That time when Jesse Ventura ran for governor (oh, and won)
I originally wrote this while features editor of the Heights at Boston College for my "Progressive Revelations" column on November 9, 1998. And here we are in 2020 and there's actually a reason to let it resurface...
John Glenn didn’t stay in space for long, but I’m sure he wondered if he landed on the right planet when he discovered the results of Election Day. In Minnesota’s biggest spotlight since the Twins were in the World Series, former wrestler Jesse “The Body” Ventura was elected the state’s new governor. What’s on his agenda? Here’s a list of possible goals:
- Enclose the entire state in turnbuckles, and encase those turnbuckles within a cage. If a person leaves Minnesota, he or she will be sent back in after 10 seconds or otherwise be disqualified from state citizenship. If anyone wishes to enter Minnesota, that person can do so by simply climbing the cage, on the grounds that he or she will not bring in any chairs, mace or metal objects. However, if the state referee is not looking, these objects may be successfully sneaked in and that person will be the awarded the championship belt, which is grounds to become governor sometime in the future.
- Everyone must have an anatomy-related nickname which precedes his or her last name, and no two nicknames can be the same. Therefore, all residents should register their nicknames as soon as possible to avoid being known as John “The Esophagus” Smith or Mary “Cowper’s Gland” Jones.
- “Mean” Gean Okerlund, Vince McMahon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan will conduct all future television interviews with state politicians. During debates, the key questions must include, “How will you deal with the wrath of your opponent once he starts going wild out there with his 24-inch pythons?” and “What do you say to those people who are calling you crazy for wanting to face this lunatic?”
- Most speeches made by state officials will be shown only on pay-per-view television. Those that are shown on other channels will be predictable, and the guy whose name you recognize will always “win." Upcoming pay-per-view specials include “Battle for the Great Lakes” and “Sotamania.”
- The official song of the state of Minnesota will be Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust.” The official flower will be “flour,” to make sure there are plenty of hot dogs and pretzels at state affairs. The state bird will be a pterodactyl (don’t get Jesse mad by telling him about extinction).
- At Minnesota public schools, ketchup will be replaced by fake blood, since both taste equally as good on French fries. The only way to exit a school will be rolling through or jumping out a window. Exceptional students will be escorted by personal managers provided by the PTA. The nurses will keep a constant supply of raw steak, and pamphlets such as “Being pinned by a 700-pound man does no harm to your ribs” will be available upon request.
- If you don’t like these goals, you can head to Wisconsin.
But I digress.