September 14, 2005

Attention, Public Radio International Legal Department

To: Garrison Keillor's Lawyers.
From: Mitch Berg, Everyday Schmuck.
Re: Intellectually-vapid property

Word has it that Garrison Keillor - he of the fortune built with the help of state and federal taxpayers and the decreasingly subtle hatred of those with whose politics he disagrees - has sicced you on a Minnesota community-blog that - heavens to murgatroid - is satirizing you.

The blog is a project of, among others, Chuck Olson - longtime MOB pal/nemesis (kid=can); the bloggers responding so far include Swiftee and, ironically, Scott Johnson at Powerline.

I'm no lawyer, and I'm no Swiftee. But I'd like to express my solidarity with the MNSpeak folks in my own humble way.

It was a quiet week in Lake Sadsack.

Harrison "Harry" Dweeler was always known as the local suck-up. He was the son of Bjarne Dreeler, who used to run the "Church of God" over on Third Street, and also drove a school bus.

Harry had gotten straight "b"s at Lake Sadsack High School, where he'd been the Secretary for the Student Council. He'd gotten a bit of a (deep breath) reputation; he used to wash Principal Bjorkstrand's car without being asked. But it wasn't about kindness; he also used to play practical jokes on kids that were smaller and weaker than he was. In gym class, he used to toss Arnold Arens' clothes and towel out in the hall while Arnold was in the shower and the girls' gym class was dismissing and walking through the hallway. Arnold was, as they say (deep breath) a "little slow", and he'd sit and curl up on the floor by the door and cry and hope that some kind soul would get his clothes. Eventually, someone would - but Harry would be cackling about it for days with the other guys in the Star Trek club. In a few weeks, Arnold would forget about it, and Harry would do it all again.

It was a pattern Harry continued when he went away to Bemidji State; he'd suck up to professors and administrators; he'd be polite to the point of obsequiety to other students from whom he thought he had something to gain; as to everyone else...

...Bryan Tostengard told Becky Gunderson that Harry used to plant evidence against his rivals on the Student Senate at BSU. It seems (deep breath) that he took that sort of thing awfully seriously.

He graduated and came back to Lake Sadsack and got a job with Buckthorn County as the code enforcement officer. This didn't make him any more popular with the people who'd known him. Worse yet, he was one of those people who just *loves* planning and zoneing meetings, and who'd go to county commission meetings to chide people into voting for more money for...well, the County Code Enforcement office.

He also started writing a little column for the Lake Sadsack Tattler. It was a little bit of gossip about the locals, a little bit of sucking up to the people on the County Commission that controlled his job - and a lot of really snide snarks at Noel Corman, the head of the Lake Sadsack Republican Party. One of his columns started like this:

I think it was Shakespeare who said "all those lawyers oughtta be dead. Now, there are good lawyers in Lake Sadsack - Humphrey Huberty of the County Commission and Wells Paulston of the Mayonnaise Advisory Council being great examples. But I heard that Noel Corman is going to hell...

Well, that's the news from Lake Sadsack - where men are self-consciously solemn and unctuous, the women wear alpaca and drive Volvos, and the children (deep breath) go to Macalester".

He was accused of writing his column on the County clock - but most people around Lake Sadsack figured that if he was writing his column, then he wouldn't be writing you up for having a forbidden color scheme on your window treatments, as was (deep breath) his usual wont"
How about this?
On the third floor of the Acme Mall, in a city that knows how to keep its mouth shut - it's Sam Symbolic, Private Eye!

I was sitting in my office, watching a couple of cockroaches wrestle over what was left of a Cobb Salad from the Fastpack Diner downstairs, when I heard a knock at the door. It was (deep breath) a woman, with legs running all the way up to her arms.

"Hello", she said. "I need a to find a man".

"At your service", I said, standing up slowly.

"No, I need someone to find a particular man..."

How about this?
The Beer Advisory Board reminds you that Beer includes natural intoxicating agents! Sing along!
Has your family tried it, Sadsack Beer?
Has your family tried it, Sad Sack Beer?
Well if you're family's on it, then
you're knee-deep in their vomit
it's a liquid projectile comet,
Sad Sack Beer...
There's gotta be something in there you can raise a legal stink about. No?

How about this:

Mitch Berg Presents:
A Prairie Taxpayer-Funded Home Companion!
Maybe the NARN needs to do its long-planned Prairie Home Companion spoof. Maybe we need to rent the Fitzgerald to do it in...

Posted by Mitch at September 14, 2005 04:34 AM | TrackBack

Don't forget PowderKeg Biscuits -- "Exploding flavor in every bite" (in the big red box with "TNT" on the cover, or the leaky brown bag that attracts bomb sniffing dogs).

Just think of the income opportunities for Lake Sadsack gear!

Please, please, PLEASE do a Dreary Home Combatant parody on NARN!

Posted by: Nancy at September 14, 2005 07:30 AM

I always appreciate Shot-a-lanches Mitch, the URL for my take is actually:

Posted by: swiftee at September 14, 2005 09:07 AM

PRI is a separate company that does distribution for a variety of public radio programs--Garrison's company is independent.

Posted by: Michael Lomker at September 15, 2005 08:07 PM
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