UFF DUH! Minnesota is as Minnesota Does

The 1997 Tongue-on-the-Flagpole Awards

GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE, FORMER TV ANCHORS DO

Sen. Rod Grams--who while you weren't looking has been appointed the Senate's representative to the United Nations--on the geopolitical and humanitarian implications of U.S. policy toward Iraq: "If we feel that we have to pull the trigger, I think we'll do it."

NIGHTCLUBBIN'!

Minneapolis police employed billy clubs and tear gas on an unarmed crowd while breaking up a scuffle at a South Minneapolis underground punk-rock venue, the Bombshelter.

AND HIS VIDEO LOOKS LIKE A FIFTH-GRADER GETTING A WEDGIE

Teenager Kid Jonny Lang dumped the Big Bang band that mentored him to stardom shortly after landing a major-label recording contract.

THE FAST-FOOD MEXICAN RESTAURANT THAT WAS THERE BEFORE HAD BETTER TASTE

Even when it is not open, the new chichi Italian eatery Campiello refuses to allow cars into its monster parking lot, further raising the stress level in claustrophobic Uptown Minneapolis.

A HEADLINE WE WISH WE'D READ

Dore Mead defeated in City Council race by Fa So La Ti Do

START BY SWEEPING THE FOOTBALL TEAM OUT OF THE GUTTER AND INTO THE TRASH

As one of his first official acts as president of the University of Minnesota, Mark Yudof announced a "Take Pride in U" initiative to spiff up the campus.

JOHN QUIXOTE

Windmill spinner and Roseville state Sen. John Marty is exploring his second run at the governor's office.

TRANSFORMATION COMPLETE

Longtime male and longtime Democrat Susan Kimberly was lured away from the directorship of a nonprofit group by Republican Mayor Norm Coleman to head up an economic-development team in Southwest St. Paul. She soon outed herself as a Republican.

MUTUAL BENEFITS, PAID ON DELIVERY

One week before announcing its plans for a new city-subsidized office building, Minnesota Mutual held a fundraiser for Norm Coleman that netted $16,000.

AND A THIRD BALLOT ON BEHALF OF HIS GREAT-UNCLE FDR

During the fall primary elections, St. Paul City Council candidate Mark Roosevelt voted in St. Paul, then proceeded to vote in Minneapolis under his former name Mark Hatcher. THE STAMPEDE OF PEOPLE TRYING TO GET OUT OF EARSHOT ONLY MADE THINGS WORSE

New-age musician and former Minnesotan Yanni upset the Archeological Survey of India by holding a concert in front of the Taj Mahal. The department feared that vibrations from his music would disturb the mortar holding the marble slabs of the 17th-century tomb.

FIGHTING FIRE WITH HOT AIR

Last March, on the weekend before the Ramsey County commissioner special election, St. Paul Fire Fighters Union President Gary Olding left a threatening message on the answering machine of candidate and City Council member Janice Rettman, garnering her enough sympathy votes to carry her to victory.

PRIDE IS EXPENSIVE

Norm Coleman's re-election campaign spent nearly $1.3 million (over $350 per vote), more than Paul Wellstone spent on his senatorial bid in 1990.

KIDS IN BAGGY PANTS ARE NOT FISCAL MODERATES

Southwest Minneapolis City Council races grew ugly when Ward 10 candidate Lisa McDonald reported her oft-misread lawn signs were being burned and Ward 13 candidate Steve Minn first claimed that 20, then 50, then 70, then 100 (20 percent) of his lawn signs were stolen by either his opponent Karen Wilson or the Linden Hills band of kids known as the 2-1 Click.

SO MUCH FOR NAFTA

Last August, Mayor Norm Coleman unveiled his plans to restore the economic and cultural vitality of the St. Paul riverfront. The plan itself was printed in Canada.

THE DOG'S GOTTA GO, THE ASSES AND BYRDS CAN STAY

A visually impaired aide to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) was barred from bringing her guide dog onto the Senate floor. The senator promptly introduced a resolution (co-sponsored by Sen. Wellstone) to allow disabled people to bring the guides onto the floor. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia) telephoned in his objection.

SOME PEOPLE JUST KNOW HOW TO FLY

$40,000 worth of hashish was found on a Northwest Airlines passenger plane.

CUTER THAN GANDHI AND JUST AS TALL

Sen. Paul Wellstone conducted a nationwide poverty tour to launch his 2000 presidential campaign.

GLUE FUTURES DOWN SHARPLY

The Minneapolis Police Department's mounted patrol unit is under a state criminal probe following allegations of missing horses and money. All 23 horses have been located, not so the money. MOUNT YOUR BROTHER ON YOUR WALL

Continuing an annual pattern, two Minnesotans were killed and dozens wounded in the 1997 round of hunting accidents.

ACTUALLY, THE WOMAN WAS TOM BARNARD'S WIFE

Former Edge morning loon Cabe, brought over to the KQ morning crew to bring a breath of fresh air, got canned when he faked a live stunt that left the impression he was greeted at the hotel-room door of Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre by a woman who was not Favre's wife.

PEARLS BEFORE SWINE

Damned liberals. If only they'd listened to mayoral candidate Barbara Duffy Carlson. If only they'd had the courage to elect a leader who knew it "wasn't about being nice," the city of Minneapolis could've been saved. Lazy welfare moms would've been shipped back to Rockford, their lazy husbands would've been thrown in the clink, and all God's children would've been raised in a city orphanage. The pride would come back from St. Paul to roost in downtown Minneapolis, where Babs could shop for her slimming black frocks and shimmering white pearls in peace.

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