During the hunting opener, Mary Rakotz of Avon shot an extremely rare albino deer. She felled the six-point buck in Mille Lacs County, and was immediately hailed in local media as "the lady who shot that thing that looks like a photo negative of a real deer."
Albino deer are so uncommon that it's actually illegal to hunt them in at least seven states. Elsewhere, if you see one and you're unfortunate enough not to have a camera, really your only choice is to squeeze some hot lead into it.
Rakotz said it was thrilling to see the rare animal, but 100 times more exciting to be able to actually take it home—if by "take it home" you mean "I don't have enough room to mount it in my house so I'm going to try to sell it to Cabela's."
If it's open season on pasty white creatures with cloven hooves, somebody better warn Dick Cheney to stay indoors. —Jeff Shaw
Money for nothing
What will $50,000 buy you in a St. Paul city election? Not victory, apparently.
In the final two months of last week's City Council contests, developer Jerry Trooien pumped that much into the coffers of the St. Paul Police Federation's political action committee in an attempt to defeat Fifth Ward incumbent Lee Helgen and two other candidates.
Radio ads attacking Helgen were broadcast on KTLK (FM-100.3) and WCCO (AM-830), reaching a whole lot of ineligible voters.
"Why would you buy the upper Midwest market if you're targeting Ward Five in St. Paul?" Helgen asks. "I think that was aimed at trying to discredit me more broadly than it was trying to influence voters in Ward Five."
Whatever the intent, Trooien's gambit didn't work. Helgen held on for a victory. —Paul Demko
Where there's smoke, you'reÊfired
On a recent Saturday night, the dinner rush was ending at Harry's Food & Cocktails. Taking advantage of a lull in incoming orders, Genghis Muskox, a 21-year-old line cook who had been sauteeing scallops, ducks, and chickens for hours, stepped out for a much-anticipated smoke break.
But Harry's, a months-old upscale joint on Washington Avenue, has a strict no-smoking policy for its employees. And head chef Colin Murray decided it was time to enforce it.
Catching Muskox in the act, Murray called the line cook into his office and asked him to sign a form acknowledging the offense.
"I'm not going to sign that," Muskox told his boss.
"That's immediate termination," Murray replied.
"Fine," Muskox shot back.
He was summarily fired. (Murray confirmed the firing but would make no further comment.)
On the plus side, Muskox has a new gig as a parking valet. "I'm still making $10 an hour, and all I have to do is stand around," he says. "I can smoke as many cigarettes as I want, and I drive the nicest cars around." —Jonathan Kaminsky
Manhunt: Off Target
Minneapolis-based Target Corp. is training its big red bull's-eye on violent videogames.
Rockstar Games, publisher of the Grand Theft Auto series, has never shied away from controversy. But when its recent stealth-based title Manhunt 2 was slammed with an Adults Only rating by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board, the company reworked the game to eliminate the most offensive content and earn a Mature rating instead.
Then it was revealed that the PlayStation Portable version of Manhunt 2 could be hacked to unlock the naughty content. Target quickly announced that its stores would not be carrying the game at all, even though the PlayStation 2 and Wii versions of the games show no signs of being hackable. In defending the choice, the store cited a desire for "guests to be comfortable with the purchasing decisions they make at Target."
It's certainly true that the game is gory—in one official trailer, the protagonist sneaks up on an unsuspecting victim and stabs him through the neck with a hypodermic needle. But if Target really wants to protect its customers, the store should review its DVD section, which includes Saw II, a film in which a woman throws herself into an entire pit of hypodermic needles. —Ward Rubrecht