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June 22, 2004



Just so you know, when I alerted my listeners to your column from last week, I tried to stress that you are a humor columnist. Well, it seems you just can't humor the humorless. The following is a letter to the editor from today's Des Moines Register:

There's more to Algona than just a giant Cheeto

I was so offended by the column by Dave Barry referring to Algona's giant Cheeto ("Zip Past Algona's Cheeto on Summer's Dream Vacation," June 14).

Algona is a great town. We have excellent schools, a YMCA, many parks with unique playground equipment and a swimming pool that is one of the best in the state of Iowa. We also have a prisoner-of-war museum, and in addition to being the home of the world's largest Cheeto we have a nativity scene that was built by the prisoners of war and is viewed by people from all over the world.

Bryce Wilson raised a considerable amount of money for our food pantry when he bought the Cheeto, as the gentleman would not take any money for it and wanted the money Algona had raised for its purchase to go to a local charity.

This past winter, Wilson braved the cold and slid down a huge snowbank in a Speedo. Pledges were made and turned over to the local food pantry. Last month he raised money for the tornado victims in Bradgate. Not bad for a town Barry feels people should not waste precious vacation time by stopping in.

I am proud of Algona and all it has to offer.

Barbara A. Mack,

I can understand if you folks in the big cities are jealous that we have a YMCA and a swimming pool. Get over it.

Bryce Wilson
Algona, IA


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I think I just heard a discouraging word ...

There once was a man named Bryce
who, for charity, slid on the ice
in a speedo, no less
and when done he confessed,
"No, I won't do it twice"

Unrelated, but does have a vacation theme. (okay well maybe it doesn't)
[Warning: The following is for adults only. Do not open if you can't take a joke. Do not open at work without looking quickly left and right first. Contains partial nudity that will NOT damage men's eyes (trust me). Word and thought balloons may not reflect actual speech or thought of the pictured individuals, but are probably pretty darn close. May induce mild jocularity followed by moderate or severe depression in certain males, open at your own risk.]

Marriage - no one said it was easy.

So Algona was also a faith-based slave labor camp?

Wilson probably could've raised money if he'd taken up a collection to have him not appear in a speedo in public

The world's largest Cheeto is in Algona,
Procured by a generous donor.
A resident named Mack
Wrote Dave Barry some smack
And Bryce Wilson thinks she pulled a boner.

I wasn't impressed by the YMCA and swimming pool until I read that their playgrounds have unique equipment. Now how many towns can boast that?!

I'll bet after that Speedo stunt, Wilson has some pretty unique equipment too.

There's no such thing as bad press... unless you get caught in one.

It is a nice aquatics center.

I am offended by Ms. Mack's offensivitidy.

"I pull boners all the time" said Mack, between puffs of crack, "I love my nizzles for shizzle"

"But when I get lonesome, to scratch where it itches,
I call Bryce and say "where are my bitches?"".


A YMCA and a swimming pool? This city boy can not handle it.

Curse you, Algonians!

Key quote from the Algona Aquatics Center Website:

Are you ready for some fun in the sun (or out of it)????
You’ve come to the right place!!

Oh, sorry, that statement was for


I'm still trying to get over it.....

Yes, I'm out of it, I must be in the right place.

Barbara A Mack
Initials: BAM
Anagram: Ram Arab aback

So am I pogo, so the thought of going to another small town for a vacation is like spending the night at the neighbor's and saying we're in The Hilton.

Just because we don't make the beds nor breakfast ..... get the idea?

kibby - I thought it was funny, guess I have a twisted sense of humor (got to stop looking at those British web sites)

Wilson probably could've raised money if he'd taken up a collection to have him not appear in a speedo in public

MJK, interesting you would suggest that. Some other people that aren't very clever came up with that idea at the time. I guess what they say about great minds thinking alike can be held true to mediocre minds as well. Hmmm, weird.

You usually have to check out pre-schools for such gripping, inviting and impressive websites. The YMCA must feel like Rockefeller Center to this town.

A WalMart AND a mall!? WOW.

We were excited when Dairy Queen rolled in. Now there's even a Burger King.

Ah... That is all.

All your algonians are belong to us.

By the way, I also think that "Rebel Algonians" would either be a great name for our resistance group in the foothills of Peru, or AGNFARB.

MJK - No, don't get me wrong. I think it's great too. I wonder what could be in the young dame's thought bubble.

I'm just trying to get over it. Difficult!

Curses! Were it not for A Crab Bam Ark's tireless efforts, Dave's plan to takeover Algona and reclaim The Giant Cheeto as his presidential running-mate would have succeeded! Foiled again!

Hmm...sounds to me like Algona, while certainly a nice town...primarily consists of Bryce Wilson. His exploits are given twice as much press in Mrs. Mack's post as the YMCA and the pool, combined.

So, instead of visiting Algona, why not just go to Bryce's house?

Algona's not really a bad town. It needs some more bars but otherwise it's a very quaint and peaceful town(there was something like a quadruple homicide on Christmas Day a few years back but, you'll have those things. Oh, and this girl got raped and burned to death in a truck but... I should stop now). And while Barbara doesn't get Dave, it's probably not fair to say that no one here does. Actually, quite a few people were happy just for the recognition. And while I only kind of like beating dead horses, I should point out that everyday people from all over come to see the cheeto. I wouldn't, but people do.

I should point out that everyday people from all over come to see the cheeto.

Why is this fact somehow reassuring?

"When he bought the cheeto. . . he wouldn't take any money for it." Was this an ebay item? How much did it cost? Was it amongst other cheetos in a standard bag? So many unanswered questions linger over the acquisition of the cheeto.

Did anyone else notice an unusually vitriolic tone to Punky's comments a few posts back?

Punky, You okay hon?

Seems punky's sufferring from too much chocolate cover pigs fat. Think she close to od'd.

1) I don't think they realize what Dave is about
2) "a prisoner-of-war museum" and a nativity built by those POW's? Why does this not make me want to visit there?

Drew, You think that's bad, you should see the one the paper took of me in a speedo.

Bryce, Speedo picture thoughts aside, how much money would one have to donate to the city of Algona to eat the giant Chee-to? I am sure the regular commenters here on the blog would all pitch in something...

Bryce - let's not go there, ok?

MKJ's already gotten the visual thing 'hands down' for today. No sense in confusing the mind more than Dave's blog.....


After looking at Bryce's photos of the Cheeto, does anyone else suspect surreptitious Cheeto-glomming of several into one?

A thorough investigation may be required, maybe even the appointment of a special counsel . . .

Got two blog-bucks!

Oh, please do share, Bryce.

Drew You want to take the Cheeto from us?!? And what, leave us with nothing but a YMCA and a swimming pool?

Brian B: but do you have a copy of the Algonian flag so we can rate it?

Am I the only one who found this a little sad: "This giant Chee-to could be a boon to our local economy," said Tom Straub, owner of Algona's Sister Sarah's Bar. "Anything we can do to attract visitors to our town would be good."

Good thing they shellacked it and out it on display, because Mike could have been brought up on child endangerment charges if he tried to feed it to his 3 year old.

"This past winter, Wilson braved the cold and slid down a huge snowbank in a Speedo." Hey, props to Bryce for this one, even if the picture of him in a Speedo may not live up to our fantasies as much as Mahatma's. (And on the latter subject, NO WAY would I NOT look, nor would my wife expect me to.)

Besides, I'd guess the Cheeto story has died down since March and we're giving it -- and Algona -- some much-needed publicity, right Bryce.

I do have to say the most pertinent comment was probably this one by frennzy: "So, instead of visiting Algona, why not just go to Bryce's house?"

Punky has the chocolate-covered fat covered, but who'll bring the Cheetos?

"Wow, that picture of Bryce looks like it should have the caption "My Precious...."

Great one, elle!

The other pertinent comment was Bryce's own "You can't humor the humorless."

No, but you can enjoy making fun of them.

Punky, you and me both...having a stressed-out morning...

Back to the Chee-to- that's the kind of thing that makes America great!

"put" it on display.


what about the poor cheeto here?

has anyone considered IT'S feelings?

oh nooooooooo, of course not, controversy is ALWAYS centered around women, children, minorities, and Algonites.

I, for one, welcome our giant Cheeto overlords

OK! I succumb to my peers. I withdraw the two blog-bucks pledge.

After all, it’s a Sad Day indeed when ruffians threaten our elderly ... (or Cheetos) to “MP-it”.

Wimpy contendah

That's not a small town. I grew up in Kipton, Ohio. A bar, a gas station, a bank, a grain elevator, and a post office. No traffic light. There is 1 cop who used to chase me out when I rode my dirtbike down the middle of town. If they would have gotten the cheeto in Kipton a couple of rednecks would have fought over who would get to eat it. At least until the barmaid got back with their 21st beer. Then it would have been forgotten.

*turns ballcap around and sticks a piece of wheat in his mouth*

There was no aquatic facility but there was the sandstone quarry just outside of town with some cliffs that were 50' high for those refreshing dives into the water. Beat that Algona!

Why, we got us a 700 acre green house with patents on 2000 different varieties of violets and we're right on the only east west highway that runs to Norwalk, Ohio. And we got a.........

*shakes head and loses train of thought*

Ummm, got another of those Valiums, Punky?

Graven images, writing... that's gonna get a low mark.

Barbara Mack, her hair in a bun
misunderstood all that was fun

She loves Mr. Brice with his gigantic cheetoh,
his silvery voice, his still frigid speedo

She's proud of her town, it's pool, it's POW's
she may be out of her gourd, but don't let that trouble you.

She's lead a good life, of this she is certain
don't know what she's missed, don't know that she's hurtin'

I'm tempted to sorrow, for her to feel pity
a whole life the butt of jokes sharp and witty

But hurt her they don't, they veer off deflected
most times they go by, not even detected.

She'll blink and wipe off her black cat-eye glasses
as we see her puzzlement, and laugh off our asses.

Oops, make that Bryce.

Your really into that frigid Speedo, aren't you?

*Oops, make that You're*
Maybe it could become an annual fundraising event.

Does anyone else find today's subject a bit light and fluffy?

I am soooo sorry! I totally forgot to concentrate on the lack of graven images and writing. Oh well, I guess for a town with a YMCA, DJ's with Speedos, and giant Cheetos, it'll do.

Damn. You're onto me.

Well, I'm just as jealous as I can be. I wish Dave had included Enid, Oklahoma on that tour. After all, we have the largest grain elevator in Oklahoma in this fair town. Unfortunately, you can't drive past it on your way to someplace else, because Enid isn't on the way to anywhere. But we COULD use the publicity.

BTW, we have a YMCA and a public pool, too! And one of our parks has "unusual equipment" in the form of life-sized metal cut-outs of a cattle drive. So much in common, we should be sister cities! Yeehaw!

Why does Algonian sound like a disease?

(Terminal Anal Algonion)

Golly! I haven't seen such intensity since I turned on the bathroom light in the middle of the night!

Did the giant cheeto ferment and is giving off heady fumes now?

Fermenting Cheetos wbagnfarb

An annual fundraiser that would be neat-o:
Bryce and mudstuffin donning a Speedo!
Down snow hill they would race
At a frightening pace
We’d pay for their freezing libido.

eadn "Wow, what an intensity."

I think the Speedo company should utilize the Cheeto as a marketing gimmick. It rhymes and everything.

Also, Algona is not a small town. Lake City, Colorado...THAT's a small town. I should know, I grew up there. A few stop signs, and about 100 people. Oh, and half a dozen bars.

I'm trying to find the picture of the speedo sledding adventure, but I think the only copy I have is at work. I should point out that when I went down the hill, I wasn't wearing only a speedo. I also had on snow boots, a stocking cap, goggles, and a cape.

A cape?

Bryce - only God can help you now

I don't strip down to my skivvies with nobody named "Bryce". Sorry. Now MOTW, if you would slide down the hill with me in a thong, I might reconsider.

By the way, for the rest of y'all, I met MOTW the other day for a couple of beers, and I'm guessing that MOTW stands for "Maker of the Wee-wee."

Brian: thanks! Don't listen to those critics. What the hell do they know anyway. I'd give it a B-.

Mudstuffin & MOTW: Keep up the good work.

"I should point out that when I went down the hill, I wasn't wearing only a speedo. I also had on snow boots, a stocking cap, goggles, and a cape."

Bryce, now THAT is an outfit to conjure with! I think Punky was wearing that at the blog party last week.

"I don't strip down to my skivvies with nobody named Bryce" wbagnfarb.

mudstuffin then you'll have to keep guessing, Darlin'.

There was a blog party last week! Where the F@#$% was my invitation. Oh, I'm sure you sent it, it was probably just lost in the mail. Ok, I see how it is.

At least Jeff appreciates my contributions to this place. I'd have a beer with him ANY day. To the rest of you I say "Good Day"!

^^walks off, shoulders slumped, hand in pockets, muttering to self and kicking dirt^^

Few things are as certain as these:
Cheetos really are made out of cheese
And the man named mudstuffin
Ain’t gonna do nuthin
Involving Bryce and stripping skivvies.

Hey, they can't be that small. They have their own website: Algona, Iowa.

seems to be the "giant" cheeto isn't as big as I'd hoped it would be. Granted, it's pretty big for a cheeto, but I was imagining something ginormous.

hey bryce, you already HAVE another gigantic-food item in algona, don't you? hmmm? which was shipped to you from our illustrious leader? or did you eat it?

OK Judi, I'll bite (nyuk nyuk). What other enormous food item did Dave send to Bryce in Algona? Please tell us.

I think they should put the giant Cheeto on the Algona flag. I wonder what that guy would rate it? Would he take off for graven image?

Judi, it's true. I still have it of course. It's still in its fashionable case autographed by The Leader himself. It's truly my prize possesion but I don't like to talk about it because I'm afraid someone would try to steal it, or worse bite it! It remains in an undisclosed location where only I can aceess it and rub it and lick it and, well you get the idea.

Someone should also inform Ms. Mack that following any statement of praise with 'one of the best in Iowa' immediately diminishes that statement.

More! More!

I am proud to say that my keen eye for controversy motivated me some time ago to encourage the Dave to deliver morsels of hate-mail from humor-deficient writers.

Since then we have seen a couple such entries, and, as predicted, bloglits creative juices have been flowing.

Poetry, for example was a dying art on the blog.

No, I feel my idea has made the world a better, brighter place.

I only repeat: More! More! More!

[recalls arena scenes from gladiator]

Deontologist, glad to see you got your 'ontologist' back. It's funnier that way.

Bryce- what is The Object?

Graz- that is One Small Town you grew up in. I grew up in Falls Church, Virginia. I grew up watching every particle of green space around me getting either a housing development or a shopping center plunked down on it.

The '50s era ice cream parlor near my house where I had my first kiss- a historical landmark- was torn down by the heartless moneygrubbing soulless landlord. There is now a nondescript IHOP in that space. I suppose it's just as well, the guy I kissed was an asshat, but I really liked that ice cream! Real old fashioned soft serve. YUM.

It was called the Frozen Dairy Bar.

I miss it.

It had an old-fashioned neon sign shaped like an ice-cream cone.

Nice one Brian. That's bound to get an A+.
....except for the letters, image, colors, you get the picture

From the Washington Post, on the Frozen Dairy Bar:

You haven't lived here if you haven't had a taste of the past at Frozen Dairy Bar. With a six-foot neon ice cream cone that served as a beacon to cruising teenagers, this shop once attracted long lines to its '50s-era drive-up shop. Developers eventually flattened the place, and after an ill-fated move down the road, the Dairy Bar ended up in a strip mall at its old location. A little character was lost but none of the flavors: smooth frozen custard in chocolate, vanilla and -- only during the summer -- strawberry.

Frozen Dairy Bar, 6649 Arlington Blvd. (at Annandale Road), 703-534-4200. Through summer, open noon-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, noon-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Well, she really proved her point to this Californian. WE may have our big cities, our theme parks, our beaches, forests, and deserts and a million other fun things to do...but THEY have guys sliding down snowbanks in Speedos. So there!


That story about the Malaysian man cutting off his (ahem) delicates should be made into an anti-drug campaign...Lol. I bet that would get plenty of people, or at least men to quit. :-)


Hey, I just realized the next post would be...


I hope Bryce isn't going to forget to post that picture of Speedo Sledding when he gets back to work.


I hope Bryce DOES forget.

Good point, now that I think of it.

Sorry it's so late. I'm sure it kept some of you up all night constantly hitting the refresh button in giddy anticipation. And to those people, I apologize from the bottom of my heart.

Lake City? Wasn't that the home of Albert Packer? If so, no WONDER the population is small. Devouring your neighbors has a tendency to have that kind of result.

Br-br-bryce, th-th-at's a gr-gr-great p-p-picture!

Ms. Nomer: Actually, I have always thought of Enid as a big town! I'm from Noble, which is a little black dot just south of Norman. But I believe, for the record, that we used to whip your butts in high school football every year!

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