap up for bids, and see who wants to be humble!-Bill

Comment by Bill

QuillDancer – I would gladly brave your mosquitoes for a little “island time.” 😉

heather – Uff da, you had to go there.

nessa – Thanks, I think my hat may have finally found a place where people appreciate it.

bill – That picture WAS from my “how to kidnap a Christmas tree” story. Good eye!

Comment by Harmonica Man

Ugh, is eel pout a real thing?? That ice fishing does not look fun at all. But I do love Minnisota in the summer, it’s so pretty!
:o) Elizabeth

Comment by Elizabeth

Winter is my daughter’s favorite season because of the absence of bugs, specifically mosquitos! They’ve been killing us the past couple of summers.

Well Minnesota sounds inviting if only so that I might procure one of those funky hats – you are sporty, doncha know (is that how I say it?).

Great post – you Minnesotans rock!

Comment by DJ LAMPSHA

[…] caption contest in progress featuring my favorite female (supposedly) candidate for President, and Central Snark, where there is a post especially for Keith about how to survive the Minnesota winter. Posted at […]

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