Range newspaper resurrects 26-year-old boner joke

Iron Range news

In 1987, the same year the Minnesota Twins won the World Series, a huge iron and copper statue of an iron miner was installed outside the Mesabi Iron Range city of Chisholm. He stands there still, the third tallest free standing statue in the country.

It is the stuff of folk journalism lore that legendary Iron Range newspaper publisher Veda Ponikvar, owner of the Chisholm Free Press, ran a headline for the occasion that read something like “Thousands gather to see Iron Man erection.”

This remains an amusing anecdote that I and many others tell when describing this rather morose-looking statue that leans into the view of the McDonald’s as you drive east on Highway 169. It’s funny not just because of the word “erection,” but because of the complete and total innocence of Ponikvar’s intent.

Well, as revealed earlier today, the three largest newspapers on the Iron Range released their second big “MINE” special publication. Included among the stories was this headline:

But not that kind!

I understand that this is a real quote from a real guy in the Bill Hanna story, but using it this way is funny only in a sort of sad, frat boy way. In short: It’s a direct boner joke where only an accidental boner joke can thrive. And, anyway, just because the guy from 1987 made a boner joke (the same year the Eveleth Mines class action sexual harassment lawsuit was filed, by the way) doesn’t mean it holds up, or should have been resurrected in the first place.

This same year women who worked in the mines filed their historic lawsuit. Their efforts were ignored, buried and maligned in the local press. One of the things they wanted stopped was the constant, never-ending stream of jokes exactly like this one. Yeah, it gets less funny the more you think about it. That’s a bad boner joke.

Comments

  1. Billy Schleppegrell says:

    They say to reach the masses you need to write on about a 6th grade mentality. So let’s not be HARD ON Bill Hanna. He pulled a boner with his sophomoric pun(intended).

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