April 26, 2005

A Pre-Emptive Nick Coleman Column

Based on this bit of news, I figured I'd be a nice guy and write a Nick Coleman column so Nick doesn't have to. You're welcome, Nick.

Light Rail Claims First (Of Many) Walking victims
Ventura's Folly A Scourge To Downtown Pedestrians
By Nick Coleman

The light rail tracks near 26th Street and Hiawatha Avenue S. in Minneapolis should still retain the gleaming glint of new steel but, alas, today those tracks are stained crimson by the blood of an innocent. Their only possible crime? Walking. You can't even walk nowadays without getting hit by a train, it appears.

And if you're poor, your chances of getting hit by the 5 p.m. Express are even better, because poor people are outside more, doing those outdoor things poor people do because they're poor. You could bet your jodhpurs that a modest bump up in taxes could prevent people, especially poor people, from getting hit by trains, but don't expect those fat cats in St. Paul to do anything like that.

Take heed, Minneapolis pedestrians, because the next train you catch could be your last. That faint "I think I can, I think I can," you hear riding on the winds may be the local #5, and what it thinks it can do is, it thinks it can kill you.

I stood idly by on that hallowed spot where the life was snuffed so cruelly from the now-broken body of the Unkown Pedestrian. The trains continued to whip past at 55 mph, their conductors refusing to even slow down out of reverence for the fallen. No time for the dead. The dead can't pay for train fares, so who cares about them?

As I stood there at that fateful crossing, a light mist washed over my face, as if God alone were weeping, when trainloads of commuters can't be bothered with such a somber observance. Places to go, you know. People to see.

The Unknown Pedestrian, however, will go to no more places, or see any other people.

I watched God's tears trickle down into the gutter, into the storm water drains that everyone has to pay a fee for now, which makes me mad for reasons I'm not entirely clear on.

While lost in thought, which isn't tough for me, because thought is such an unfamiliar locale, I was approached by an individual who asked me if I had a light for his cigarette.

No doubt he was going to go into one of those bars that isn't supposed to allow smoking, and smoke his little smokey smoke while not thinking adequately enough about the poor and the Unknown Pedestrian. He must not have realized he was talking with a Star-Tribune columnist, someone who knows stuff.

I didn't have a light for the cigarette-weilding lung assassin, but I engaged him in a little conversation. It turns out that Puffy McSmokesalot was actually Randall Simmons, 37, a nightwatchman for a local TCF Bank affiliate. I imagine that Simmons is probably on good terms with those wingnuts over at Powerline. Man I hate those guys, with their small manhoods and big cushy jobs. I'll never be their monkey. I'm nobody's monkey.

I asked Smokey Simmons about the Unknown Pedestrian who had been struck down and thrown 30 yards by a hunk of commuter metal that Governor WrestleMan Ventura shoved down Minnesota's throat all those years ago.

"Somebody died here?" asked Simmons in bemusement, sucking a long drag off his death stick, its cherry tip glowing like the hot tip of a lit cigarette. "Huh, I didn't know that. Bummer man."

Bummer man, indeed.

Mark my words, people of the Twin Cities--and you know who you are, because you live in the Twin Cities--there will be a lot more bummer men slated for the slab thanks to the rumbling commuter death wagon that is the Twin Cities light rail system.

All aboard, my faithful reader. All aboard.

UPDATE: It appears even I can't write Coleman copy quite as "uniquely" as Coleman can. From Coleman's column today:

What have we learned, class, about free speech after listening to Coulter call Democrats traitors to the country, threaten to give a Muslim student's name to homeland security and toss insults faster than a kid with a Dixie cup full of fish parts can toss herrings at a seal exhibit?

What the hell?

Posted by Ryan at April 26, 2005 03:57 PM

Laughing.... so.... hard.....

Posted by: Rick at April 27, 2005 09:05 AM





Posted by: LearnedFoot at April 27, 2005 10:18 AM

Awww, gosh, thanks, but I have to give some credit to Coleman for being such an inspiration.

On second thought, I'll take all the credit.

Posted by: Ryan at April 27, 2005 10:24 AM

toss insults faster than a kid with a Dixie cup full of fish parts can toss herrings at a seal exhibit

I feel a powerful temptation to just stare at this phrase, like I'd stare at a naked woman with snarling mouths where her nipples are supposed to be. It looks like a simile. It's structured like a simile. But something is deeply, horrifyingly wrong.

Posted by: Joshua at April 27, 2005 01:21 PM

It really makes you wonder if they even attempt to edit his columns, or if they just read it, shrug indifferently, and send it on to the production department.

You know, I've seen some guesstimates being thrown around by people who have worked at the Star-Tribune, regarding how long Coleman has worked there, how much starting beat reporters make, and how much they can expect to make once they attain the level Coleman has. It's been postulated that he makes around $50k a year, as a low guess.

$50 a year to write: toss insults faster than a kid with a Dixie cup full of fish parts can toss herrings at a seal exhibit

The world really is not a fair place.

Posted by: Ryan at April 27, 2005 01:32 PM

that was amazing, i love reading when you ridicule his work, but this. this was just pure genious.


Posted by: Deb at April 28, 2005 11:10 PM
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