With The Curds
moved out here to gamble: could we live an hour from a
large Midwestern city and still retrieve enough information
to stay urbane?
It's not exactly the pastoral dream I thought it would
be. There are a lot more gunshots and drunks driving trucks
who don't have a lot to live for. The horizon out here
is totally depressing. I wish I were in a coulee, holler,
valley or a womb of redwoods and ferns but then I see
myself dictating my surroundings like a woman in Barney's,
"Oh no, that prairie horizon will not do at all."
So I just find a gully on our property where I can hide
After getting a black eye at a Clash show, kicked down
the stairs of a punk bar for being disorderly, sleeping
with Nick Cave, Captain Sensible and a hundred others
with far fewer recommendations, I find myself getting
a bit worked up when my favorite morning classical DJ
announces an upcoming Edward Elgar piece that promises
to be "rousing." Afterwards, I think, why yes,
Steve, that WAS rousing, thank you!
we watched five gay men overhauling a straight one
on TV. Then we went to dinner at a local supper
Ellsworth, it's a given: cheese curds are served deep-fried.
At the St. James hotel in Red Wing, which is the fancy
place in town, cheese curds are presented sans batter
in the center of a fresh fruit plate with a honey sauce.
That's hot cuisine around here. Tonight we watched five
gay men overhauling a straight one on TV. Then we went
to dinner at a local supper club. If you don't know what
a supper club is, think of a mobile home with
neon sign, hanging planters with plastic geraniums and
marigolds and five acres of gravel parking lot that are
never enough for all the pickup trucks and Suburbans on
Friday night fish fries. We went there because it's only
five miles from home and that's the nearest place we've
The cognitive dissonance between the assumptions of the
Manhattan set and the ironed-jean farmers around me was
palpable. Then I heard the people at the table next to
ours start talking about "Queer Eye For a Straight
Guy," and my little country homily crumbled to shit.
All because TV frequencies are now shot into space and
then soaked up by dishes all over rural America.
So now my dilemma is, should I cut Scott's hair off, now
that he admitted (during "Queer Eye") that he
wouldn't mind it? Dilemma #2: Money. Why can't we just
print some money and live in our own 20-acre country?
Once again, fantasy saves the day. But the number one
survival tip for living in modern rural Wisconsin is this:
if you don't have an Internet connection, you can get
your lingerie at the Super Dollar Store. It's all XL and
made of super absorbent cotton and there are usually some
pretty good Taz and Grave Digger panties.