I’m Gay For Mayor Rybak

Between Minneapolis and Chicago is Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Once a year, Dad spends the week in Lake Geneva at Cancer Camp for Kids. He’s been doing this for 3-years. Last year, he started teaching the kids to cook. So this year, my brother joined him to make all the kids, and everyone on staff, made-to-order omelettes.

At 5am, Dad got up to prep. At 6am, he came back into the room where Joey and I were crashed out on bunk beds to get Joey. At 7am, Joey finally dragged himself out of his bunk. Dad was in the weeds, with 20-kids waiting for an omelette.

Usually, Joey’s the first person to bounce out of bed and cook. But he spent most of the night trying to fall asleep. At 7:30am, I was sent on a mission to find more plates. Dad and Joey were a hit.

I was in Minneapolis for Netroots Nation, a gathering of progressives started by the Daily Kos. It’s the best kept secret in politics. If Lollapalooza is where bands go to find their big break, then Netroots Nation is where political hacks go to shed the word “hack.”

I saw Howard Dean. I scream, you scream, we all scream for Howard Dean. I chitchatted with Al Franken. He’s good enough. He’s smart enough. And dog gone it, people like him. I met the mayor of Minneapolis, Mayor Rybak. I’m gay for Mayor Rybak.

The way he talks about his city is downright sexy.

By attending seminars, participating in workshops and taking-in all of the keynote speakers, I was trying to find for myself something which Dad found when he turned 67, a calling.

Away from the spotlight, with no crowd to applaud, Dad spends a week every summer teaching sick kids why cilantro is a perfectly legitimate ingredient for meatballs. Joey couldn’t disagree more. He kept asking Dad for a taco shell. Finally, Dad turned to Joey and scolded, “Not everyone gets your sense of humor.” I agree.

But it was sure funny. Once again, Dad and Joey were a hit.

Just before I left, Dad turned to me and said, “I don’t care how poor they are…sick kids should be kings. It blows me away how selfish senior citizens are. They just don’t care about anyone but themselves. Sick kids shouldn’t have to beg for a camp where they can be treated like kids. Sick kids shouldn’t have to beg for anything. Most of them come from difficult homes. It’s not fair. It’s not necessary. Sick kids should be kings.” Then Dad disappeared to help clean up the Rec Hall for dinner.

It took me 6-hours to get from Minneapolis to Lake Geneva, so I could spend the day with Dad at camp. Lord knows I love a good cause, but for the love of God, I wasn’t about to spend another night on that damn bunk bed.

It took me 2-hours to get from Lake Geneva to Charlie Beinlich’s, a burger joint in Highland Park, where Joey and I met Mom. In high school, I worked at Charlie Beinlich’s as a bus boy. The place is still in business, busier than ever. The place is so successful, if you ask for a tomato on your burger, they’ll tell you, “No.”

Charlie Beinlich’s knows what they’re good at. You don’t mess with someone who knows what they’re good at. Me, with the help of Netroots Nation, with the patience of people I love, I’m still trying to figure it out. But I’m lucky.

Dad’s 70-years old and a servant of kings. Joey’s a world-class chef and born again button pusher. Mom’s the most honest person I’ve ever known and a card shark. When she counted-up all her winnings from Canasta, she had enough singles on her to pick up the tab.

Don’t tell, but last night, with her cheeseburger, Mom had a Miller Lite. Contrary to what she says, I’ve noticed it’s not only with Mexican Food that Mom drinks beer. When she misses Dad, just like she did on their first date, Mom has a cold one.

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9 Responses to I’m Gay For Mayor Rybak

  1. Babs says:

    Enjoyed this so much! Truly from the heart! Your Dad is one great guy, if I say so myself, beer or not! Actually, I like vodka/tonic much better!

  2. Andy says:

    Now this is liberalism. I’m off to meet with Dr. Chomsky a man who can care less how many guns I own. Fuck netroots and Franken I’ll take Noamer any day. I cant wait to meet the doctor, the linguist. More later.

  3. Gregor says:

    Thanks, Mom. For the kind words and the burger at Charlie Beinlich’s.

  4. Gregor says:

    I’m not liberal. I’m rational. Your comment confuses me, Andy. Not sure what guns or how many guns has to do with anything? If you’re so into guns, I suggest moving to Arizona, where you can get a permit to carry concealed after taking a 2-day class. Then you can play bang bang shoot shoot all day long.

    I’ve been a fan of Noam Chomsky since he called me and everyone else part of the “bewildered herd.” I do think the subtext of his writing is always the same, though: look at how smart I am. To me, it’s lazy writing. These days, I get more out of Dan Savage.

  5. Andy says:

    I disagree about chomsky. If he was so arrogant and look at how smart I am than why does he answer every email and letter to him. I think hes the most humble guy in th er world. Noams a true liberal.

  6. Gregor says:

    I’m grateful to Noam for saying this, “The intellectual tradition is one of servility to power, and if I didn’t betray it I’d be ashamed of myself.” I don’t agree with him about this, If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all,” but I understand the idealism. Mostly, Noam says it all with this gem, “The Bible is one of the most genocidal books in history.” You can say many things about Noam Chomsky: brilliant, curious, challenging, brave, pity when he’s not going on and on and on. But humble is not one of them.

  7. Andy says:

    The quote about the bible is way out of contest. He admires the stance the catholic church took against the wars in central america under the reagan administration. He says religion is like a hammerit can build a house or smash to someone over the head. Whats your hatred of the bible if you dont like it dont read it if I rt means nothing to you okay some people regard it as sacred so let them who cares. And if your so into,free,speech why do you want to criminalize it? The aclu will never let you but if I understand you correctly you want speech codes. Dan Savage the homosexual writer, youre comparing him to Noamer?????

  8. Andy says:

    Sorry hard to text from the phone

  9. Gregor says:

    Feel the same way about marriage that you feel about the bible. If you don’t like it, don’t read the marriage announcements. Why do you care what people do with their lives? Or who they love? Or how exciting it is for some people to tell their friends and family that they got engaged. And plan a wedding. And invite to a wedding. And pick a cake (I like cake). Truth of the matter is, I really don’t care about the bible. The only thing I consider sacred is the comment I happen to be responding to.

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