The Brainerd bump and grind (5×8 – 10/14/11)

Homecoming hell, the Zamboni crew, news from the great unwashed, the things worth waiting in line for, and your moment of Minnesota Zen.


A record 450 students attended Brainerd High School’s homecoming dance last Saturday, and now, apparently, they’re the talk of the town. The Brainerd Dispatch reports getting complaints — quite a few of them — about the bumping and the grinding and the…. you know.

Principal Andrea Rusk had a classic response to the complainers: Try being a chaperone if you don’t like the way it’s done:

“Our chaperones are there circling around the kids to sit and watch and they graciously listen to pounding music,” said Rusk. “They don’t get too close because, to be honest, it gets really hot and smelly. We try to use our best discretion on what is bumping and grinding and what’s beyond that — they’re not allowed to make out. We certainly know that dancing in close proximity is how people congregate at dances.”

Of course, this relates to a NewsCut post earlier this week regarding the difficulty of being an educator and having to deal with parents and others, who’ll run to the newspaper with a complaint rather than speak up when the problem can be dealt with immediately.

It’s also a complaint not limited to Brainerd. Plymouth-Canton Michigan parents had the same complaints. “This type of dancing is everywhere — TV, movies, internet you name it,” one parent said. “The trick is how to keep it at an acceptable level because I don’t think parents or school officials can stop it.”

Most of the comments on the school’s Facebook page blamed the volunteer chaperones, with few condemnations of any parents.

A high school homecoming is always an invitation to controversy. In Osceola, Arkansas this week parents implored the school board to change the makeup of the queen’s court, 10 girls selected by the students. There were no African Americans in the court. The principal had changed the racial makeup of the court, dropping some girls and adding others, but the board rescinded the decision.


Thomas Lund and Aaron Hinnenkamp got a chance to meet Rich Mertz yesterday in a more pleasant environment than their encounter last week, when Mertz crumpled to the ice in a freak skating accident. Without Lund and Hinnenkamp, by the sound of the description in today’s Duluth News Tribune, Mertz would have bled to death. Lund, 21, was one of the Zamboni drivers at Amsoil Arena. As luck would have it – it was luck, right? — he’s also an EMT.


Tomorrow is Global Handwashing Day. The world’s biggest killers are often diseases that are transmitted simply because people didn’t wash their hands. That cellphone of yours? It might be a killer, a study in the UK reveals. Sixteen percent of those checked had E. coli on them. Want to guess why?


It’s pretty hard to bring the harvest in if you don’t have any diesel to run the equipment. Long lines of trucks and equipment were spotted by the Fargo Forum in West Fargo yesterday. There’s a shortage of diesel, made worse by the rush to finish road projects and the booming Oil Patch of western North Dakota.

At 6 a.m., “a man came up and told me I was number 60 in line” for fuel, (Burl Ingebretsen of Sabin, Minn.) said.

By 11:30, he was still a third of a mile from the terminal, and he estimated that another 40 trucks had gotten in line behind him, with some trucks queuing on the south frontage road.

“I’ve been doing this for 40 years, and this is the longest line I’ve ever seen in Fargo or anywhere,” Ingebretsen said.

Bob Murray of Grand Forks started out for the Fargo Magellan terminal about 3:30 a.m. and was number 54 in line by the time he arrived.

“It sucks!” he said.

Meanwhile, in the Twin Cities, there are lines at most Apple stores, the Pioneer Press’ Julio Ojeda-Zapata reports. The new iPhone 4S goes on sale today. Some of those in line are there to replace the product they stood in line to buy just a year ago.


(via @colinwirth)

Some of those people in line today may be BlackBerry users, BusinessWeek says. Research in Motion, the company behind BlackBerry, picked a bad week to have a major service disruption, it says.


From Preston, Minn.

Bonus: If you find a doctor who has a great bedside manner and can diagnosis your woes quickly, you might have an actor/actress to credit:

Bonus 2: Three years ago today: President Bush announced the government would buy into big banks.


A new exhibit at the Minnesota History Center focuses on the year 1968, a time of extreme turmoil and profound change in American society. Today’s Question: During your lifetime, what year has felt most like a turning point for the country?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: In his latest book, David Browne tells the story of 1970’s four most iconic albums, setting the life and times of each artist against the chaotic cultural backdrop of the day. Browne joins NPR’s Ann Powers to discuss how the ’60s ended and the ’70s began. (Rebroadcast)

Second hour: According to music critic Dorian Lynskey, protest music isn’t what it used to be. In his new book, “33 Revolutions Per Minute,” Lynskey looks at some of the best-known protest songs from Billie Holiday to Green Day and examines the cultural circumstances that produced them. Sociologist Richard Flacks joins Lynskey to discuss the history and future of protest music. (Rebroadcast)

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – Both hours:1 A JFK Library speech by Caroline Kennedy and highlights of historian Arthur Schlesinger’s 1964 interviews with Jacqueline Kennedy. The tapes were released this year on CDs and transcribed in an illustrated book titled, “Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy.” It’s #1 on the New York Times best-seller list.

Science Friday (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: A man who set off to build his own simple electric appliance. Plus, nanostructures made with DNA, a contest looks for student space experiments.

Second hour: A talk with writer Shawn Otto, author of the new book “Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America.”

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – What’s behind the rise of Herman Cain in the polls? Part of the answer can be found by checking in with some of the country’s most conservative voters. NPR will.

  • bench

    RE: #4:

    Today the UofM Goophers come up to Duluth for what is usually the biggest (rival) hockey weekend up here. As a student with gen admission tickets, I will be standing in line for hours in hopes of getting glass seats. Go Bulldogs!

  • Bonnie

    Having lost two days of my life this past week to the hell that is infection from food borne illness or similar…I will be promoting the heck out of Handwashing Day!

  • Melanie

    Re: #3 Ewwww! Gross. People should really stop answering the phone, texting, etc while in the bathroom. I’ve witnessed this many times in public restrooms.

    Just leave your phone in your pocket or purse until you are done and have washed your hands. Isn’t that common sense? Is it so urgent that responding can’t wait two minutes?

  • Jim Shapiro

    Re waiting in line for an iphone:

    Wouldn’t it be funny if apple was responsible for the blackberry problems? The old industrial espionage thing?

    Of course, couldn’t and wouldn’t ever happen…:-)