There are 8,499,999 stories (plus 1) in the Naked City. You are about to read one cheery Midwesterner’s!


Welcome to New York!

KH of White Bear Lake reports: “Our daughter moved to New York City to start a job in Brooklyn in August.

“One piece of advice she was given was that New York was not the Midwest: When you meet people on the sidewalk, you do not make eye contact, and you do not say anything.


“She drives to work and ends up walking about three-fourths of a mile, mostly through a residential area. The first thing she decided was she was not going to change the way she greeted people.

“On her morning walk, she usually sees a somewhat older gentleman walking with his dog. In August, when she would smile and say ‘Hi,’ he would scowl. The same was true in September and October. By November, the scowl was gone. She would not be deterred. Each morning, she smiled and said ‘Hi.’ Then one morning, in late December, he smiled and said ‘Hi’ back to her. It had taken her about 100 attempts, and she said it made her day.

“Since that day, he seems to look forward to their ‘meeting.’ He is always ready with a smile. Of all the things she has accomplished in her short time there, this is the thing that she is most proud of.

“Her philosophy is: 1 down, 8,499,999 to go.”

Here & There

LeoJEOSP: “My wonderful daughter was born in 1982. At the age of 21, she left Minnesota to seek her fortune in a warmer climate. She now works at a large hospital in Philadelphia. [Bulletin Board muses: Marginally warmer, we suppose — meteorologically speaking, anyway.]

“I read on her Facebook page that she attended her first hockey game last night.

“It seems strange that a Minnesota native would not see her first game at the Met Center or the Xcel Center, but at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia!”

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: Here’s how old we are. It seems strange to us that the Flyers aren’t still playing at the Spectrum (or at some other “building” not named after a corporation)!

The vision thing (Headline Division)
Or: Matinee Idle (responsorial)

LindaGrandmaSue of St. Cloud: “I’m definitely on Florida time.

“When I read the email notification midday today, I thought it said ‘Manatee’ — with whom I did swim yesterday. They are huge, gentle creatures of the ocean, who come inland via rivers, to relax in the warmer (72-degree) natural springs in central Florida.

“Kind of like us snowbirds.”

The kindness of strangers
Leading to: Know thy husband!

Mavis of Little Canada: “We’re in Florida again, for about the 20th year. We always did a lot of biking here (it’s nice and flat), but don’t seem to do as much anymore.

“We recently decided to take a spin around our RV Park. We were doing OK— and then stopped at the Park Office to pick up our mail. Getting off his bike, My Man got his feet tangled in his bike, and down he went — first hitting his head on the corner of a large planter and then on the road.

“He’s lying there, bleeding like crazy, and I’m a basket case.

“Suddenly a ‘guardian angel’ appeared, kneeling at his head with a handful of napkins and calmly saying: ‘I used to be a paramedic. Let me help you.’ Next someone ran out from the office and shouted: ‘An ambulance is on the way.’

“Oh, my. First came a firetruck, then the ambulance — all those wonderful men swarming around us. They packed him off to the hospital while two more guardian angels appeared with their truck, picked up our bikes, and gave me a ride to our little villa in the back of the park, so I could get my car. As I got out of the truck, thanking them, the woman gave me a big hug, saying: ‘I think you need this.’ I certainly did!

“So I drove to the hospital and got to the ER, where I found My Man lying on a gurney. A doctor began asking me lots of questions about his general health. I couldn’t think of much to say, and the doctor commented: ‘He must be in pretty good shape, since he’s 88 years old and still riding a bike.’

‘After an overnight stay for observation, the result was a concussion; no further injuries. But his bike is going up for sale!”


Immutable Laws of the Universe

Burnsville Zoolady: “If I am the only person in the locker room, the next person to come in will have a locker either next to or below mine.”


See world
Photography Division

Mounds View Swede: “I have made only two of my hundreds of BWCA fall slides/photos into digital format. I keep telling myself I really need to learn how to use the slide scanner I purchased, but getting it to work with my computer lessens my interest in actually doing that.

“Anyway, one of the popular [Jim] Brandenburg photos was of a canoe on the shore at sunrise or sunset. We tried several times to get a version of our own that would compare, or at least uplift. The first photo here is my best effort. My friend Coon Rapids Norwegian was always careful to get the canoe paddle in just the right position — to add to the photo the idea of being ready to go, kind of like an invitation. We needed the ‘right’ sky, of course, and surprisingly few met the criteria.


“I think we tried three times with this next lake, not far from the Gunflint Trail. Each time, we were rained out. Still, we paddled across the lake and scaled up the steep hill to get this view, one of my favorites. When I see this one, I realize I might have a treasure trove of other photos that could/should be shared for others’ enjoyment. I like the red-leafed small plant at the bottom, then the yellows as you raise your eyes. The river provides a path for your eyes to follow to the lake and the dimmer colors across the lake. The bright green lichens on the rocks help add interest as well. That way of thinking is how we determined which views had possibilities. We each worked independently of the other three, but all came up with photos that had merit.”




Highfalutin amusements

B. Dazzled of South St. Paul: “Subject: Alternative Facial Hair Facts — or: ‘Oh! What a Difference!’

“Another push developed recently to undo Minnesota’s prohibition of Sunday liquor sales. I posted a remark about it on social media, along with a few thoughts on the residual effects of the Volstead Act and 18th Amendment (1920-1933) along with their Minnesota connection (Rep. Andrew Volstead, R-Minnesota, 1903-23). I included a photo of the Volstead family with my post to make it more eye-catching and garner increased viewership.


“Being a supporter of Sunday sales, I might have been a little unfair to our esteemed former representative, by casting aspersions on his magnificent quantity of facial hair. I think that ‘a man with that much mustache is a man with something to hide’ was more-or-less the burden of my biased biography. I concluded my post with a joking aside, leaving it as ‘an exercise for the class’ to Photoshop Mr. Volstead’s mustache onto his wife and daughter.

“What I didn’t know was that Mikel, the talented teenager from Bilbao (in Spain’s Basque country) whom we had hosted last summer, is also an accomplished Photoshop wizard. Within 30 minutes, he had submitted and aced the assignment as well as an extra-credit effort featuring a new smooth, brisk look for Rep. Volstead worthy of a Burma-Shave poem! (Which I will leave as an exercise for anyone else who wants to have a go.)



“It just goes to show: Be skeptical of anything you see or read online. Except Bulletin Board!”

See world
Video Division (responsorial)

Friday’s Bulletin Board included a multimedia report by Wayne Nelson of Forest Lake: “ORANGUTAN BEDTIME.

“On a very recent trip to Como Zoo, my wife and I decided to take a walk over to the Primates Building.

“As I was watching the orangutans going about their business, this one caught my eye, so I had to take a short video of it trying to get ready for a little nap. Hilarious!”

We presently heard from Cindy Bindy of Woodbury: “The video of the orangutan getting ready for bed reminds me of what I must look like in my attempts to fold a fitted sheet!”

And from DebK of Rosemount: “Judging by the condition of the bed clothes left in the wake of Taxman’s daily power nap, I am prepared to alter my stance on the question of whether man descended from apes. Goodness knows, the tangle of quilts and throws and pillows left by Taxman every afternoon give evidence that he and Wayne Nelson’s napping orangutan have more in common than opposable thumbs.”

This ‘n’ that ‘n’ the other (responsorial)

The PaPeach: “I loved the video of the orangutan getting ready for a nap. Reminded me of me, either trying to fold bed sheets or getting fabric ready to cut for sewing! And in the end it looked like me in bed, all covered up and comfy.

“I am enjoying Mr. Torkildson‘s memories. Once upon a time, I wanted to go to Clown College. Probably a good thing I didn’t!

“And I am LOVING the new format of BB. The SPPP site was a huge frustration to try and read — too many ads running and clogging up the works! I also follow on Facebook and share the posts. I use the Firefox browser, and one of the add-ons is called Morning Coffee. It opens however many Web pages you set, as often as you want, with just one click. BBOnward is a daily, Mental Floss M-F and the ‘Two Lumps’ comic is M-W-F.”

In memoriam (responsorial)

Mrs. Patches of St. Paul: “The story from Tim [Torkildson] in the February 2 BB really hit me hard. Cried so hard! Thanks, Tim, for sharing so much of yourself with us over the past times through our wonderful BB.”

The highfalutin amusements

Friday’s Bulletin Board included a FWD’d “internet thing” from Harriet Levine: “This should be sent only to those whose level of maturity qualifies them to relate to it…

“1966: Long hair
“2016: Longing for hair

“1966: KEG
“2016: EKG

“1966: Acid rock
“2016: Acid reflux

“1966: Moving to California because it’s cool
“2016: Moving to Arizona because it’s warm

“1966: Trying to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor
“2016: Trying NOT to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor

“1966: Seeds and stems
“2016: Roughage

“1966: Hoping for a BMW
“2016: Hoping for a BM

“1966: Going to a new, hip joint
“2016: Receiving a new hip joint

“1966: Rolling Stones
“2016: Kidney stones

“1966: Screw the system
“2016: Upgrade the system

“1966: Disco
“2016: Costco

“1966: Parents begging you to get your hair cut
“2016: Children begging you to get their heads shaved

“1966: Passing the drivers’ test
“2016: Passing the vision test

“1966: Whatever
“2016: Depends ”

We presently heard from Aggie Girl: “I am relieved to know that I have not yet reached the ‘level of maturity’ to appreciate all of today’s BBonward. In fact, I am pretty sure I won’t ever get there, as I do not think I will ever appropriately relate to the Acid Rock and Long Hair references (though I obviously get the meaning). Glad to know I do not have to continue on to an additional level of maturity — this maturity thing is so tiresome.

“P.S. They had Disco in the ’60s? And my parents still decided to have kids?”

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: The “Disco” in that list was a reference to discotheques, not Disco music. Even so, and despite all of those other ’60s things, they decided to have kids. Now, that’s faith!

The Zucchini Wars
Off Season Division

Farmer Jeff: “Subject: The Zucchini Wars of February 2017.

“Somebody that I’ve come to know and trust recently stated the following: ‘We grew zucchini (on purpose) last summer.’ To quote Kurtz in ‘Apocalypse Now’: ‘The Horror!’

“And, as I’ve pointed out MANY times in my anti-zucchini raves, everything that we make out of zucchini tastes exactly like all of the delicious stuff that we add to the recipe and not a bit like the zucchini. But nobody listens to me. They just smile uncomfortably when I go into one of my raves.”

A joke for today

From Wayne Nelson of Forest Lake: “There was an elderly couple who, in their old age, noticed that they were getting a lot more forgetful, so they decided to go to the doctor. The doctor told them that they should start writing things down so they don’t forget.

“They went home, and the old lady told her husband to get her a bowl of ice cream. ‘You might want to write it down,’ she said. The husband said: ‘No, I can remember that you want a bowl of ice cream.’

“She then told her husband she wanted a bowl of ice cream with whipped cream. ‘Write it down,’ she told him, and again he said: ‘No, no, I can remember: You want a bowl of ice cream with whipped cream.’

“Then the old lady said she wanted a bowl of ice cream with whipped cream and a cherry on top. ‘Write it down,’ she told her husband, and again he said: ‘No, I got it. You want a bowl of ice cream with whipped cream and a cherry on top.’

“So he goes to get the ice cream and spends a long time in the kitchen — over 30 minutes. He comes out to his wife and hands her a plate of eggs and bacon.

“The old wife stares at the plate for a moment, then looks at her husband and asks: ‘Where’s the toast?'”

Band Name of the Day: The Zucchini Wars

Website of the Day: Fugitive Otter and “Pursuing” Wolves



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