Each month, I write a column for Transistor (http://www.transistormag.com) called CTRL+ALT+DULUTH. (Yes, it plays on the "duh-LOOT" pronunciation.) Below is the text from last week's issue:
When I moved to Duluth last year, I decided to forgo finding new sources for my favorite recreational drugs. Time to grow up and get high on life (or at least on household chemicals), I thought.
However, now that I am hooked on children’s television again, I just don’t see any way around scoring some new connections.
None of this is my fault, of course. This time around, I am blaming it on this much-ballyhooed switch to digital television we’ve been hearing so much about. (I’ll let Russ Stewart fill you in on any pertinent conspiracy theories.)
You see, I am temporarily between cable providers as I renovate The House That Swallowed My Life, so all I can get on my 13-inch rabbit-eared special is KLDH, PBS Eight and some channel up in the 50s that specializes in mock-turtleneck-clad evangelists.
(Actually, I did catch about 20 seconds of a scripted program on that channel the other night – long enough to hear this line: “What shall we do when the Pharaoh will not allow us to water our herds here?”)
This predicament becomes quite acute during the lunch hour, when my only choice is between a PBS Kids program entitled Big Big World and KDLH’s daily tummy-tucker infomercial back to back with The Bold and the Beautiful. Ordinarily, I am not averse to soaping it, but B&B’s got more worked-over gristle (Leslie Ann Down, Hunter Tylo) than the butcher’s counter at Super One. (Yeah, the one on 14th Ave. East. Bastards.)
So, of course I chose Big Big World and now I am totally addicted.
Have you seen this sh*t? Set in an enormous tree meant to symbolize the entire world, BBW is hosted by a talking tree sloth and populated by an eclectic complement of other animals (including a marmoset who’s a dead-ringer for Jake Gyllenhaal circa Donnie Darko) that look like Muppets but appear to be animated via CGI. It’s like watching a puppet show wrapped in a cartoon inside a virtual reality chamber.
Naturally, BBW’s critters live and interact in an orderly universe where differences are respected, people always do the right thing and city inspectors don’t cost you 700 f*cking dollars by insisting that you hardwire six smoke detectors within 10 feet of each other just because they can.
This is where the urge to find some solace (and achieve some parity) with the talking sloth comes in. I’m no animal biologist, but I am pretty sure that tree sloths acquire their laconic demeanor essentially by eating leaves that keep them higher than white pines all day.
OK, so it was a friend who told me this, and I think he was referring to koala bears, but I’m sure you see my predicament and understand why a simple growler of Special Ale can’t get the job done alone.
And with that I issue the invitation to all Twin Ports purveyors of fine pharmaceuticals and assorted organics. To borrow a phrase from an old friend who also knows a thing or two about the land of make-believe: Won’t you be? Won’t you be? Please won’t you be…my dealer?