Minnesota: Can’t Complain

. . . and I’d like to add that I will cultivate a fruitless obsession with weather, become a font of weather clichés. I will wear the denim jumper, drive the Aerostar. I will little league, hockey and voice. I will drag my “Os” across the plains. I will be white, really white, all the way white. Grow bitter and pale like a flurry of aspirin. I’ll emote like a frozen stump. I will can’t complain. Gun in my mouth most nights, but can’t complain. Might rain, might snow. I will jog like a buffalo. I will run my lutefisk off. No more streaking. No more peeing on the sub-zero pansies.

I will date good Lutherans. No more hookers. I will marry a blonde woman. I will not be fussy. I’ll have ten blonde babies, name them all Olsen Olsen, send them all to St. Olaf, where they’ll all double-major. I will be decent. Give my dog-heart decency like a twice-boiled bone. My dog-heart . . . can’t complain. No more saying walleye tastes like ass. I will roost and fret like a Northfield father, my jogging stroller not filled with discount vodka. Kool-Aid for the blood of Christ. I will be a terrifying shirt and tie. I will pretend to like snow. I will hot-dish. I will potluck, make cheese-balls like haystacks, like moons. I will recycle my paper, my plastic, my cans. Throw the rest of my stuff in the river.

I will tweed and Swedish cars. I will make the meeting, the meeting, and all the bad coffee and bars. No more dispersing like a Baptist, like a turkey through the corn. I will stay and stay like there is no leaving. I’ll linger like the British Empire. I will shoot and holy buckets. No more fucking this or that. I will pilgrimage to the Mall of America. I will go with. I will crawl the last mile on my knees. I will join the Lutheran bell choir, ring my bell like my back ain’t got no bone. Might rain, might snow. Pumpkin-sized hail in Fairbault, but can’t complain.

I will ride to the Rice County Steam and Gas Show on a floating raft of fried cheese curds. I will heap praise on this year’s Miss Steam. You betcha. I will not use the phrase bovine horror. I will purchase the assorted winter squash. I will rhubarb. I’ll adapt to the absurdly large portions. I will goose-hunt with Jesse Ventura and let him smash me with a folding chair. I will not weep for murdered geese. I’ll be big and large and heartlandish. I will ATV to beef auctions, drive my snowmobile to chapel. I will carve a life-size butter gazebo complete with working swing. Might rain, might snow, but can’t complain.