Saturday, May 19, 2007

Saturday Snapshot 1 - Motel 7

For your weekend viewing and discussion pleasure, I am unveiling a new weekly series in my blog where I will take photo(s) of area landmarks and post them here for your amusement. There is no shortage of this kind of thing around Minnesota. We're weirdos and we're proud of it.

On a trek back to NoDak, The Rockette and I stumbled across a motel along the way that caught our eyes: Motel 7 (which I'm assuming is one step up from Motel 6).

The marquee sign out front boasts Wi-Fi and HBO as well as 70 TV channels. If they would have said they had, say, 3 pop machines we would have so stayed there! But is that enough to fill those vacancies?

Motel 6's famous slogan is "We'll leave the light on for ya." My guess is Motel 7's would say "We'll leave the vibratin' bed runnin' for ya."

What slogan do you think would sell Motel 7? What amenities might it have that I forgot to mention?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Get your geek on

All it took to rock the Rocky Road Scholar from hibernation was one sweet unsolicited email invitation. But why would anyone ask a 37-year-old, 340-pound married man to prom? Even something called Geek Prom?

Saturday's 2007 gala at the Science Museum in St. Paul marked Geek Prom's sixth year (second in the Twin Cities) and offered a chance for one and all over 18 to get their geek on!

But in the days leading up to the event, I still worried the email had to be a set-up. I was sure I would be greeted by some jailbait decoy holding a laundry basket, telling me to go wait in the kitchen and to help myself to the fresh pitcher of lemonade. Next thing you know NBC Dateline's Chris Hansen comes walking out with a TV crew asking me what the hell I'm doing there.

I'd try to tell him I'm there to go to Geek Prom. He'd scoff that I was trying to pass myself off as a geek when he has hard evidence that I'm only a nerd, dork or spaz at best, and that I am the latest perp in his new "To Catch A Wannabe Geek" series. I'd try to make a run for it only to be tasered in the front yard by the St. Paul Police and Ramsey County Sherriff's Departments.

My wife, The Rockette, assured me I could seal the Geek Prom deal because I still own several thousand comic books despite an almost constant sale on E-Bay of these childhood treasures. So I immediately invited The Rockette to be my date, since she never had the displeasure of going to an actual high school prom with me. We would travel via my 12-year-old piece-of-shit car (sounds just like high school!) and my mission for that evening would be to try and charm the pants off of her. And if that didn't work, try to Lucky Charm the pants off of her at breakfast.

I had the perfect attire to wear - A lime green sport coat with flourescent lapels and glittery sun and cactus decorative designs painstakingly made for me by a seamstress from a Fargo, N.D., trailer park.

Once we arrived at the event, I didn't feel overdressed. I blended right in with the train engineer, Darth Vader, the Nintendo freak, the Ninja, the pirate, and all the geeky girls.

One of the first chic geeks to catch my attention was that hottie from the Scooby Doo gang. No, not Daphne. Velma. Remember: I'm a geek.

It was nice Velma could take some time off from ghost chasing and solving mysteries to join the Geek Prom Committee. That gaggle of geeks did a fine job of taking this idea and running with it, plus it gave me another opportunity to wear my green jacket somewhere besides church.

I must admit while talking to Velma, I was overcome with the urge to knock her glasses off (gently and "accidentally", of course) just so I could watch her crawl around looking for them for a while, but my wife and two St. Paul police officers were standing a few steps away, so I refrained.

Fifteen minutes later, I spotted a lady with one of the most appetizing accessories I've ever laid eyes on. It looked just like a birthday cake, complete with the bulb-lit candles.

"I just love that hat," I said. "It looks delicious."

"Today's my birthday!" she giggled.

"Can I close my eyes, make a wish and blow you out?" I joked.

"No, but you can give me a kiss!" she said.

"I would love to lick your frosting, but I'm married. My wife is right over there ready to take our picture..."

I swear that jacket has geeky chick magnet super powers, but anyway, this lady's outfit took the cake for me - very clever. The only thing that would have made it better would if she would have come with a friend dressed as ice cream. That might have been enough to get me interested in a threesome.

After walking by cardboard cut-outs of Captain Picard and Spock, I met a real-life Star Trek security guard and warned him he would probably die that night.

"You know all the dudes wearing red ended up dead when they left the ship," I said.

"That's OK," he assured me. "I actually killed a guy for this outfit. He was on an away mission so that rule applied only to him. I just borrowed the suit for the prom."

He also boldy made his hair go where no Trekkie's had gone before with that Afalfa/Ed Grimley thing going. He also got my vote for most photogenic of the evening - check out that geeky pose!

Three beers later, a hazmat team had to be called in for an odor investigation. There were some complaints of some sort of hazardous gas by the cash bar. The Rockette pointed them in my direction, assuming the smell was one of my beer farts. Since there was no one dressed up as a dog nearby, I blamed it on Darth Vader, saying I overheard him mumble something about the "power of the dark side" and "a disturbance in the force" before the odor presented itself.

Later, I thought I ran into King Vitamin and was going to lodge a complaint on why his cereal and Quisp cereal are so hard if not impossible to find these days. What a geek I was. He was actually Eric Houston, the reigning Geek Prom King of 2006, there to relinquish his crown. He still posed for a picture with me despite my lack of celebrity identification skillz.

I wasn't totally off in that department though as a few moments later I spotted Ross Raihala, pop music writer for the Pioneer Press. Since I've lived under a rock much of the last 8 months, Ross' writings have kept me in tune with the local music scene, so I thanked him for that.

I also had the pleasure to meet Rex Sorgatz, of MNSpeak fame. Rex added my blog to MNSpeak's aggregator a couple of years ago and exposed my attempts at humor writing to a wider audience, so it was a pleasure to finally meet him in person. He's a very funny guy.

"I didn't really need to dress up because I work for Microsoft," he said. "I figure that's geeky enough."