The Top 10 Most Desrving Get Out of Town Recipients

This time of year, you can’t escape year-end countdowns. It’s become a little over-the-top, since besides the usual compilations of the best movies, albums, and TV shows our local and national media fill up time and space with countdowns that mean absolutely nothing.
VH1 and E rerun over and over every night clip shows with such great titles as “Top Celebrity Scandals” and “Sexiest Reality Show Moments”. ESPN has a new list almost every night, including the “Top 10 Monday Night Football Plays”.
All of these silly lists exist for two reasons. The obvious reason is to create another reason to show those same Angelina Jolie, Tony Romo, and Tom Cruise clips another few dozen times. The real reason, however is that nobody wants to actually do any work in December, and lists are extremely simple to create in both the print and visual mediums.
Bloggers are no different. We all have our own silly lists…and I’m no exception. Besides a best-of 2006 music list that has been distributed in CD form to my friends all across the country, it should come as no surprise that I’ll conclude this year with a list of the Best Out-of-Town boots of the year:
10. Argus Leader Magazine Monopoly. The daily paper is guilty of plenty of indiscretions, but their underhanded attempt to get rid of the city’s independent publications was indefensible. Businesses across the city were (supposedly) asked to sign contracts that removed any non-Gannett publication from their stores…unless these publishers paid the Argus for rack space. Luckily, an outcry from not only the publishers but businesses who claimed to have never seen this contract forced the daily paper to back down.
9. County Courthouse Employees and Computer System. Obtaining license plates and other government documents has never been an easy task, but it seems to be getting worse every year. Computer breakdowns are generally blamed on Pierre’s mainframe, but employees in Pierre deny these charges. Even when the computers are online, it usually feels like at least half of the courthouse staff is on break at any given moment. It has become beyond maddening that a transaction that should take no longer than five minutes easily turns into two or three frustrating return trips.
8. Playstation 3 Campers. I’ve never been a fan of video games, but I can understand why others enjoy them so much. Yet the sight of dozens of people camping outside of Best Buy and other retailers for the opportunity to purchase Sony’s latest gaming system made no sense to me…especially given the fact that most of these campers were not even planning to keep the systems for themselves. The good news for people like myself who ridiculed these people is the fact that outside of the first people to post these systems on Ebay, few people made any real money.
7. Best Buy’s Geek Squad. Earlier this fall, I told the story about how I damaged my laptop and was told by a Geek Squad representative that there was no hope for the machine. A new computer was purchased, and despite the fact that there was no damage to the old system’s hard drive, only a few gigs of the 100 gig box were transferred to the new computer. To mask his laziness, the Geek Squad moron completely messed up the rest of the drive’s contents by hiding them under a new, hidden profile. It turns out the original computer only needed a new screen, but hours of labor were needed to make gigs and gigs of music, movies, and photos once again accessible.  
6. Pam Homan. The superintendent of our city’s school system has not had an easy tenure, but most of her problems are of her own doing. After failing to fulfill her promise of moving into the very city she works, she’s been in the middle of a number of incidents that have shown her to not be adept at putting on a personable PR face. She’s been quiet for most of this year, but in the weeks prior to the end of the school year she made news when she rejected the graduation participation of two students whose health problems caused them to be a credit or two short of graduating. After a public outcry, her solution was to create a “separate but equal” section before cooler heads finally allowed the students to graduate with their class.
5. Darrell Viereck. This city big-wig had a beef with a couple of Washington High School basketball coaches. Instead of going through the proper channels to address the problems, he came up with a novel solution. He owned a worthless piece of property adjacent to Lincoln High School that he claimed was worth six figures. If the school system fired the coaches that he despised, he would donate this land to Lincoln. Thankfully, our school board declined the offer, which led to one of the most bizarre press conferences in recent memory.
4. Jodi Schwann. For years, little attention was given to this former KELO reporter. She was just another in a long line of generic teleprompter readers who refused to ask anybody any tough questions. The only thing memorable about this young woman was the fact that her mouth never seemed to move when she spoke. It’s obvious now, though, just why she was such a suck-up to a Mayor whose conduct shows that he’s in way over his head. Years of turning news reports into PR appearances for the Mayor became an almost $100,000 a year gig as Munson’s Chief of Staff. Since then, few people have even seen the woman.
3. Road Construction Planners. We knew this summer was going to be a nightmare, but nobody in their wildest dreams could have ever dreamed that almost our entire western half of the city would turn into an impossibly-managed maze. Interstate 29 and West 12th Street were major projects that were clearly going to take months to complete, but what morons would simultaneously tear up Grange, 14th, 15th, 16h, 18th, 21st, 22nd, 33rd, 33rd, and a few others at the exact same time? As Husker Du once sang, it “makes no sense at all”.
2. Jail4Judges. The term “judicial activists” has long been a favorite term of talk radio, but these clowns (mainly out-of-state residents) scared the hell out of 90% of the state with their poorly-written proposal that would allow anybody with a complaint against a judge (or any elected official if their critics were correct) to go before a special jury. Even months after the public gave these idiots the swift kick they deserved, letters are still being printed in the daily paper complaining (without any proof) that mean old judges just weren’t fair to them.
1. Leslie Unruh/Roger Hunt. A person cannot mention one of this pair without also babbling about the other. She’s the ying to his yang. She plays the so-called innocent victim who can’t get a decent cup of coffee without a godless heathen calling her names, while he portrays himself as THE moral arbiter while at the same time flagrantly breaking laws against special interest contributions. Thankfully, the voters just said no to their oppressive abortion ban, saving our state hundred of thousands (if not millions) of dollars in court costs to take this to the Supreme Court.


Syslfrog said…
I can't speak for most of your comments Scott, I haven't lived in Sioux Falls for over 7 years. But I can relate to the construction situation this last summer. We stopped by to visit family and were perplexed by the total inanity of it all. I also agree wholeheartedly with your Roger Hunt/Leslie Unruh commentary. Not only should they be thrown from town, it should'nt happen until after they've been properly hung in the town square. Excellent post.
Anonymous said…
A phrase for you and your comments..."defamation of character". People get sued for saying lesser things than these.

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