Gentlemen, stop your engines

Memo to that dude sitting in his '72 Pontiac GTO: The Minneapolis City Council is coming for you

Looking to cut down on emissions and improve air quality, city lawmakers are considering an ordinance that would make it illegal to let a car idle longer than three minutes.

It's still being hashed out in committee and will be voted on in the coming weeks.

While the intentions are laudable—unless you hate the environment—there's one problem with the proposed ordinance: It doesn't go far enough.

Sure, it addresses the environmental menace posed by idling cars, but what about bigger emissions threats? Like, say, aimless driving? Or joyriding? Or cruising?

That's why we're encouraging the Minneapolis Police Department to set up random checkpoints throughout the city. Our suggested ordinance would require all drivers to carry printed-out MapQuest directions plotting out their trip. If it's found that a driver has deviated more than three blocks from the most direct route, he or she will be fined $100 for each block traversed beyond the three-block threshold.

Yes, there will be some grumblings from those "individual rights" wackjobs, but never mind them. They hate the environment. Matt Snyders

They'll rock you like a hurricane

Just after 10 P.M. on a recent Wednesday, within spitting distance of A&J's Chicken & Fish on Lake Street and Fifth Avenue, two middle-aged men hanging by their white conversion van waved down a prostitute "You looking for a little something something?" the woman crowed. "You can buy this for 15 bucks."

It was the sort of handshake deal that required no sell, but the johns had a world-class pickup line just the same: "Look here, we're bachelors, we have a beautiful crib—we got snakes, scorpions, and lizards."

Then this: "We probably both want you. Probable. One at a time or together."

Unfortunately for the Don Juans, the hooker was an undercover cop.

The prostitute-decoy, playing practical, inquired about condoms. She was assured she'd find them at the "beautiful crib."

And with that, there was a flash of badges and the game was over.

Who will look after the scorpions? Jeff Guntzel

Looking for Mr. Big

Why's it so hard to find a nice guy?

It may be a conundrum for the ages, but it's also a question for the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Locally, more than 800 youngsters are on the waiting list for a "Big," as they're called, and more than 70 percent of the unmatched kids are boys.

A recent push to recruit 100 black men—a particularly elusive subset—to volunteer as big brothers has been met with a lukewarm response.

Why's it so hard to get men to sign up? "I don't know myself," concedes Michelle Abel, spokeswoman for the group.

We suggest it might have something to do with the minimum year of service. As we all know, dudes have never been much for commitment. Jonathan Kaminsky

 
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