"No one is going to give a damn about your résumé; they want to see what you have made with your own little fingers."
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Left of the Isles
Hey, man, you got any of that blue lawn-patch shit?” Paul Westerberg asked me, as I worked at Sunnyside Gardens, an independent garden center located in Linden Hills where Westerberg is a neighborhood local.
“Ugh, yeah,” I said. The former lead singer of the legendary Minneapolis punk band...
I Will Always
I was in my front yard raking up some leaves. Nothing unusual about that. Well, except for the fact that I was dressed like Brett Favre. What can I say? I just wanted to look more Favre-ish. I wore a t-shirt with the sleeves cut off, wrangler-y jeans and my beard was a thick tuft with a healthy dose of...
Boys Are From Mars
I was recently playing a game called BeanBoozled with my son Murphy and thought of you. The game is from the makers of Jelly Belly; it comes with a tray of 10 assorted jellybeans and a spinner that tells you which Jelly Belly to eat. Sounds great, right? The catch is...
Across the Great Divide
A wealthy woman came into the garden center where I work. It was early December, and she was shopping for evergreens, wreaths, garland and treetops with which to decorate her mansion for the holidays. Upon arrival, the woman played a game of retail fetch with my coworkers. She would point at an item, tell the staff...
In the midst of a December snow storm in the Twin Cities, a group of men from Mexico and Latin America showed up at the landscaping company where I work to help shovel the snow at our 280 accounts, a daunting list of homeowners, apartments, businesses, and large scale factories. Despite the fact that it was three in the morning and there was snowy slop all over the streets, these hardy Hispanic men arrived...
To Eat or Not to Eat
On the way to coach my son’s soccer game, I drove past the Dairy Queen at 50th and France in south Minneapolis. The DQ marquee announced one of the greatest food pairings to hit the culinary world since garlic met onions: “Girl Scout Cookies Blizzard!” Underneath the traffic-stopping headline it read...
Stranger Than Fiction
A few years ago, my coworker Coop called in sick to work. When I asked him what was wrong he told me that he had eaten too much the night before. “I went to a pig roast,” Coop explained, wheezing into the phone, “And damn near ate the entire pig. Washed ’er down with...
Meet the Todds
The other day, my twin sister Becky and I were watching reruns of The Office. In one scene, a bald, repugnant man named Todd Packer barrels into the Dunder Mifflin office and greets Jim by asking, “What’s up Halpert? Still queer?” He was a boorish lout who was completely unlikable and believe me it is no coincidence that his name was Todd. For the last 40 years...
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