Fancy Plans Guide to Minnesota

July 11, 2009

Due to made-up complaints about the lack of any real information and glaring omissions in our Guide to Wisconsin, our fake editor suggested that we be more thorough in our next guide. We responded, “I’m not sure if we can cover more ground, or do so with more accuracy, but we can certainly give you more words.” So here it is, in all its verbose glory, the Fancy Plans Guide to Minnesota.

Shortly after this lovely handcarved welcoming, Minnesota will also welcome you with a hefty speeding ticket

Shortly after this lovely handcarved welcoming, Minnesota will also welcome you with a hefty speeding ticket

Minnesota, the bleeding heart misfit of the Midwest, has always been willing to shake things up. Whether requesting vegetarian meals at the all-Midwest 4th of July Barbecue or hatching grandiose light-rail schemes like the little-Portland-that-could, Minnesota has always known how to put the “awkward” back into “awkward social gathering.”

As the only state Mondale carried in the 1984 election (remember kids, the District of Columbia is not a state: it’s merely a holding cell for politicians, lawyers and gun-toting criminals), Minnesota is routinely belittled for its election track record, which it refuses to better, thanks to its preference for C-list celebrity politicians.

Minnesota has pointed out to its Midwestern siblings that the 1984 election fiasco wasn’t aided by Mondale’s paint-drying personality or his selection of a power-hungry woman for a running mate. This really didn’t work until the 1992 election, when the powerful Clinton-Clinton ticket destroyed the original George Bush. With W.J. and H.R. running things, ornamental vice president Al Gore was free to write books, perfect his Powerpoint-fu and invent the internet.

Minneapolis' Most Famous Citizen: Corporate Division

Minneapolis' Most Famous Citizen: Corporate Division

As the larger and more thug-like half of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis is a true melting pot, bringing together several disparate cultures, most of them corporate. Whether it is members of their three professional sports teams, retail giants like Target or Best Buy or citizens of multiple nations displaced by city planning and gentrification, Minneapolis has it all.

Mall of America
In perhaps the United States’ greatest paean to mediocrity, Minneapolis is home to the largest mall in America, the Mall of America. Despite early indications that this would mean a greater variety of stores, the reality is that the Gap and the Old Navy now reside on five or six floors rather than the usual one or two.

Thousands of fascinating landmarks and businesses; none of them reachable by car

Thousands of fascinating landmarks and businesses; none of them reachable by car

St. Paul
The fairer (and more alcoholic) half of the non-fraternal Twin Cities, St. Paul has responded to Minneapolis’ Marcia-like domination by building the most contrary and diabolical street system known to man.

St. Paul’s unnavigable maze of one-ways, dead-ends and suddenly choked-off main arteries are the subject of much hatred and fear. Referred to by locals as the “Devil’s Grid” or “Fucking Bullshit,” this Escher-like conundrum is blamed variously on foreigners, early locals (mostly foreign) and Satan.

The average directions for a simple Point A to Point B trip become worthy of inclusion to the higher mathematics portion of the SAT and Mensa applications, what with their essay-length answers and complete mockery of solid measurement like “as the crow flies.” Even brute force computing remains stumped as MapQuest will routinely cough up solutions like “You can’t get there from here” and “DOES NOT COMPUTE.”

If you choose to battle St. Paul’s street system armed with a GPS, be forewarned that the screen will often begin flashing a pentagram overlay and the voice program will emit only bursts of Silent Hill-esque static and the screams of the damned.

Now under new Russian botnet ownership!

Now under new Russian botnet ownership!

Outlying Areas
Travelling a few miles north of the Twin Cities will bring you into the unmapped and barren Yukon Territories. Despite its presence in the U.S. for over 150 years, the area remained uncharted and sparsely populated, mainly due to its brutal winters and constant harassment of locals by rogue Mounties. Most likely contains a great number of trees and lakes, but even the most sophisticated satellite photos have shown little more than a thick cloud cover which brings the humidity to well over 100% in the summer (June-July) and hardens to a permanent ice cap during the winter (1858-present).

Travelling south will bring you to some of the famed institutions of the Midwest: the world famous Mayo Clinic, located in the Rochester Medical Complex and something that goes great with Mayo, the Spam Museum located in Austin, Minnesota (Austin was asked to leave the Republic of Texas due to its left-wing sympathizing and yearly hipster influx during the South by Southwest Music Festival).


Lavender and gold - the manliest colors in the spectrum

Lavender and gold - the manliest colors in the spectrum

Minnesota Vikings
Run by entrepeneur and hafling Zygi Wolff, the Vikings are the perennial also-rans of pro football. The Vikings take the field dressed in the most manly of colors, purple. A succession of faulty quarterbacks (rivalled only by the Chicago Bears) generally turns the Metrodome into a thunderous arena of boo’s. The Viking faithful return every year, with the hope that this may be the season in which they return to the glory days of the ’60s and ’70s, when they were known as the second best team in pro football four times.

As the season winds to a close, they are usually lucky to be the second best team in the NFC North. The offseason is usually spent (by fans and players alike) drinking heavily, being arrested for boat-related sex scandals and brainstorming with the Buffalo Bills.

The Twins mascot, some sort of a large rodent, welcomes the EMT crew to the lower level "Hard Drinking" section

The Twins mascot, some sort of a large rodent, welcomes the EMT crew to the lower level "Hard Drinking" section

Minnesota Twins
Hailed as overachievers due to the team’s lack of New York type money to throw around, the Twins actually tend to achieve exactly what their payroll numbers would indicate: an outside chance at a wildcard spot and an offseason of dollar stretching and coupon clipping.

The Minnesota Wild, featuring a panther that has gone feral due to a large, yellow brain tumor

The Minnesota Wild logo, featuring a cougar or something that has gone feral due to a large, yellow brain tumor

Minnesota Wild
The Minnesota North Stars, having played for several years in the most unlikely arena (Dallas, Texas), have recently been supplanted by a new hometown favorite, the Minnesota Wild. Named after an adjective, the Wild are among the latest in a new wave of pro team names that mean nothing but look pretty fuckin’ sweet as a 4-color logo.



  1. Minnesota sounds lovely.

    Actually, I’d love to be there this time of the year, as long as I don’t have to drive through St. Paul.

    • It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. A long summer in Minnesota will have you reminiscing fondly about your 110-degree “dry heat.”

      Do stay out of St. Paul. You can’t go wrong there.

      Always great to see you, CC. Thanks for stopping in.

  2. No mention of The Melismatics?

    Oh CLT, CLT, CLT. An oversight?

    The Melismatics formed from a protean proton and a wayward atom at the turn of the century in the rampantly and constantly fertile killing fields of the Minneapolis indie-rock scene. Their debut album “Why Do The Capitalist Lion Tamers Refuse To Acknowledge? quickly caught the attention of college radio stations but was snubbed by capitalists, lions, lion tamers, critics and Captialist Lion Tamers around the world.

    Shortly thereafter, Minneapolis indie-rock king pin Ed “Crazy Priapism” Ackerson (The Not Sloan Cover Band, The Raging Purple, Penis Feeders) signed the band to Death Erection Records and produced their next two albums “Newt Infection” and “Lame Second Outing” The Melismatics toured the country in the trunk of a van and continued to win loyal disinterest from their high-energy minions who had nothing to do with them.

    After releasing three albums, having their music featured on MTV’s “Crap Reality Show #396, and NBC’s “6 pm News with Some Anchor” The Melismatics have now released their latest effort an “How To Write A Resume” DVD. Sales have not been brisk. The band is currently available to correlate paperwork.

    • Alan –

      As always, you make several valid and pointed points. There seems to be some correlation between these Melismatics and their continued snubbing from Lion Tamers throughout the years.

      The Not Sloan Cover Band stills sounds to me like Sloan, but only when they intertwine the male and female vocals.

      But as much as I’d like to write a clever riposte to Alan, it would be much simpler and much more honest to lay my shame bare in public (much as law enforcement has warned me against doing yet again).

      True… So very, very true.

      Just curious: You a fan of The Melismatics?

      by alantru April 17, 2009 at 10:31 AM

      I had no reply. The only thing I could think of was, “No. But that’s because I’ve never heard of them.”

      After further review, I’ll quote my brother after I sent him a Rapture album for his birthday: “I wouldn’t kick them out of bed.”

      I dig the stuff where they charge a little harder (Rite Where U Belong, Industry of Cool, It’s A Drag) more than their strummier Sloan-esque stuff. While I could certainly be persuaded easily to go see them on a free night, I’m not sure if I would consider myself a fan, at least not in the Natalie-Portman-pimps-the-Shins sense.

      My humble apologies, Alan. Thanks for the pointer. I’m always in the market for new music.

    • I agree, for me, the two stand outs are “Industry of Cool” “It’s A Drag” and “New Infection”

      But if they record “Newt Infection” I will go see them live.

  3. After reading this I called up my travel agent to begin the booking progress. After giving my destination, they laughed, (more like a snort) and hung up. What gives? Thought you could shed some light on this for me. I love Kirby Puckett!

    • Perhaps it was something along the lines of “What, you don’t have a mall in your town?” or “Are you aware that it’s reachable by automocar?”

      The snort was just the travel agent’s bread-and-butter: cocaine.

      Kirby was a great guy. There’s no denying that. Unless you’re just trying to use the women’s restroom without being groped or shop at the local mall without being exposed to an overweight man urinating.


      Always great to see you, RR.

  4. Expect a call from Lonely Planet, they will want to know all this stuff.

    And really CLT, between you and Alan Truitt, the rest of us bloggers seem lame. You two guys are the James Browns of the blogosphere…the hardest working guys on the web.

    • I’ve disconnected my phone in preparation. They’ll be forced to send either a.) a telegram or b.) a singing telegram. I hope it’s b.

      Thanks for the compliment, FJ. Someday Alan and I will find real jobs and the joyride will end. Until that day…

    • Herding hairy nosed wombats isn’t a real job? Sure, I get paid in wombats, but… I need to rethink my life.

  5. If those aren’t things to admire, what’s this infernal planet coming to?

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