Free-Floating Hostility

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Hostylefax: Fargo

My drinking companions this weekend were very concerned that I would come away from my weekend in North Dakota with the wrong idea. Sure they were drinking a lot, but this was Homecoming week at the major university. Also, my counterpart at the local paper was throwing his annual Garage Bash, a party that about 1/5 of the town attends. I also read in the newspaper that Fargo's police chief in town is interviewing for a job in Richmond, Calif (in the East Bay) and said that drunk driving was the biggest challenge he faced at his current job. Since Richmond has the highest murder rate per capita in the nation, I'd say he's not going to get the position.

For the most part, there's very little difference between Fargo and Sioux Falls. The restaurants are basically the same, although the latter seems to have more brew pubs. I didn't actually do much in the way of searching out good places to eat, but had a pretty good time nonetheless.

Here's the rundown:
  • Newspaper people, Judith Miller aside, are basicially the same everywhere and I like them a great deal. Basically I spent two hours talking staffing and coverage and egos with much of the sports staff. The company that owns the Fargo paper also owns a radio and TV station, which means that everyone who works in the sports section does some sort of a broadcast gig. I actually parlayed it into a radio appearance on Saturday morning.
  • The biggest sports story in Fargo is actually the Minnesota Vikings sex cruise scandal. Apparently, players have started to distinguish between who was on the "good boat" and the "bad boat." My discussion on the radio centered on the struggle the team I cover had in actually getting to Fargo. The team ended up arriving in two planes, one of which included me. I had planned to use the line, "I was on the good plane," but froze up.
  • Learned about the bar game of Babe Ruthing, where you walk in and select a person of the opposite (though I suppose it would work with the same) sex that you're going to take home at the end of the night. Then you spend the night trying achieve that goal. If you succeed, then you've called your shot. Just a little World Series reference.
  • There were some snowflakes blowing in the air on Saturday morning. I can't remembe seeing snow since Dec. 24, 2002 when I was in Hobbs. My memory was that it was too cold for snow on our wedding weekend. Maybe I'm wrong though.
  • I met up for dinner with Nick, a former Columbian, who is back in his home town. It was good to see him. It was also good when he hooked me up with free drinks at the bar in which he works.
  • There are some funny bar names in Fargo, including a place called Chubs.
  • I visited Nick at his place of employment, a country western bar near my hotel. Some girl sitting next to me with her arm in a sling started trying to play footsie, but she was hepped up on booze and painkillers and kept kicking me in the leg. After about five minutes, she said, "Honey, you're boring me," and walked away. Later, I saw her leave with someone else.
  • The song "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy," which was a punchline in Sioux Falls, was played multiple times at Nick's bar.
  • Took another pre-dawn flight, which makes Sunday really very long.

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