Tales of the Idiot

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I wasn’t born in a small town, so it’s proablly not where they will bury me

I spend a lot of time in small towns, my wife teaches classes for a sophisticated high end beauty company and she spend her weekends going to smaller cities across the Midwest teaching them technique. If I want to spend any time with her I tag along. The irony of course is when we were first together she would accompany me on tours, and going to shows. For example I took her to Chicago to go hang out backstage at a David Bowie show, she in turn took me to Sioux Falls South Dakota and we eat at a Dennys. Yeah not the greatest trade off, but I love my wife so whatchya going to do.

What I have learned now that I have spent a good chunk of summer weekends touring the not so exotic mid-sized Midwestern cities; most smaller cities have an Applebes TM a HarddeesTM, a Wal-MartTM, multiple WallgreensTM, A Big LotsTM which us city folk think of as K-MartTM. Cities near colleges tend to have a TGI FridaysTM,a PerkinsTM, and of course a SubwayTM and a DominoesTM.

All small city malls tend to be issued the following: a GapTM, an Old NavyTM, a Hot TopicTM (so the towns non conformist youth can all shop at the same place), and usually some sort of cart that sells counterfeit purses. On one level its amazing that we can have this standardized way of living that translates to wildly different parts of the country. Of course the downside is that we are slowly killing off culture for convince.

I will be the first to admit that I have a romanticized version of smaller town living, I grew up watching The Andy Griffith show, and came of age watching Northern Exposure. Not to mention my secret shame…. The Gilmore Girls. All cool small towns chock full of independent restaurants and shops. Now I realize that a) these are much smaller towns then the cities that I am talking about, and b) that they are on TV and TV is fictional. Still I want to believe in the small dinner with amazing food, a quirky soundtrack, with staff and patrons partaking ion witty banter and pithy observations. Instead I tend to find very greasy hash browns, mediocre omelets and the same mixture of classic rock, that guarantees Styx continual work on the State Fair circuit.Styx

Thusly conclusion #1. Fargo is cool, ok not like London cool but its pretty cool in comparison to Sioux City Iowa, Or Sioux Falls South Dakota. How is it that I come to this conclusion, oh dear and gentle reader; I am glad you asked. It’s a question of character, originality, and choices beyond the chains. In the last outpost before Canada there is a plethora of choices, sure all the standard issues are there but you also have the small, the quirky, Sure its still greasy, and yeah you have to listen to Boston while eating it, but still. It’s different then someplace you would eat anywhere else. In this hazy crazy mixed up world that’s got to count for something.(written in a hotel lobby in Brainerd MN)Paul Bunyon in repose

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There are 4 Comments to "I wasn’t born in a small town, so it’s proablly not where they will bury me"

  • I think what you are looking for are midwestern “villages.” The types of places where people drive small tractors to the local bar to get a quick bump at 7, 8, 9, etc. The types of places where one is often surprised by the lack of horse and buggies as the main modes of transportation. The types of places where a graduating class is considered huge if it is in excess of 20. The type of place that I call home. It’s for those very reasons that I hated Grand Forks and Fargo with a passion even though they were the most common locations to “get away” as one might say. Get away? Hah, I disagree.

    Btw, you said “whatchya.” Subtle Beastie Boys reference, or the real midwestern man in you coming out? Given the blog material, I’d like to think it’s the latter.

  • Oh its is a combination of the two, little Midwest. little street, little funkadelic.

    As for those little hamlets, I think they are slowly fading from society, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing-it is after all evolution, but it does tend to make me wistful for a bygone era, that I never knew.

  • jonjon says:

    …Minneapolis aint so small.

    cheers/

  • Walter says:

    I am the village idiot. the Villajet.

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