Kiss me deadly

Good news for granny...

When you're home for the holiday, greeting old friends, heed this advice from a local disease-control expert: Instead of a handshake, consider going to first base.

U of M researcher Carol O'Boyle co-authored a report published this month in the American Journal of Infection Control warning that the "threat of infectious disease will increase in coming years" and that dirty hands will be the means of transmission.

The kiss, in O'Boyle's research, came out relatively sanitary. So prepare your wet ones, warriors: It's going to be a long fight. —Jeff Severns Guntzel

Thanks, but no thanks

It's that time of year again: Gift Return Season. Time to scrounge up those sweater vests, animal-themed ties, and Chia Pets you got from your in-laws.

We can relate. Granted, the items sent our way aren't so much "gifts" as they are "bribes from people looking to promote their various causes," but you get the idea. Here are some of the more memorable souvenirs scattered throughout the office:

• The "Pimp City" board game "where you're the pimp and your objective is to move your token whore around the board, make the most money, and become the New Pimp Daddy!"

• A dozen copies of New Jersey-born Minnesota transplant Future Lisa's "album" Clone, which includes the lyric: "I'm having your clone/Now we can be a family/You get to be a dad/Now you can live the life you dreamed/You get to raise yourself."

• A 14-inch defective nutcracker from Macy's that's too weak to crack a stale peanut. —Matt Snyders

Strib to subscribers: Drop dead wood

The merger between the library systems of Hennepin County and Minneapolis is back on track, meaning that the shuttered library in Dinkytown will reopen early next year.

Big news in southeast Minneapolis, right? Not according to the Strib. In the last two weeks, two stories about the on-again library merger were left out of the North Metro section, which continues to be delivered to Minneapolis residents east of the river.

When subscribers (once again) complained to the paper that relevant local news was being supplanted by the goings-on in places like Shoreview and Circle Pines, they got this response from Robin Netz, the Strib's renewal marketing manager: "[W]e do offer an online edition that you may prefer since it does include more detailed zone specific areas as you are requesting."

Translation: Cancel your subscription and check out the website. —Jonathan Kaminsky

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