janklow stars in … MINNESOTA: Journey To The Center Of Time And The Northern US

as some of you may know, our hero janklow has been on vacation for the past week (or so) in the wilds of Minnesota, sort of kind of voluntarily. i really dislike taking vacations when no one is around to feed my cochons d’inde, but on the other hand, i haven’t been up to visit at the Indian reservation where my grandfather has his lake house in a decade (and at the time, not only were my last remaining great-grandfather AND my dog still alive, but they also drove up with me at the time), so i said “fuck it, i’ll make a vacation checklist and go.” the checklist:

[x] drink rum (or maybe beers) and smoke cigars
[x] defeat my aged grandmother at golf
[x] take a photo of the greatest Finnish guy ever
[x] sprint like a madman across an annoying airport (possibly for no reason)

so you can tell it was a great trip! now let’s have a boring talk about it!

chapter I: our hero journeys north!
driving north with a car full of old people and a janklow filled with caffeine is admittedly not the greatest plan for one awesome drive (luckily these old people are awesome), but it did remind me of some great truths about America. some specifics:

-Ohio is a wide, wide state; i estimate its size as approximately 2000 miles across. now, the “maps” tell me this is not the case, so either they’re correct (unlikely) or there’s some kind of time-and-space vortex caused by cornfields.

-so, Wisconsin has a massive amount of cheese (no surprises there) and so i understand why there are constant signs advertising the various brands (mainly location-based) of cheese for sale. very logical. but i do not understand why one building – and i really wish i could recall the city this was in – had a roughly 20 foot by 10 foot sign saying only “CHEESE.” and below it, this only about 10’x5′, “SANDWICHES.” just saying cheese without clarifying the issue makes people get excited? this must be why my grandfather identified Wisconsin as “the most communist place in America.”

-tangent: graffiti in America is very, very unoriginal, especially in two places – bathroom stalls and anything like a wooden railing. bathroom stalls are sounding boards for various racist commentary and drawings i can only describe as “wangs and stuff.” and the railings are all about who loves who and who was here and maybe “JB 4 EVER!” now i admit that these are generally not the musings of rocket scientists, but no matter what state or city you are in, this is all people hack into their surroundings. seriously, step your game up, vandals!

chapter II: the great state of Minnesota
after arriving and discovering that my internet connection method did not work (we were probably on top of an ancient Indian burial ground or something), i settled in for a week of doing nothing, drinking moderately heavily and teaming up with my sister’s boyfriend to dominate my grandmother’s team at golf. however, before all the booze kicked it, i DID take some pictures (as i sort of promised). for starters, while wandering around in a shed, i found these:

JARTS!
i was shocked (and amused). my grandmother says they’re supposed to be a fun game for adults! i inform her about the whole “you cannot buy these things anymore because they are banned now” thing, which is sort of awesome in my opinion, but she is not impressed. but she also once threatened to murder any goats i buy, so, you know, you have to watch out for her. also, as promised:

JARTS!
as agreed, a photo of the greatest Finnish guy ever! note: my directions for this photo were “make like we’re signing an important document.” he appears to be taking it very seriously, but i appear to be high or at least drunk, which is mainly sad in that i wasn’t, as i was focused on pretending to sign documents with Finnish guys.

also, at some point in here i was literally wandering through the wilds of Minnesota with my grandfather trying to find an unmarked, secret Indian cemetery (i can’t make this shit up), but we didn’t find anything. which was good, if for no other reason than me not having a camera with me at the time.

chapter III: our hero journeys south!
so finally all good things related to Finnish dudes had to come to an end, and i flew back Monday (which i wanted to call “today” as that’s when i started writing this). however, there was all this concern about flying because, aside from the fact that i, like all midgets, hate heights (and thus, flying) with a passion, the Northwest pilots were apparently striking or calling out sick like that was their job or something, and the first leg of my trip was flown by NWA. i tried to clarify this point with people who, unlike myself, watched the news, but without success: apparently, when i’m on vacation, you can freak me out with half a news story, but not give me the full FACTS. however, it worked out okay because the flight out of Duluth was through a small airline that works FOR NWA, but is not actually NWA itself. side note: Duluth is a tiny airport that reminds me of that Mad TV sketch where Bobby Lee is a retarded guy that does everything himself, except that a) i didn’t see him anywhere and b) Duluth’s airport is much funnier than anything that’s ever been on Mad TV.

some random in-transit thoughts:

-Minnesota really IS the land of 10,000 lakes. but while some people note this and think “what impressive, beautiful scenery,” all it does is remind me of what audacious thieves the LA Lakers are. those assholes DESERVE Kobe.

-apparently in the Minneapolis airport, there is a Fox News Channel store (they may exist elsewhere, but this is the first one i have seen). now, i don’t watch cable news, but this is not about dumping on LOL FAUX NEWS or something. it is still weird to me, though, because a) MN isn’t a super-conservative state, and cities are generally less conservative than their surrounding states, and b) seriously, Fox News Channel needs stores? that sell airport knick-knacks in Minnesota? i learned that i don’t understand capitalism as much as i thought i did.

-tangent: sorry, traveling ladies, but you’re the rudest things ever. i may have mentioned past flights in past updates where you kept me awake and/or elbowed the shit out of me while sleeping. during this odyssey, you did the following: hit me with your bags, leaned into my seat to rest while waiting to exit a plane, kicked my feet like a spoiled two-year-old by going under my seat into my seating area, and never once said excuse me for anything, or thanked anyone for holding a door or anything else. seriously, step your game up, women!

so the first legs of this trip went well, until we got to…

chapter IV: fucking Chicago/O’Hare!
disclaimer: O’Hare has a reputation as one of the worst, if not THE worst, airport hubs ever (while, bragging a tad here, my home airport of BWI is a great hub), and i am here to assure you that, once again, i can confirm this. but here’s a big reason why it sucks so bad: because it’s crowded because NO ONE IS MOVING ANYWHERE. people, you do not need to walk randomly in slow clumps or stand in the middle of the hallways. FUCKING MOVE IT. but i digress.

so American drops me off late at O’Hare and asks everyone on the plane ending their trips in Chicago to wait and let people with close connections depart the plane first (not just i), which of course means that everyone ending their trip to Chicago tries to rush off the plane and causes even more slowness. next, it turns out that i’ve been told the wrong gate to meet my connection at, as the guy who works for American tells me. where is my flight departing from, i ask. “B terminal, so you won’t be able to make it. do you want me to put you on standby for our flight to BWI?” i tell this guy very confidently that, oh, i’ll make it. and then i become that Guy Who You May Have Seen Running Through O’Hare At A High Rate Of Speed If You Were There On Monday.

in fairness, lest i sound like some cocky jackass about this, i had a 100% track record of being right about this kind of thing, since i once ran across an airport (i think it was in Cincinnati) to catch a flight, which i then did successfully!

however, i missed my flight by about 38 seconds and then, while waiting for a supervisor and trying to get onto the flight somehow, i was shunted aside by a gentleman who a) apparently had been holding a boarding pass for three hours, b) didn’t board the plane for some reason, and c) then wanted to board immediately (!!!), which is obviously not going to happen when you start to yell at the counter personnel and drop classic lines like “you may be friendly in the skies … but you’re not friendly here!”

another supervisor not being yelled at by this guy rebooked me for the next flight and after spending some free time eating hamburgers and reading about Chechnya, i was freed to flight the friendly skies!

so i finally get off this plane at BWI and everything is closed (because at BWI we don’t play that open-24-hours-a-day shit on the piers) and i walk into a bathroom where half the sinks have been marked out-of-order by placing paper towels with the legend “DONT WORK” markered onto them. Chimes strikes again! and then, shockingly, i walk right out to the curb and the employee shuttle, which NEVER shows up promptly, shows up promptly and takes me (slowly) to my car. i am only going to say this once this year, so here it is: boy, was it good to be back in Baltimore (which is easier to say when no one shoots you or anything like that).

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3 Responses to janklow stars in … MINNESOTA: Journey To The Center Of Time And The Northern US

  1. Dorozhand says:

    cochons d’inde are Guinea Pigs?

    HOW did you search for the Indian cemetery???

  2. janklow says:

    cochons d’inde = guinea pigs, but in Frenchman talk, so you know, it’s much classier.

    we searched for the Indian cemetery like this: old guy recalls it “being around here somewhere” and a vague description; we pull his car over on the side of a winding road in the hills of northern MN; we wander through the woods looking for it near a road that “looks maybe like a road i know.”

    shocking that we did not find it, i know!

  3. Dorozhand says:

    If you are looking for unmarked graves, you could always use this lady: http://www.rootsweb.com/~nedodge/video/demo.htm
    or, if in Minnesota, look for a big mound (most native American burials there were in mounds, but they flatten out over the centuries). I’ve visited the Shell River mound site in Hubbard County. (About 1977 or so.)

    When I was young, I’d fish for walleye at Black Duck Lake, but then the resorts took over…

    There is still some wilderness camping up on the Canadian border, though. Great for canoeing: all the lakes are connected, or have short portages. Even some whitewater for decked canoes or kayaks. Wilderness camping at its finest. (It’s part of the Superior National Forest, now, I think.)

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