If you’re a fellow Minnesotan, or if you know a Minnesotan, then you know how big of a deal the State Fair is. This is the event of the summer. Where else in the world can you ride rides that can be assembled in less than a day? Where else in the world can you see a 300 pound man who thinks it’s appropriate to wear a small white tank top, camouflage cargo shorts, crocs with socks, and a blatantly racist confederate flag hat*. And most importantly, where else in the world can you throw your healthy eating habits away and enjoy gluttony for a day?

Every year at the State Fair Minnesotans line up for horrific monstrosities that pass as food. Here are a few of the new foods to look for.

Calhoun’s Loon Wings
John Calhoun, Minnesota’s favorite pro-slavery senator, has risen from the grave and is now a carnival cook. The wings of the glorious Minnesota state bird are heavily breaded, seasoned with salt and pepper, and deep-fried. Served with spicy dipping sauce (ketchup).

Moose Knuckles
Two walnuts covered in maple caramel stolen from Canada, then topped with a sprinkle of sea salt…because that’s popular now. The sweet, salty, succulent nuts are then wrapped tightly in a cloth and served to nut lovers.

Furious Gopher Tails
The tail of Minnesota’s favorite rodent is stuck on a stick, dipped in Surly Furious beer batter, and deep fried. Like most beer batters, the beer adds little to no extra flavor, but it lets the owners increase the price by $3 per tail.

Chocolate Mosquito Bark
Ever wonder what happens to mosquitoes after you slap them? It turns out Abdallah Chocolate in Burnsville has been stockpiling them for decades. They fry the mosquito carcasses and cover them with chocolate. Now you can eat the hearts of your enemies. Zika vaccine not included.

Your Friend’s Mom’s Bars
You know your friend’s mom? The one who is always baking bars. Well, she has a stand and she’s giving away free bars. Of course they’re not actually free. Upon receipt of the bars you are required to stay and chat while she completely ignores your constant attempts to end the conversation. Visit at your own risk.

Twins Licorice
Extra-bitter black licorice served with a Minnesota Twins ticket. When you take a bite of the worst flavor in the world and say to yourself, “this is disgusting, my life can’t get worse than this,” look in your hand and realize you have a ticket to a Minnesota Twins game.

*Okay, maybe you can see this in Georgia.

I recently purchased a road bike and have been having fun riding it around Minneapolis. I’ve been riding for two weeks, which is enough to qualify me as an expert. I am obligated by my expertise and deep joy of helping others to share the following tips with you.

Buy the most expensive gear
It is physically impossible to ride a bicycle if it is not at least $3,000. If you buy a bike less than that, you are wasting your money. Your helmet should be a minimum of $100 (preferably $150+), your jersey should be no less than $70, and your shorts should start at $200. This may sound like a large investment, but every dollar spent will make you a faster rider.

Wear a jersey
It is essential to wear a cycling jersey while riding your new bicycle, the more ridiculous and flamboyant the colors the better. Don’t buy green, buy Atomic Green. Don’t buy red, buy Mt. Vesuvius Lava Red. Make sure your jersey is a size too small so it fits tight around your body so you are more aerodynamic while training for Le Tour de France. If at all possible purchase a jersey with a local microbrewery logo on it, this tells the world that you enjoy a good party and also support local businesses.

Use Strava
Download the run/bicycle app Strava so you can track your rides. By using this app you will feel confident that you are bragging about the correct number of miles you rode (see tip about bragging). Also, you will feel good about yourself when complete strangers follow your progress and encourage you to keep up your riding. And there’s the added bonus of showing the world your usual cycling routes so thieves will know when you will be away from your home.

Brag about your accomplishments
What good is averaging 20 mph on your rides if you don’t post it on social media? After a particularly difficult ride, immediately post a picture of you drenched in sweat to show the world how awesome you are. If you take a break midway through your ride, update your status to let your friends know you are better than they are.

Get sickly thin
Find your ideal weight according to the obsolete BMI chart. This weight is already dangerously small, but it is not small enough for your ideal cycling weight. If you are a female subtract 30 pounds from your BMI weight, and if you are a male subtract 50 pounds from your BMI weight. If you are at your ideal cycling weight, congratulations, you are a walking skin covered skeleton. If you are not at your ideal cycling weight STOP EATING IMMEDIATELY. Do not consume any calories until you weigh in at your magic number. Continue to ride hard so you can make your goal sooner.

Don’t obey traffic laws
If you ride your bike on city streets you have permission to run stop signs and red lights. You can also make erratic moves and cut off cars when ever you please. There may be a designated bicycle lane, but that doesn’t mean you have to use it. Ride in whatever lane you want. When drivers honk at you flip them your middle finger and continue riding, they deserve it.

The following text was uncovered by the Kremlin while hacking American computers upon the request of American Führer hopeful Donald Trump. It appears to be a rough draft of former NFL quarterback Brett Favre’s Hall of Fame acceptance speech.

Did I know I was going to go at the end of the second round to the Atlanta Falcons?
No.

Am I glad they drafted me?
Yes.

Am I still in contact with former Atlanta head coach Jerry Glanville?
Absolutely not.

Am I grateful to the Packers for trading for me?
Yes.

Did I intentionally complete my first NFL pass to myself?
Maybe.

Am I proud of my three MVP awards?
Yes.

Am I proud of developing an addiction to Vicodin?
No.

Am I happy I only won one Super Bowl?
Kind of.

Am I proud of passing John Elway in wins and Dan Marino in touchdown passes?
Yes.

Was I fully committed to retirement in 2008?
No.

Am I proud of sexually harassing Jen Sterger?
No.

Was I happy when I signed with the Minnesota Vikings?
Yes.

Am I happy I’m the only player to have defeated every NFL team?
Of course.

Am I proud the picture of my penis went viral on the internet?
Perhaps.

So, you’re building your child a skateboard rail so he can do some tricks. You’re such a nice parent. You have the rail, the wood, the bolts, and the nuts. Oh no! This can’t be happening. You don’t have enough nuts. You are exactly one nut short of the required amount. You search high and low for an extra nut to no avail. You become engulfed in anxiety because now you must go to the hardware store.

The local neighborhood hardware store closed last year because the big box store drove them out of town when they opened last year. You really like the personal service Joe provided, but he had to close up shop when Home Depot came to town.
So you pop a couple Xanax, hop in your car, and head over to the cold, unfriendly warehouse. Your anxiety is worse than Howard Hughes at the height of his disorder. You pull up to the 10-acre parking lot and park your Toyota Camry among the absurdly large trucks. You now have a nervous breakdown for ten minutes, crying alone in your car.

It doesn’t have to be this way. I have a fool proof way to navigate Home Depot. Read on, dear friend.

Your first task when you enter the store will be to look for an employee to help you. Without an employee to help you find the specific nut to fit on the bolt you brought along, your trip will be useless. Home Depot is such a gargantuan store it is imperative to have a helper.

Finding an employee is much harder than in a high pressure sales environment like Wells Fargo, where you are swarmed by employees jamming fee-ridden bank products down your throat. Home Depot trains their staff to avoid customers like the plague. Although they are dressed in an apron that rivals many hunting outfits, they are careful not to be seen.

After wandering around the store for a half hour, you will, perhaps, bump into an employee. But be careful. If you find someone in the hardware section, they probably actually work in paint and will be of no help, unless you also need some subpar Behr paint for that skateboard rail. You will now become a hot potato, tossed from one worker to the next. Don’t worry, this is normal. It will be over in ten minutes and you will finally have a hardware specialist.

You will scour the hardware aisles with your new friend for five minutes and finally find the nuts, only they won’t be the right size. He will radio to his crew in the back room to see if they have the correct size, but the radio won’t work. He will go find someone and be “back in five minutes,” which actually means ten minutes.

When the hardware guy comes back he will be empty handed. They do not have the nuts you need in the back. But wait, there they are right in front of him. How silly.
You will now be ready to pay $0.67 for the one nut you need to finish your project. You should walk up to the cash register and stand around for another ten minutes while you wait for someone to ring you up. Yes, they have 20 cash registers, but nobody is staffed in the front. The employees who are near the front don’t know how to ring you up. They will have to find a coworker, so they call someone on their radio that doesn’t work. They will be “back in five minutes.”

By the time someone gets to the cash register, a line of ten other upset customers will be formed. This is normal, don’t worry. The cashier will try to talk you into a Home Depot credit card, just ignore this. He doesn’t know the card is worthless and actually is frowned upon by the credit bureaus, he’s just doing his job: being a cashier drone like Home Depot taught him. Pay for your nut and leave.

Congratulations! You survived the Home Depot experience.

SHOPPERS BEWARE!
Never, under any circumstances, talk about labor unions at Home Depot. Unions were created to force employers to treat their employees like human beings, instead of the peasants they are. Unions introduced horrible, un-American things into the workplace like sanitary and safe working conditions, 40 hour work weeks, paid vacations, sick leave, and overtime pay. Home Depot strongly believes their employees are undeserving of any benefits a union has to offer.

How to Cure an Earache

A quick Google search can make anyone an expert on anything. Sometimes, however, there can be so much information you don’t know where to begin. If you are in need of earache remedies, look no further. The following four solutions have been proven to cure earaches.

  • Kick the leg of a table: Take off the shoe of you dominant foot. Walk up to the kitchen table and kick it as hard as you possibly can. Your brain will redirect it’s pain reception to your foot and your earache will be gone. Extra points if you break some toes.
  • Listen to Skrillex: Open up Spotify or Pandora on your phone and search for Skrillex. Play the first “song” and wait a few minutes. The horrific sound you hear is what ravers call music. At approximately 3 minutes into the song, your entire inner ear will escape out of your ear hole in hopes of leaving the wretched environment of electronica. CAUTION: May cause vertigo.
  • Drop some acid: Before you get worried, you don’t have to turn on Pink Floyd and drift off to another dimension. LSD is illegal and should not be used for treating an earache. Hydrochloric acid, however, is readily available at Amazon. Once you receive your hydrochloric acid ask an equally moronic friend to administer the corrosive liquid by dropping a few drops in to your ear. Make sure the acid gets deep into the inner ear. You may smell burning skin and bone. This is normal.
  • Suck the nasty out with a needle: If you think your ear may be infected you must act fast. Visit your local hospital or clinic and offer to take out their trash. When nobody is looking sift through the bags and find a few used needles. Shove that needle in your ear and suck up all that gooey goodness. Place the needle back in the sack and toss the trash out. Infection gone!