The Weekly View January 25, 2017

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.
Hello, all, I am taking over for Harold once again as he will be missing for the first part of the week and he asked me to take over. Of course, it is no Brute’s Bleat, but I will try my best! I will not be writing a “Tales From a City” as I have not been anywhere too interesting to talk about or any place that I haven’t already talked about, so this will be a good time to talk community, hockey, food and an ice fishing practical joke.
It was Martin Luther King Jr. day last Monday and the above quote is one of my favorites from him…….. I have to send a salute to John Northenscold who recently retired from the city council. He was one of the first people I met in town and I do not think I have ever seen the man not smile. I hope he continues his Farmer’s Market, as I will be looking for some produce, socializing and other goodies to enjoy once spring/summer pops around……… I would also like to mention Sue Sylvester as she has been an integral part of Maple Lake’s past and history. I have turned to her in more ways than one to find information about the past. Sometimes it has been successful, and other times it has been tough. Bottom line is that she does a wonderful job cataloguing Maple Lake and its rich history, along with other members from the community. If anyone would like to know more about the past, the Maple Lake archive and the Maple Lake Library is a great place to start. I am pretty sure that this will not be the last time I will turn to Sue for more looks into history……. If anyone out there is a big hockey fan, I think you can relate to me on this one: the Minnesota Wild have been looking phenomenal this year! They set a club record with a 12-game winning streak and ever since the addition of Eric Staal (who is one of five brothers who have played or are still playing in the NHL and my new favorite to watch) and Coach Bruce Boudreau the team seems to be unstoppable. We lost a heartbreaker to the New Jersey Devils last Tuesday, but the goal from Jared Spurgeon where he knocked down a puck with his glove and batted in a mid-air puck will probably be a top ten for a couple weeks. I am hoping they can keep this up and take the division lead going into the play-offs……
I was up in Duluth last weekend to spend some time with friends and to enjoy the town’s -45 degree wind chill (maybe not so much the latter). I stopped at my old job, Burrito Union, to say hello and to try some new food that one of my good friends, Laramie Carlson, has been constructing in the back since his promotion to head chef. I would have to say they are getting creative up there. I ordered the tater-tot hot dish burrito, a burrito full of homemade tater-tot hot dish on rice and wrapped in a tortilla. To say the least, it was delicious! After talking to another friend who worked there, he mentioned that one employee held the record for that month for the burrito, eating said burrito over twenty times out of the month. Now that’s dedication (or just plain stupid). Next month they will be serving a Chinese New Year burrito, filled with sweet and sour tempura chicken, vegetable fried rice and chow mein sticks. Looks like I have another reason to visit!
I am very excited to see if anyone will answer the call from Harold to send in great practical jokes during ice fishing. When I had seen he had posted about sending in stories for the last two weeks, I think I will join the bandwagon and tell a story that led to a pretty good laugh when I was younger.
My cousin, Virg, and myself used to spend a lot of time together in high school, and let’s just say we were at that age where “boys will be boys”. He had a rental car for the weekend and we decided to head out onto the lakes to do some ice fishing. We had very little luck with the fishing, so Virg had another route to have some fun. He had noticed that the rental car came with OnStar, a button you could push to talk to someone about directions or any kind of help. This was before phones had the capability that they have now. Virg took myself and two others out to the middle of the lake and parked the car. “Watch this,” he said. He pushed the OnStar button, and a kind female voice with a southern drawl came over the speakers. “How can we help you today?” the voice asked. With no hesitation Virg spoke clearly and posed a question: “Yes, I think we are lost. Can you tell me where I am right now?” as he held back a smile. The lady went right to work and as soon as she noticed where we were she was in awe. “You…you…you’re in a lake! Do you need assistance?” She said, flabbergasted. “Yea, I am trying to find the nearest country road,” he said calmly. What you have to realize here is something Virg was smart enough to figure out; most call centers are in the southern states, where ice is a rarity let alone that cars can drive on top of lakes in the winter. He knew as soon as he heard her drawl that he would get a reaction. We drove to a couple of more lakes after she gave us directions to keep the gag going, and at the end the lady was laughing and showing other co-workers where we were. We all had a good chuckle, including OnStar employees in Georgia. If you or anyone you know would like to submit a great ice fishing practical joke, send it to the Maple Lake Messenger, PO Box 817, Maple Lake, MN 55358……
We have had some amazingly warm weather in the last week and the 42nd Annual Maple Lake Ice Fishing Derby is right around the corner. This is the one time I will say we could use a good cold snap about now. There has been plenty of ice so far so let’s hope that the event goes ahead as planned. As for me, I plan to continue cheering on the Wild and hopefully get in an ice fishing house here soon. Here’s to you, Maple Lake!