December 13, 2009
My bumbling Bengals lost to the Vikings today in rather embarrassing fashion. I knew they were going to, but it was still disappointing. This is due to the fact that I also knew they were going to lose to Pittsburgh twice, Baltimore, Green Bay, and others. They beat 9 teams that I would have easily believed that they would have lost to, so why not beat the Vikings? Well, because they are not as good as the Vikings, that's why.
So speaking of Minnesota, I have told people in the past that I really enjoyed my 14 month stay in Bemidji, Minnesota. I worked for Kmart at the time, and was promoted from a store in Northern Kentucky, to the store in Bemidji. It was a 1000 mile move and took me away from my girlfriend/future bride, Beth. To this day, I wonder why I did it except that the people who asked me to go played into my ego by saying that I was the person they hand-picked for the position and that I could clean up the problems at the store. Since I then took 3 more promotions in the next 5 years based on the same criteria, I guess you could say my ego was kind of a mo. I cleaned up the store in Bemidji, went on to clean up a store in Buffalo, New York, and then cleaned one up in Erie, Pennsylvania, and then almost died trying to fix one in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I finally figured out that Beth and having a family was more important than playing to my ego after that.
Anyway, I really did like Bemidji. If you have never been there, it is (or was then) a town of 11,000 people. Almost everyone I met there was super nice, especially my assistant at the store, Carrie Moe. Ironic, yes. She was the one who taught me how you could assure the sex of your child, which is a "scientific" fact that I still quote to this day. If you need help in predetermining the sex of your baby, let me know and I can share this secret. As for everyone else in the town, they spent their time rooting on the Minnesota teams, drinking, and figuring out ways to play outdoor sports. The summer in Minnesota was on July 24th and 25th, so the rest of the year they were convincing themselves that it wasn't cold outside. In Spring, once it turned 30 degrees outside, the shorts started selling.
You may know that I am not fond of the cold, so when I pulled into town and parked at the motel, I should have known something was up when there was a post next to every parking space with an outlet. When I asked why, I was informed that this was where you could plug in your engine block heater. Pardon me?!? Apparently, this was just the beginning. I laughed when someone told me that the lake would be frozen over by Thanksgiving. It was not only frozen over, but people would drive their trucks out on it, build fish huts, and cut holes in the ice to fish. Inside these fish huts could be found heaters, televisions, and alcohol. One guy came into the store the day after building his fish hut on the ice with an ear that was red and swollen. When asked what caused it, he said he forgot to wear a hat and kept that side of his head towards the wind the whole day so only one ear would get cold. Did I mention the alcohol?
It was nothing for the people of this town to travel from Bemidji to Fargo, North Dakota or The Cities (Minneapolis/ St Paul) just to go shopping. Both of these shopping excursions took 5 hours to drive, one way. My wife and I moved from one part of Cincinnati to another because it took 10 minutes to get to the grocery store instead of the 3 minutes it takes now.
So, since this is a blog and not a novel, I will wrap up my feelings on the town of Bemidji by saying that both Beth and I enjoyed our stay there, brief as it was. We still talk about the Taco Juans fast food place, the bar we used to go to and drink Killians, the dog man, and the people we met there. They sure knew how to have a good time, though we don't remember all of it. Did I mention the alcohol?