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Item! Local columnist Paul Ryan updated his official column photo today, more than three months after initially promising to do so. For the first time since 2002, the Northland is getting an accurate view of the heroin-soaked twig of a man he’s become.
“Why is his face so thin?” asked Marcie Poon, a loyal reader. “He needs to eat some actual food or do a pushup or something, because he looks like shit. It’s like half of his weird, pale skin melted off his face. I guess that’s what happens when you don’t update your column photo for eleven years. Pretentious douche.”
Ryan says that what appears to be a face marred by a horrendous drug addiction or an untreated eating disorder is actually just a poor photography angle and the withering effect of natural aging. While most men become increasingly fatter and balder with age, Ryan appears to instead be morphing into some form of fragile elderly woman. When asked how many cats he owns and whether they eat more food than him, Ryan declined to remove hiscrack pipe from his mouth long enough to comment.
Duluth Mayor Donny Ness was hesitant to comment on this very important news story. Ness said he doesn’t have time for “gossip” and “diarrhea journalism”. Meeeooowww! Put away those crackle sticks, Sizzlerella!
“Are you seriously asking me about some washed up egomaniac’s column photo?” asked Ness, wide-eyed with disbelief. “This entire town is overrun with meth heads and people shooting each other in the face. I don’t have time for frivolous things. Also, this beer I’m drinking - to promote tourism, of course - is getting warmer every moment. So Paul Ryan can wear his own ass as a hat for all I care.”
Ryan said he has no plans to accessorize his own ass, despite Ness’ obvious erotic interest in it.
Item! Codpieces! Dick spoons! Whipped cream hats! Amusingly, Ryan’s previous column photo, which debuted in 2002, was actually a photo from 1997. Even back then, Ryan clearly felt his handsomest years were behind him. His own mother, Yvette Ryan, confirmed through a telephone interview that her son is indeed getting less appealing by the minute.
“Oh, he was the cutest baby,” said Ma Ryan. “His hair was so blond that the doctor who delivered him thought he was a Nazi. They gave me the option to have him put to sleep for free, but I said no. Had I known how ugly and useless he would become, I would have spent more time considering that offer. His hair is brown and kinda blah now, yet his eyebrows are still so blond that they’re nearly invisible. It’s gross. My son is gross.”
Mammy Ryan then sighed and wondered aloud how much money her son would spend in his lifetime on prostitutes and discounted hand lotion.
Much like the current column photo, Ryan’s previous file photo was a picture he took of himself. This is because he doesn’t have any friends. Ryan wanted to find a mutually lonely stranger to take his new photo, but was afraid people would see his phone’s Hello Kitty lock screen, and the nude photo of himself that he uses as digital wallpaper.
“Ugh! Change it back! Change it back to the old column photo! Gross!” said Duluth librarian Anne Smuckers. “Get it away from me, or I swear to god I’ll fill this entire room with barf! No! Don’t you dare come closer! Ahh! No! His dopey expression stings the eyes! Burn him! Burn his stupid face!”
Smuckers then leapt out the window, plummeting four stories into the cool embrace of the sidewalk below. Authorities were alerted, and the City of Duluth plans to send out a cleanup crew in 6 to 10 business days.
“Paul who?” asked Larry Sizzledick, an exotic dancer at The Dugout bar. “Oh, that dipshit. He hasn’t killed himself yet? That’s a shame. When was the last time he wrote a funny column anyway? Maybe 2005? Shouldn’t he have stopped writing them years ago and self-published a ‘best of’ book that only his parents will buy?”
Ryan remains unaware of the controversy over his new column photo. Attempts to reach him at his luxurious Los Angeles mansion - constructed entirely of angry letters from readers and 1986 Topps baseball card chewing gum - have been met with silence. His annual Reader salary of $514,000 is reportedly mostly used to cleanse the sides of his inner buttocks. The guard at his gated community refused to let us in, and then forced us into a boring 45 minute “California conversation” about kale and the use of avocados in sandwiches.