DEC 19th…Mpls, Cedar Cultural Center. i’m having a nervous breakdown.

We need a couple more dogs (smallish) or an animal that looks like a dog, so we have a real doggie sweater contest, a real one.  At my North Star Variety Hour and Meat Raffle, AKA Mary Mack’s Holiday Meat Raffle Show and Doggie Sweater Contest.   Tix are at Electric Fetus cheaper in person in advance or $12 at the Cedar Door, or somewhere around there at  Enter your dog by writing me at this address:  !

THE BLOG PART OF THIS POST:  Everybody says you’ll be less stressed out if you are organized.  This is not true at all.  I have been getting organized this last couple weeks, and it is the most stressed out I have ever been.  I am eating my Melatonin gummy drops all day to stay calm.  Also, don’t do that.  Don’t get organized and don’t eat natural sleep remedies throughout the day.  Except for the Brahm’s brand.  That brand is okay to eat every so many hours, especially on a plane.   





Santa Monica Fundraiser tonight and more shows between the Mississip and CA

Tonight! Sat., Sept 21- SANTA MONICA, CA –  YWCA  Kids Benefit  w/ my buddies Carlos Kotkin, Paul Morrisey, and special friend!  

PARKING: The event is at the YWCA

2019 14th St  Santa Monica, CA 90405

Just south of Pico on 14th

Free valet parking…tix are $20 and $ goes to not rich kids.  Tickets may be purchased in advance online at the YWCA site or by phone during business hours: (310) 452-3881

Monday, Sept 23-LOS ANGELES, CA- “Hot Tub” Kurt and Kristin’s show @ The Virgil bar on Santa Monica Blvd-8pm $10?

Friday, Sept 27- HOLMEN,   WI- Public House Concert w/ husbo Tim Harmston!  fun night–donation based–   FACEBOOK David Schipper  our Bluff view concerts for reservations:    

Saturday, Sept 28- MEDFORD, WI-Broadway Theater, 7pm and 9pm if good demand.  Call the owner Dave’s cell at  757-472-9049.  

Saturday, Oct 5–  MN,ALBERTVILLE PARISH- doing a guest spot for Husbo Tim Harmston …I will post his info at   it’s a fan page i guess.

Wed. Oct 23Will somebody help me book a show in IOWA CITY, IA ?  This is on the way to St. Louis.  please watch in case this happens.

Thurs. Oct 24, ST LOUIS, MO– Too Hip Comedy Showcase that’s the name.  Located at 3359 South Jefferson Avenue, Saint Louis, Missouri.    9pm     Tix at door for $10 OR GET EM EVEN CHEAPER AT     Here’s the fb invite and map and stuff:   In the future, will we be communicating only in links?  I’m so scared.

Fri and Sat. Oct 25-26, TOPEKA, KS-I DON’T KNOW THE VENUE YET, but mark off some time on your busy calendar to come out!!  CoStarring with Tim Harmston  I hope my dentist friend Ted comes.

Tues-Sat. Nov 26-30, MPLS, MN-Tim Harmston is headlining at Acme Comedy Club and I got the owners permission to open for him and directly harrass him during his comedy set.  I called it already he isn’t allowed to open for me in the Spring.  TIX FOR TIM’S SHOW AT 612 338 6393…700 block of N 1st street.  Green Awning just b4 the Star Trib distribution building.  there’s a nice parking lot across the street that’s cheaper than all the other downtown parking lots…Are those condo buildings down there or is it a really rich cult.  what’s happening mpls?  why is beer $6.  it’s cheaper to buy wine now.

MON-WED OCT 28-30: PUEBLO? TAOS?  ABQ?  WATCH FOR RANDOM APPEARANCES by me and my hus-bot Tim Harmston!   If u “like” me or twitter friend me at  i will post all randomness!!!!!!!!!!!

Also if you are in Los Angeles–PLEASE WATCH FOR SHOWS THERE!!  Excited to see you all again:)

Published in: on September 21, 2013 at 7:32 pm  Leave a Comment  


Today April 17th starting 5:10pm:   My comedy part comes at 5:50pm at the main pavilion where I will try to confuse the issues even more!   Don’t worry I made hand outs!   Why am I speaking?  Truthfully, I intrinsically already feel so bad about myself just being raised a midwesterner & a Lutheran, I don’t need the WI government helping me out with that.   Irvine Park-120 Bridgewater Ave, Chippewa Falls, WI 54729

 Or click here for a google map. 
Thanks for listening. and please read all the good info below,

Mary-ready to speak and yes everybody will probably be offended even though I don’t mean it that way, or do I?  

(Oh April 17th is Equal Pay Day because that’s on the average how long a woman has to work into the next year to make the same as a man with the same job in the year before…so about 4 months longer—that’s a lot, and that’s without the new rules that make it even more difficult for the gals.)

Wisconsin is ground zero for the war on women.
·        State Senator Glenn Grothman, who introduced SB 202, the bill which overturned the 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act summed it up this way: “You could argue that money is more important for men. I think a guy in their first job, maybe because they expect to be a breadwinner someday, may be a little more money-conscious. To attribute everything to a so-called bias in the workplace is just not true.”
·        A recent TV ad paid for the Republican State Leadership Committee depicts State Representative Donna Seidel in a recipe box. But you don’t have to watch the ad to know that Republicans would rather see Wisconsin women in the kitchen than at work—particularly working in the Capital building. 
·        Earlier this month, Gov. Walker and all four Republicans running in senate recall elections—Van Wanggaard, Terry Moulton, Jerry Petrowski, and Scott Fitzgerald—overturned the Equal Pay Enforcement Act, a law that helped shrink the pay gap between men and women by deterring employers from discriminating against women and people of color.  This, in conjunction with last year’s attacks on collective bargaining—aimed at a majority female workforce—makes working women particularly vulnerable in Wisconsin.
The GOPs is not only assaulting women’s rights, but it’s also waging war on women’s wages
·        When Scott Walker “dropped the bomb” and started his all out war on collective bargaining, he also started his war on women. 
·        Reporter Alyssa Battistoni explained last year during the protests that the “demise of public sector unions would be most detrimental to women and African-Americans, who make up a disproportionate share of the public sector workforce.”
·        Approximately 80 percent of teachers, and 95 percent of nurses, are women.  The majority of all other public sector employees are also women.  When you deny the right for women to collectively bargain you deny them the chance to close the gender pay gap.
Wisconsin had been on the path to narrowing the pay gap, but Republicans like Scott Walker and (Terry Moulton, Scott Fitzgerald and Jerry Petrowski) are turning back the clock and taking us in the wrong direction.
·        The gender pay gap closes to 88 cents on the dollar for women who have the right to bargain versus 72 cents for those who don’t.
·        When you take away the right to punish employers who discriminate based on their gender, you have created a situation that almost guarantees the unfair wage gap between men and women will persist.    
·        April 17, is Equal Pay Day, which symbolizes how far into 2012 a women must work to earn what men earned in 2011. 
·        When Act 20 passed, women in Wisconsin had hoped that we were on our way to becoming one of the few states which successfully closed the gap between men’s and women’s wages. 
·        Under Scott Walker’s leadership, we have been moving in the wrong direction.  Walker and the Senate Republicans who introduced and voted for this legislation may think that women’s voices don’t matter, but come June they will learn an invaluable lesson: a woman’s vote does not count for just 78 percent of a man’s. 

Published in: on April 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm  Comments (1)  

Shrimpy Scamp

I saw Scamp camping trailers at the MN state fair last year and can’t get them off my mind!  It’s like your own for-human P.O.D. system with so many reasons to get one (which I will share in future blogs).  But is my Chevy Aveo be able to tow it?  I don’t know the tow rating on my anemic 4-cylinder, Korean American car.  And furthermore, do you get the 13′ scamp WITH the toilet, or skip the toilet and take the couch instead?  BTW, if you skip the toilet the couch converts into TWO more beds.  (see diagram)


Thirteen feet is not much air circulation room for a toilet OR for 4 people sleep breathing.  To put things in perspective, I had a solo canoe once that weighed 39 lbs.  I could lift it myself and it was 12 feet.  I tried to sell that to the school bus driver for 200 bucks (a real steal) but then he only showed up with 100 bucks and a hammock from El Salvador, so basically he paid me 101 dollars.  Cripes.  I shoulda took that travel voucher from South West Airlines Friday to make up for it.

Scamp’s website (hewn from Central Minnesota sensibilities) shows a few people REALLY EJOYING their scamp, while conspicuously not showing the inside.  I don’t really care if they’re shady about the inside.  It’s a good, fun product, and as far as camping goes, I think they’re mostly just for when it rains so you have somewhere to play cards and shit.  Very reasonable.  If you want more info, see or go to the MN State Fair.  They are under the south end of the sky ride.  So yes, I’ve seen the roof too.  Oh, yeah: the point.  Love em, but  I probably can’t get one, because we’ve already been in trouble with the ordinances and sky patrol of Bayfield County, Wisconsin for too many campers on our land.  But if someone else gets one, please let me know how you like it.


Published in: on March 19, 2012 at 2:53 am  Leave a Comment  

Republicans won’t allow Obama tax cut to continue, and rich still pay less tax

This is a newly added addendum (but at the front) of this blog I posted in Dec. about rich farts and taxes…Lots of interesting conversation arose on face book about it–thanks guys.  Some people showed a chart showing how the millionaires are supposed to pay 35 per cent tax, blah blah blah…but what most people don’t know is that millionaires (and higher) learn how to move their money around to make it look like capital gains, charities, etc.  so people like Mit Romney pay less tax then I do sometimes (and I’m not even that good of a comic).   Here’s a copy of an article below explaining how he does it…Now a lot of people will say, “but look how he gives so much to charity.”  If you do the math, you will see that giving a lot to charity saved Romney hundreds of thousands of dollars on taxes.  Last night, I gave 40 bux to a Methodist youth group, and it didn’t save me anything, except maybe one of them won’t grow up to be a killer one day and come find me.  So I guess it was worth it.   You might read the following article and STILL not believe that many uber rich don’t pay much for taxes, but that’s because you don’t make as much money as they do, and you haven’t gained admittance into the magical land where money is made of air and speculation and can be called just about anything.  Romney is probably one of the more honest (sadly) of money moving people, but what I am interested to know is if the 1.5 million he donates to the Morman church can come back to him in campaign contributions?  Can it?  It’s not like the Mormon church ever doles out money for ads or lobbying or anything.  C’mon!  They’d never do that!    (As a side note, even though I’m not Republican or Democrat, I still like Ron Paul and President Obama, and I know I could eat those words tomorrow.)

One of the more Pleasant Tax articles on Romney (from Yahoo):

Mitt Romney’s tax returns show more than $42 million income over last two years

By Holly Bailey | The Ticket –

Mitt Romney paid $6.2 million in federal taxes over the last two years on income generated almost entirely on investments linked back to his days as a founder and partner in Bain Capital.

According to documents released by his campaign Tuesday, Romney earned $21.7 million in investments in 2010, and he will report another $20.9 million investment income in 2011.

In 2010, Romney paid $3 million in federal taxes but also gave about $3 million to charity—roughly half of that to the Mormon church—which lowered his effective tax rate to roughly 13.9 percent.

According to his 2011 tax return, which hasn’t been filed yet, he’ll pay $3.2 million in taxes with an effective tax rate of approximately 15.4 percent, according to his campaign. He gave $4 million to charity, including $2.6 million to the Mormon church.

The release comes after weeks of pressure from Romney’s rivals for the candidate to release his financial information. After weeks of hedging, Romney finally agreed to release his tax information for the last two years. During Monday’s presidential debate in Tampa, he pointedly declined to follow in the footsteps of his father, George Romney, who released 12 years of returns when he sought the presidency in 1964.

Romney said Monday there would be “no surprises” in his filings.

“I pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more,” Romney said during Monday’s debate. “I don’t think you want someone as the candidate for president who pays more taxes than he owes.”

But in the process, he took a shot at rival Newt Gingrich’s tax plan. Romney noted that his income is almost entirely derived through capital gains and noted that under Gingrich’s proposal—which would eliminate taxes on capital gains—he would have paid no taxes.

Other popular Yahoo! News stories: Page 1 of 5


MY ORIGINAL BLOG From Dec. 3rd–Well, I don’t use this blog for serious things usually, but I copied and pasted a mass letter I received below explaining what the Obama tax cuts have been, including a calculator that shows how much it saved you last year and how much more you will have to pay.  Republican, Democrat, and Other Party families should all appreciate this….There doesn’t seem there should be any political division, but rather a RICH against the MIDDLE CLASS division (disguised as a republican verses democrat issue, which it shouldn’t be, but that’s a great brainwashing way for the struggling republican families to vote in the people who are keeping them poor.)

I don’t understand why, if the Republicans joined  Norquist’s cult and said they won’t raise taxes, why is it okay now?  I guess it’s okay to do anything that will make the president look bad….and where is Grover Norquist in this?  Why is he not threatening the Republicans they will lose their posts this time?  Because it works in his favor to make even more money from the Republican lobbyists and big business, etc. when Republican law prevails.  The same laws that allowed the banking system to collapse in the first place.  Real bad guy that dude.  And apparently very two-faced.  Well probably, there’s more faces to him like one of those dice pieces in the board games that freak me out, because I’m a meek church goer, and I avoid the black “magics.”

So this conservative lady (me) is also learning, it’s good to be patriotic and support your country and the people of your country, UNLESS you are a millionaire or better, then there’s no need and it really is an inconvenience for these billionaires to pay a fair tax and take one less trip, so another less fortunate  family can buy vegetables this year.    AND SHAME ON CONGRESS FOR BREAKING (if they do).  If you, as a congress person,  had voted for soldiers to go over and fight in other countries, you (the politician who is at least pretending to fight for your country) should only be allowed the same breaks as those soldiers who you sent overseas.  When is that break even?  Every two years?  I’ll ask my cousin.  Certainly this is not too much to ask of a politician who is “fighting for the American people”–to sit thinking in his plush office where his offspring (who, by the way, are not at war, with exception to a few) can visit; to sit in that cozy office and serve the same amount of time before breaking as an endangered  soldier spends in hostile, life-threatening conditions.  Good God–what a joke this congress is.  When republican John Boehner said a few years ago that the republican politicians would focus the next four years on getting the president out of office, he was being extremely honest because the republican party has not done anything else beside that…except wasted our time and money trying to get the president out of office instead of working together to help the very people who voted for these  republicans.   HERE’S THE LETTER THAT WAS SENT OUT WITH THE HANDY CALCULATOR:

Mikelle –In case you missed it — yesterday Congress voted on a bill that gave them two simple choices:

A) Let President Obama’s payroll tax cut expire, raising a typical family’s taxes by more than $1,000 next year, or

B) Extend and expand the tax cut, helping 160 million people and letting that same family keep $1,500. Click here to find out what it does for you.

The payroll tax cut would be paid for by requiring millionaires and billionaires to pay a little more. But some in Congress think millionaires and billionaires should get to keep paying the already-low rate they get, thanks to the Bush tax cuts.

This one isn’t complicated. And for a party whose leaders and candidates have pledged not to support any tax hike ever, taking money out of the pockets of middle-class families should have been unacceptable.

But almost every Republican in the Senate went with option A — blocking President Obama’s proposal, and refusing to make the wealthiest among us contribute their fair share to help struggling families and strengthen the economy.

So it’s clear that when they say no tax hikes, they really mean millionaires and billionaires shouldn’t pay more, ever — even if that means your taxes go up.

We’re not letting this one go until Congress reverses course and does the right thing. And one way to spread the word is to make sure you know exactly how the Obama tax cuts affect you and your family.

We’ve created a new Obama tax cut calculator — use it to find out how much money Republicans in Congress want to take from you, then share it with everyone you know so they can find out, too.

In these last few weeks alone, we’ve seen Congress fail to act over and over again. First by refusing to keep teachers, firefighters, and cops on the job and to hire more of them, and now by refusing to protect a middle-class tax cut that makes a real difference for millions of American families.

And the Republican presidential candidates are in lock step with the GOP leaders in Congress on this. Just last week, Mitt Romney said he’s “not looking to put money in people’s pockets” and backed his Congressional counterparts.

Try the calculator to see what’s at stake for your paycheck, and please share it with anyone you think needs to see it:



James Kvaal
Policy Director
Obama for America

Published in: on December 3, 2011 at 6:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Mandatory Blog Entry #1

Mandatory Blog Entry #1

Someone else has joined my blog says the computer. Thank you. Because of this, I am forcing myself to type a blog entry even though nothing is going on: THE PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW I HAVE NOTHING TO SAY.
Despite that statement, I feel there is some important info I might impart to you before the holidays. The following will be a big time saver if you are the type of person who thinks he can do things, but really can’t.
Tonight, I tried to recreate a beverage usually purchased from the liquor store. The beverage is called choco-wine and it comes like wine–in a wine bottle. I discovered it while entertaining at an “agro-ladies” gathering. Choco-wine, in all its mysterious novelty, was the booze provided at each table. It’s apparently all the rage with ladies’ nights—at least in rural Stearns County–and it was definitely good. So tonight, instead of doing my taxes (the reason I have this week off) I tried to recreate the goodness of choco-wine with the following ingredients and method:
Mary Mack’s Home-made Version of Choco-Wine
2 Tbls baking coco
2 Tbls sugar
lil water
1 c Almond milk
1/4c whole milk
1/4c half and half
BRING TO NEAR BOIL. Pour in mug til ¾ full.
Well don’t bother writing any of that down, because it was not anything like the bottled choco-wine. I took one sip from my mug, and then I took another sip, so that I was sure I needed to throw up. The fact that the original choco-wine came in a wine bottle rather than a milk jug should have told me I was approaching it from the wrong end—meaning they didn’t start with hot chocolate milk and then add wine. They STARTED with the wine and happened to add a shade of chocolate. Also, there probably was no milk involved ever. Damn it, because I wasted three different kinds of milk by ruining it with wine.

End Mandatory Blog Entry #1.

SPIDER JOHN and Charlie Visit the Mall


Preface:  So you know…Charlie Parr is an “old country blues” style of guitar player/singer/songwriter.  He’s based in Duluth, MN and travels around the country showcasing his high level of talent.  He is a quiet guy, and very nice.  Spider John Koerner ( is a legend of folk music from a time before Parr, and was very active in the original, prolific Minneapolis West Bank (of the Mississippi) music scene of the 60’s/70’s .  He is mentioned in Bob Dylan’s book, Chronicles, as one of Dylan’s influences, if I am not mistaken.  I have read a bunch of books, and they are all mixed up in my brain. (i.e. Sometimes Encyclopedia Brown rides on a raft with Tom Sawyer and it’s not even on the right river.)  Anyway, you could probably just ask Dylan directly about Spider John, and he’d tell ya.  Another great source for a history of the West Bank scene would be West Bank Boogie by my friend Cyn Collins with the prologue written by Garrison Keillor, who has still not had me on his show, even though I have written quite a few poems about Sweetened Condensed Milk.  So if you are still confused about the  two characters below, and need to substitute in two more widely known figures who could have gone on a similar adventure as the one in this story, you could maybe replace Spider John with Woody Guthrie and Charlie Parr with Bob Dylan just because he’s from Minnesota.  (Not to mention, Pete Seeger is too close in age to Woody Guthrie to play the part of Charlie Parr in that version of this play.) Hope you enjoy my slash fiction.  Is that what it’s called?  Star Trek people do it.


Spider John Koerner and Charlie Parr descend into view on the down escalator at the Mall of America food court.  The tiny hum of fluorescent lighting is a constant annoyance to Spider John, but he doesn’t realize where this sound is coming from.  Instead he continues to swat at invisible gnats he thinks are buzzing around his head. He jiggles the polka dot knapsack and stick that rest on his shoulder. Spider John speaks like half prospector, half drill sergeant for the sake of this sketch, because “grrrr” was only funny for two lines.  Note:  It is preferred that scene openings and parenthetical be read aloud by a narrator.

Spider John:  Christ all mighty, when they gonna take out the trash in this cafeteria?  Flies everywhere.

Charlie:  Gosh, they don’t seem to be bothering me.  You got cologne on or something?

Spider John:  Am I wearing a T shirt that says “Pansy” on it?  This is natural.

Charlie:  Oh wait, I forgot I still have bug spray  on me from last year’s Home Grown Fest.  That’s what it is.

Spider John:  Holy Shit, Chuck.  Look at that yonder there.  Says “Orange Julius.”  I used to play with that guy.  Or was it Julius Orange?  Can’t recall.  He was just sitting on Riverside one day–must have been 1974–with a nice dobro, for a bum. Wasn’t that good.  I guess he’s famous now.  Got his own place, right here in the…where the hell are we again?

Charlie:  It’s called a mall.

Spider:  I marched on the Mall in Washington.

Charlie: This is an indoors mall.  It’s called the Mall of America.

Spider:  This ain’t no indoors mall.  There’s a roller coaster and a tree.  Speakin’ o which, I gotta take a leak.


We see Spider John emerging from behind a tree at Camp Snoopy, zipping up his pants, while Charlie flags him over to look at something out in the store area.

Spider:  Thank God it was a number one.  It’s like the state fair in there.  Security everywhere.  Not like it used to be when I could keep a hydroponic dooby garden in the back pool of Ye Olde Mill.

Charlie:  Sure Spider, but look it here!  A whole store of flannel.  Says “Pacific Sun” up top.

Spider:  That’s a crock a shit.  I been to the Pacific.  Hitched rides the whole way, and when I got there, it was so bright, I had to turn around and go home.  Sat in Palmer’s for a week just so my retinas could heel up.

Charlie:  Yeah, but my wife might like to see me in a new flannel.

Spider:  How she gonna recognize you in a new shirt?  Can’t see your face, boy.  That plaid’s the only distinguisher you got.  This morning I thought I was ZZ Top was pickin’ me up till you took off your jacket, and I placed the flannel.

Charlie: Well still, it’s right here.  Let’s just take a peek.  Maybe we’ll know someone in there.

(The two slowly approach the Pac Sun as if it might be a trap, or maybe an oasis that disappears as soon as they get close.  They stop just short of the electronic security scanners you must cross in order to enter or exit.)

Spider:  Ah shit.  Security again.  Jesus Christ.

Charlie:  Yeah and looks like this machine took over a real man’s job.  I’ll write a song about it.

(As he says this, both begin to empty the contents of their pockets, placing items just at the base of the walk-through scanners.  Along with their knapsacks, there is now a jumble of keys, finger nail clippers, guitar strings, a harmonica, and a couple jaw harps sitting on the tile. The two enter.  The machine doesn’t beep or sound any alarm, but Spider John remembers one more thing.)

Spider:  Hold up. I forgot something’.

(He passes back through the scanner, bends over, and pulls out a large jack knife from his boot, leaving it atop the pile of items.)

Spider (cont’d):  They woulda took that for sure.

Charlie:  Yah, they woulda.

Spider:  Let’s go see about a shirt then.

(The two approach one of the all-plaid shirt-racks near the register. At first, they are afraid to touch the shirts, and instead put their faces as close as possible to the rack sniffing and eyeing up the material which they mistook as flannel.)

Charlie:  There’s no fuzzies or bumps on this material.  I don’t get it. [do two sniffs]

(He sniffs.  Spider grabs out a shirt.)

Spider:  What the hell is this?  It ain’t flannel.

Charlie: It’s light and airy.

Spider:  It’s a goddam blouse they stuck plaid on top of.

Charlie:  What does the tag say?

Spider: 50% Rayon, 25% Polyester…Did this crap come from NASA?

(He holds it up to the fluorescent store lights.)

Jesus Martha, I can see through this shit.  What are they tryin to pull here?

Charlie: I dono John.  I’m scared.  This doesn’t happen in Duluth.

Spider:  Well get ready, cuz it’s comin’ your way, son.  You know that any new thing that happens in Minneapolis makes it’s way up to Duluth a couple years later.  Better pack up your family and move on to Thunder Bay.

Charlie:  I can’t do metric John.  I can’t do it.  What’s gonna happen to us?   The doctor said “get out and do some walkin.’  It’ll do ya good.” So I did John.  I got both of us out ta do some walkin’, and did it do us any good?  No.  It put the fear of God in us John.  The end is surely near if they’re selling us a see-through flannel.  It’s cold John.  It’s cold.  I can feel the frosty breeze from capitalism’s heart on my skin. (pause)  Wait.  Let me write that down.

Spider:  My friend, there’s only one thing to do.  You know it.  I know it.

(Spider John takes out his cigarette making kit, and pulls a book of matches from the box.  He taps a young, spikey-haired passerby on the shoulder.)

Spider:  Kid, unless you want the Man to eat your soul and spit it back out in swatches of Rayon, hand over your Dippity Do!

The kid replies: What?

Spider: Your hair gel, son.  Your groom-n-clean.  The shit you’re keeping’ your hair up with.

(The kid hands Spider John a canister of texturizing paste from his back pocket.  Spider dips his fingers into the jar of hair gel, and works it professionally into a clump under the clothes rack:  a make-shift lump of sterno, ready to birth fire.)

Charlie meekly asks:  Spider?

(Intent on his task, Spider John pays no attention, and pulls off a match.  Unfortunately, it won’t light on the matchbook which had grown damp with sweat during the man’s first indoors mall walk.)

Charlie (cont’d): I got it Spider.

(Charlie strikes the match against his stiff general store jeans, and nimbly sets the hair gel aflame.  In a matter of seconds the imitation rack of flannel is blazing.  The check out girl, blows a bubble and watches it, unresponsive, not remembering about science.  Spider and Charlie dash toward the exit and their knapsacks, but not before the sprinkler system has engaged, soaking them through.   As they scramble, Charlie calls out):  This wasn’t my week for showering.

Spider:  It’s free.  Take it.  Look out! The cops!

Not the real cops, but the privatized mall cops have caught on to the revolt that’s happening in the mall.  Well, not the real revolt.  They just think someone really hates the Pac Sun store.

Charlie:  I can hardly run in this wet flannel, John.  It’s too heavy,” (Charlie  Cries.)

Spider:  That’s the way it was meant to be, boy!


Scene 3, Closing Scene

Spider John and Charlie are handcuffed and sitting on a bench outside Hooters.  They must wait for the mall cops to finish their lunch before continuing on to the MOA interrogation room.

Spider: I feel alive, Chuck.  We’ve started a movement. I guess this did turn into a march on the mall.

Charlie:   Yeah, a real march.  Maybe this is the Mall of AMERICA.

Spider:  It’s turning out that way, isn’t it.

End of Episode 1

Published in: on May 3, 2011 at 8:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Purple Passion with Prince and Brett Favre


                         by Mary Mack, copyright 2010 



SEPTEMBER, 2010:   Through the Metrodome’s luxury box glass we see Prince standing, arms crossed, staring blankly out across the Vikings football team pre-game calisthenics on the field.  Brett Favre stands next to him looking out as well.  He is fully suited in uniform and pads, other than the pair of Wrangler jeans he wears.  Favre speaks in extreme southern drawl, while all words from Prince sound very sophisticated.


Hey Prince.  You got any sandwiches up here?

 Prince remains expressionless, doesn’t move.


Catch the game last Monday?

Prince nods slightly.


Well all right.  Some pieces are coming together.  Obviously we still got some work to do.  You ever play?

 Prince has no response.


You like Elvis?

Prince nods slightly. 


Born in Mississip. 


It is so.


He was the king.  Guess that makes you next in line, ya think?

Favre makes the Elvis lip, moves his hips slightly, and starts to cry a little.


Gather yourself.


You got a wife?

Prince stares blankly, disinterested.


You hunt?


If necessary, I would hunt.


What for?  Wild Turkey?  Get it?


No.  Have you gained weight? 


Deanna says I have.  I guess.


She is lovely.  Invite her to my luxury box.

Before Favre can thank him, Prince has vanished.  Other than perfect pitch, this is one of Prince’s main super powers.


Huh.   Well, I wonder if he’s coming back.

 Brett waits with arms crossed, begins to hum the chorus to “Raspberry Beret” rocking back and forth on his feet.


(under his breath)   So this is what it feels like. 


Prince exits the steel door marked “men.”  He holds the door open longer than normal as he examines the long line of men either face-painted or wearing protruding Viking horns waiting for a spot at the urine trough, which we can also see through the open door.   We see the backs of a side-to-side line of horned men doing their business.  Prince (dressed like Prince) walks away.



Through the glass, we see Deanna Favre standing next to Prince looking out over the game.  She and Prince wear dark glasses and talk like spies.


You must cancel his cell service.


I can’t.  We have the family plan…

Her cell phone rings. 


…Oh hold on.  Hi Brett.  Yes, I do think you should question Coach’s decision not to punt here.  It’s just ridiculous.  I know you’re doing your best, baby.  (Hangs up phone.)  Sorry.  It’s that time of the month.


Women have power, Love.


Broad statements aren’t helping me right now.


Precisely.  Stay and run bleachers with me after the game.


Thanks, but I usually do that with Brett on Tuesdays while the rest of the team is at practice.


He shan’t on a broken foot.


I carry him on my back, like the “one set of footprints in the sand” story.  I rely on faith. 


Refuse.  Disinterest and disconnect have always served me well. 


Then why do you come to the games? 


I practice not using my facial muscles in times of distress—a natural botox replacement.

Deanna nods impressed, and like Prince, has no facial expressions.


Has he lost weight yet?  Purple can add pounds.


No.  He’s a stress eater.  He binges.  Besides, he’s a grandfather now.


Time eludes us.  I need him to lose 17 pounds.


Right.  Like it’s 1999 or something.

Prince lowers his sunglasses to look at Deanna as if he is up to something.


                     If you can’t cancel his service, I want you to at least drop texting and picture mail from his plan.  It is hard on his elbow and throwing arm all that texting.  His accuracy is off.

A football hits the luxury suite’s window.  It is one of Brett’s inaccurate throws.  Prince dramatically caresses the glass.


You are wise.  (She turns to leave, but hesitates.)  May I seek your counsel again?

Prince has already vanished.



Favre enters the bar wearing a t-shirt and Wranglers.  He forgot to take his fanny-pack-style, hand warmer muff off his waist, even though it is Semptember.  He takes a stool next to Prince.  Prince drinks a fruity beverage from a champagne flute.  They listen to a funk band.


Deanna dropped texting from my cell plan.


It will serve you better.


You like music?

Prince blinks. 


Johnny Lang comes here.  We danced once, and I hurt my ankle.


I last saw him at church.  Will you come?  You will be cleaned.

Brett burps, and takes a big gulp of Guinness.  Prince slides the Guinness away from Brett and replaces it with a diet cola. 


Hold up.  That doesn’t have as many calories as people think it does.  Plus it helps me build cartilage.

Prince half floats, half walks to the dance floor. 


(singing)  Ooooh, ooh.

Brett stays at the bar and sneakily trades the cola back for the Guinness.  An attractive woman enters and sits next to him.  Brett tries to impress her.


They just drained a gallon of somethin’ from my ankle.

Prince magically appears next to them and firmly speaks to the woman.


Remove yourself, Satan!

Confused, the woman gets up and leaves. 


Thanks, man.  I owe ya one.  Next mimosa’s on me.



Published in: on April 26, 2011 at 3:21 am  Comments (2)  

The Official at the Fair

I’m sorry about the Twins baseball losses, but here is a story about the state fair.


The Official at the Fair
Recently, I watched a cow shit in a human-held bowl and get its ass wiped.    This activity isn’t normal farm work, but this was the state fair, and there were judges around.  Livestock have to be dainty, too, sometimes.
The guy behind the cow was obviously the man in charge of that activity that day at the fair.  He was discreet only in that he was so comfortable with the task he remained emotionless and expressionless.  Plus he was quick, like he could do it in his sleep and probably has.  For free, even. Other people didn’t notice, but I did because I didn’t have a cow entered for judging, and because the man was wearing a fluorescent green shirt with a reflective panel on it.  He wore a fluorescent, reflective shirt, because he was an official–an official in charge of cow excrement and wiping, and when he perfectly positioned a giant bowl (well really more of a wok) up to the dung hole of a Brown Swiss, I was riveted.
It’s hard to express this experience in complete sentences, because mostly I think about it in broken fragments and phrases.  Bowl and wipes in one hand.  Cow’s tail elevated in the other, like a friend who holds your hair when you puke.  I couldn’t turn away.  Have you ever seen a cow get its ass wiped?  There’s real motion to it, because the indent, or gap, under the tail and between the haunches of a Brown Swiss is large.  It’s a crevice really.  And it’s not just one wipe, and you can’t use TP.  It wouldn’t hold up.  You have to use Bounty and maybe even Brawny, the lumberjacks’ paper towel.
While engaged in the task, the official shit-man had to use swoops more than wipes.  Swoops to negotiate the crevice like he was searching for lost hikers who couldn’t get any traction to make it up the smooth valley walls.  It’s basically the same motion that the Dairy Princess, who was standing nearby, would have used earlier that day while waving in the parade; a smooth, cake-frosting rubber spatula side to side motion, but not with a spatula–with his hand and some Brawny he managed to roll off without setting anything down, mind you, into a giant ass-ready mitten.  A poetic rural balancing act, he cradled the bowl on his hip like an infant, and afterward, stood there matter of factly.  Obviously comfortable with this chore, the official forgot about what it is he does, I think, and he just did it.  He just does it.  And no he didn’t use hand sanitizer.  “Where does he work when the fair is done,” I wondered.  Maybe he’s like the fresh cut french fry guys, and he makes enough dough catching shit at the fair, he doesn’t have to work the entire rest of the year.  Maybe this is all he knows.  All he knows is shit.  I feel like that all the time.
I sincerely wish I could describe to you what it sounds like when a cow’s shit drops into an uplifted bowl, but I cannot.  Why?  Because I couldn’t hear it due to all the Brian Adams instrumental arrangements piping through the arena’s P.A. system.  Brian Adams Muzac, meant to calm and beautify cows, kept me from listening to the shit drop, and I so desperately craved to hear the shit drop, in order to pair another sensory perception with the disturbing visual.  A visual to which the cow wiping official and many fair goers had been desensitized, like homeless people to a business man.
I don’t like writing potty humor.  It doesn’t bring me pride. I know I am ruining my career, and that I will never get a Prairie Home Companion appearance because of this essay and perhaps others, but I can’t keep the cow thing inside anymore. That 45-second event sits like a water balloon, not in my heart, but more under my sternum, expanding my insides.  A secret I don’t want anymore. It’s something you have to tell people about so you can save yourself, like if I saw who shot JFK for real I’d have to tell you. So here is this secret that I only successfully kept inside for three weeks (if I am to be truthful).  Take it from me please.  I am offering it to you in your bowl.

Published in: on October 19, 2010 at 2:17 am  Comments (2)  

Email Boxing Coupon

Mary Mack's Boxing Bag

Today there was a coupon for boxing classes in my email box.  “Oh for neat.” I thought. For I want to learn about boxing or really, hitting, in general, because I am angry.  I don’t want to talk about the anger, however.  I want to talk about the coupon.

Attached to the boxing classes–in that coupon package–there was a personal training session included.  After seeing that, the game was off.  Do I have to do that part just to get the cheap boxing classes?  I do not want to be personally trained.  Someone in my face telling me to do something is not desirable.  That’s why I work for myself, because I don’t tell myself to do anything ever.  I just see what happens on accident.
Perhaps an indifferent trainer would be alright, though, if he’s REALLY indifferent.  Maybe someone who sits on the other side of the room, and checks in from time to time to see if I am still there.  And if I leave, that’s okay too.  He’s mostly just making sure I am alive while in the building. Anywhere else is out of his domain, and he is never going to call me with more good deals on personal fitness, because he doesn’t care.
Perhaps this boxing/workout establishment offering the coupon will let me take the 6 boxing classes and skip the personal training, but that’s improbable. That is the whole catch of the thing.  Probably, business at the personal trainer division has been very slow.  No one has signed up for the personal sessions, for they are embarrassed to have someone know what poor condition they are in.  I feel that way, as well, and I don’t want someone to lure me in with a coupon to believe that my embarrassment is less important than my health.  It’s just as important.  My constant prediction of me getting embarrassed in all aspects of life is pertinent to my survival:  It stops me from doing dumb things, or from leaving the house.  When I was little I didn’t predict enough embarrassment and I left the house.  Most times I left the house, I stepped in duck shit.  (We had ducks.)  I wasn’t planning ahead and predicting embarrassment.  Now I may have parasites.  I don’t know.  It’s too embarrassing to ask a professional.  Predicting embarrassment keeps me from getting hurt.  That’s why I don’t own rollerblades.
So here is this coupon in my email where one part is great and one part is a real downer, but a real boxing bag is so alluring and it’s less than half the price!  That’s how they try to keep you coming back for more like a druggy or like an automobile owner.  Beware.  If you personally train with someone one time at a discount, it’s a lot like using an oil change coupon:  You go in thinking you’ll do about 15 crunches and one pull up attempt and leave unscathed, but then you find out you gotta come back the next week to replace your quads and get your triceps rotated.  Plus you need a flush.  I wish I could support that, but I am just too lazy and embarrassed, and I think I can find something else to hang up and hit right from the comfort of my own home.
Published in: on September 14, 2010 at 8:23 pm  Leave a Comment