Grand Rapids, MI–Overcome with awe and nostalgic flashbacks to middle school dances, area woman Lizzy Banks yelled “OHHHH!” as each new song on Spotify’s “Guilty Pleasures” playlist pulsed through her friend’s car speakers while the two drove across town yesterday. Car driver and friend to Banks reported that he initially thought the yells were some indication of the song’s quality, but quickly realized that she reacted the same way to every song that started playing without exception, even to objectively bad songs like “London Bridge” by Fergie. “When she asked if she could DJ, I thought she might be taking requests,” Banks’ friend remarked. “She did not.” Sources confirmed that later that evening at the club, Banks yelled “OHHHH!” with each new song the DJ played, though when she didn’t hear her request, she drunkenly berated the DJ until he agreed to put on “Sk8er Boi.”
Only choosing 8 Insta-worthy spots in Faribault was the hardest. Decision. Ever! But after much deliberation, we’ve settled on the must-see attractions sure to ignite your (and your Insta followers’) wanderlust. Rev up those engines (just like the trucks in Faribault are!) and make this adorable southern Minnesota town a destination on your summer road trip.
- Family Video
Throwback Thursday! Many consider video stores a thing of the past, but this real-life Family Video, located smack dab in the middle of downtown Faribault, is beating the odds and still renting out all the hottest new release DVDs. Your followers are going to be foaming at the mouth with jealousy for this one!
- The Faribo Mall Merry-Go-Round
For just 75 cents, you can enjoy a one minute ride on the World’s Smallest Merry-Go-Round. And–life hack!–you can even take a photo on this jaw-dropping attraction for free. Forget your DMs–your Instagram followers will be practically hunting you down and stalking you to your place of work to find out where you found this thing.
- The Pet Wash
You simply cannot pass through Faribault without stopping by the Pet Wash. Closed every day of the year, this local hot spot has inspired intrigue and curiosity, making each one of Faribault’s 23,000 residents wonder exactly which season the wash is closed for.
- The Faribault Mural
This mural has been ‘grammed nearly as many times as LA’s Pink Wall, and the lines start early here, too. Be sure to arrive before 7:00 AM if you want the place to yourself!
- The Signature Bar and Grill
All You Can Eat Cod Dinner Alert! The Signature Bar and Grill is the epicenter of Faribault’s nightlife, bingo, and seafood scene. Stop in Wednesday nights for bingo, Fridays for cod, and enjoy free popcorn and a rockin’ digital jukebox any night of the week. Just don’t be too disappointed if you have to endure 2 hours of heavy metal before Rock Lobster gets played!
- 4th Street Potholes
Oh, trust us–you’ll know when you hit these! Your car will probably break, giving you the perfect excuse to hop out and snap a pic with what has been called the Crater Lake of Minnesota. No shame in this Insta game!
- River Bend Nature Center/Faribault Jail
Adventurous types can enjoy a scenic hike at River Bend Nature Center, but don’t go too far, or you’ll end up at the county jail. On second thought…Do it for the ‘Gram!
8. Boxer’s Bar
Madison, WI–Exclaiming confidently that “one day she’d deal with that,” area woman Danielle Brook exited out of an email about her retirement fund and proceeded to browse Instagram’s “explore” page for 20 minutes while at work this afternoon. “I just figure that what I really need to do is sit back and let my 401K work for me,” she said. “I shouldn’t touch it too much.” Imagining that it’d be like when she’d write a paper in 10 point font and watch it magically grow when she enlarged it to 12 point font at the end, she assumed that one day decades from now she’d open her account and have plenty of money to retire comfortably. Her Instagram explore page, which featured photos of attractive women on beach vacations, tips about how to exercise the tricep, and videos of drunk college girls falling off tables, kept her blissfully entertained as her retirement fund exploded by $0.02 each month in the background, setting her up to retire by age 130.
Nothing brings people together quite like being the victims of a shitshow, especially at the hands of Sun Country Airlines.
I saw this bonding of humanity first-hand yesterday when I flew out of the Humphrey Terminal, or “the small terminal,” as it is informally known. This terminal is a joy because once you exit security, it takes maximum 5 minutes to get to your gate. There’s no tram to catch, no moving walkways, no stress. It feels like you’re in Margaritaville. OR SO I THOUGHT.
Being “the small terminal,” I cast aside my usual anxieties about arriving to the airport 2+ hours before my flight, deciding that I could begin my Uber voyage when I’d usually be arriving. Time of flight departure: 7:00 AM. Time on the clock? 5:00.
My Uber driver did his darndest to make it around the labyrinth of summer highway construction, but despite his best efforts, it made a dent in our time, and we rolled up at 5:45 AM. “No problem,” I reassured him. “It’s the small terminal.”
I strutted into the airport grinning, the words “today is the day I go to LA” thumping in my heart and plastered on my face. Ah, but what was that in the distance? Past rows and rows of empty baggage lines, I glimpsed chaos: hoards of people clumped in front of one desk, the group overflowing into the hallway.
No. I blinked, thinking maybe this was a desert mirage already.
Shouts and the sound of gunfire confirmed in was real.* When I got in the line for passengers with boarding passes, a line substantially shorter than that for general check-ins, I felt relieved. Phew, I thought. I’m in the right lane, there are only twelve people ahead of me, and it’s all going to be okay.
Minutes passed, which I knew because I kept impulsively checking my phone, resisting the temptation to text every person in my contacts “UGH GONNA MISS MY FLIGHT.” Then one of the desk employees called out in a strained voice, “All passengers for Fort Lauderdale, all passengers for Fort Lauderdale! Come up and form a line on the left side!”
The family ahead of me sighed. Kids, parents, and youth groups rushed under the line divider and formed a new line next to ours.
“This is ridiculous! They just keep pulling people!” The father in front of me exclaimed, looking around at the many lines. His daughter pointed to a woman in the other line who was wearing black and white patterned bell-bottoms. “We would have been right behind her!” She said with a smile on her face. That woman was only four from the front.
Time on the clock? 6:05 AM.
“All passengers for Atlanta, all passengers for Atlanta!” Another crew of neck pillow-clad jet-setters ducked under the line and dragged their suitcases past every other pissed-off passenger. The line had grown even more frenzied. A group behind me became particularly vocal as they observed the ebbs and flows of the crowd. “Are we moving forwards, or are we just getting closer together?” One woman asked after we took one measly step. “They’re just pulling everyone in front of our line! How is that fair?” “Sun Country used to be top notch, but it has really gone downhill.” Then the woman asked the guy next to her, “So are you flying to Boston for work or for fun?”
Wow. I had assumed they were lifelong friends, but evidently they had just met. Already the family in front and I had established we were both going to LAX, and that if they called our flight up, I needed to stick with them. “You’re part of the family for the day,” the mom said. In that moment, I was happy to be adopted. The mood there reminded me of scenes in apocalyptic movies like The Day After Tomorrow where the regular citizens are trying to escape and people are crowded together and turning against one another but also coming together to fight for their lives. In this case, the four overworked Sun Country employees were the rich and powerful, and they were feeling our wrath, our ignored discontentment bubbling over.
Soon enough, they called LAX to form its own line. It was 6:20. The family ahead of me looked back and nodded to be sure I followed their lead. A charismatic woman who oozed news anchor vibes filed in behind me and guided me from line to line as we continued to be moved around. I think I imprinted on her. “Good luck,” we all said to each other as we checked our bags and rushed to security, giving forlorn glances over our shoulders as if someone might be left behind and killed by the imminent natural disaster.
When we finally arrived to the gate, I saw the family; they’d stopped for coffee and tea after getting through security. “We made it!” The mother cheered when she saw me. On our flight, the news anchor woman stopped to ask about my trip on her way to the bathroom. While I did not enjoy that stressful experience and will never again neglect my duty to arrive 2 hours before a flight, even at the “small terminal,” I was glad to meet those people, and I hope they’re enjoying L.A.
By the way–I’m in L.A. to take a West Coast road trip with my lifelong friend, my partner in debauchery and class projects, my Nathan Fielder’s-wife-to-be. She lives in Los Angeles, so we’re starting here, then journeying up the coast to Vancouver, B.C. beginning tomorrow. Stay tuned for stories of eating, praying, and loving!
*There was not actually gunfire, but it FELT like there could be.
Does anyone else find sleeping on an airplane ridiculously uncomfortable?
Here’s the way it goes for me: lean back against the headrest; fold tray down and rest on arms (facial orifices just inches from unimaginable germs left from laptops, kleenex, babies, etc.); inevitably jerk awake as hurtling towards the stranger in the next seat. Repeat.
Last February, with a big trip to Jamaica coming up, I decided it was time to rectify this situation once and for all (without springing for SkyMall’s monstrous face rest). So before flying off to the Land of Wood and Water, I decided to pick up a needle and thread for the first time in a long time and sew my own neck pillow.
This only required a few simple materials:
- the ol’ needle and thread
- pillow stuffing
- fabric, which I took from an unloved pair of pajama pants wasting away in my closet
In case you haven’t noticed, the crotch of a pair of pants looks an awful lot like a neck pillow. (See Fig. 1.)
In an effort to keep things as simple as possible, I cut out the crotch of the pants, and voilà! The inside of the pillow was already stitched! (I might not advise this approach, but more on that later.)
The process was easy-peasy after that. I flipped the fabric inside out to conceal the seam, and used a simple running stitch to sew the pillow together. About halfway through, I flipped the pillow right-side out and continued.
As I pulled through that final stitch and tied it off, I marveled at the final product. Wow–it looked like a crotch!
Baby Shorts or not, when I placed this baby around my neck and rolled my head around it to test it out, it was a fluffy, magical cloud.
So, did this neck pillow live up to all the expectations I had? Did it solve my sleeping woes?
Not really. I’m becoming more convinced that neck pillows just weren’t made for the sleeper self-conscious about conking out with her head back and mouth agape. (Spiders: need I say more?) That being said, this makes for a really cozy sleeping pillow. En route to Jamaica, I ended up resigning myself to putting it on the tray table and sleeping there, hunched over again. However, it worked perfectly as a barrier from the germs.
If neck pillows do work for you (and I hope they do), go ahead and make your own, and let me know how it goes for you! Also–if you have tried that monstrous sleeping face rest from SkyMall magazine, will you tell me how you like it?
I found myself in a manic fit of creative energy the other day, the type where I MUST. MAKE. SOMETHING. NOW! I could have turned to baking, to drawing, or even to–I don’t know–writing?
But no. This was the type of fit where nothing but crafting something with an empty Zicam bottle would quench my artistic thirst.
Luckily, I had one on hand. Taxed with the mission of deciding what to create with it, I let my mind wander. The best it could come up with was “roll it in loose tea leaves and see what happens.”
Well folks, this is what happened:
I’ll give you a moment to collect yourselves. I know it is hard to handle.
Whew-ee! Is it hot in here, or what?
Not to brag, but to call this a work of genius would be an undersell. This is a tour de force of creativity on the level of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and a classic that rivals Homer’s the Iliad. I usually don’t like to toot by own horn, but I think this piece warrants it.
You might be asking yourself “what is it supposed to be?” If it has to be anything, here are some ideas:
- It is a decoy bottle used to drop off small illicit materials, such as expired Hit Clips. One simply slips the contraband inside the bottle and leaves it in a dirt patch somewhere. Blends right in!
- It is a fake ant hill. An upgrade from the Whoppie Cushion, this is a prank that’ll leave your friends in hysterics, especially when you put it right next to the kitchen table.
Ultimately, these two could work, but what I really think it is is a conversation piece. Everyone needs one in their home, right? Something that gets people chatting, laughing, ogling.
This. Is. That. Piece.
I can’t tell you how many times friends and guests alike have said “Wow, what the hell is that?” or just screamed in response. Instantly, we have something to talk about, and soon they’re marveling at my creative prowess. Just the other day, a couple of friends were over for tea, and one of them caught sight of the Majestic Ant Colony. “Uhhh, what is this?” Her awe was obvious. I told her exactly how I made it, and she responded, “Wow, you would think this looks good.”
I’m taking that as a compliment!
Anyway, I won’t make a tutorial for this thing, because what is there to explain? Just go batshit crazy for 10 minutes, and there you have it: a conversation piece sure to impress and amaze.