p>Commenter Clarence Swamptown is back with his increasingly popular feature "Clearance Clarence," which is basically an unfiltered plunge into his soul. It's a terrifying place, but there are sweet rewards. This week, his greatest contribution is yet another in a line of great visuals. As usual, the opinions expressed regarding gossip and the Twins bullpen via Clearance Clarence don't necessarily represent those of RandBall or the Star Tribune. Clarence?


*Country & Western Song of the Week:  God Will (But I Won’t) by Lyle Lovett.
*Just How Stupid is Swamptown22? (The “I should probably start reading People Magazine” edition):  In a few days my wife and I will celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary.  There is a special place in heaven for the women who tolerate stubborn, smart-mouthed rubes like me.  I offer the following story as Exhibit A for why my wife is a saint: 
In real life my name is Brad and my wife’s name is Jennifer (this will be important later).  A few years ago we were at a wedding reception for my wife’s co-worker.  While my wife used the bathroom, I found some seats at a table in the reception hall.  I sat down next to two women who I did not know.  They were talking loud enough for me to eavesdrop.  After a few minutes, their conversation turned to this:
WOMAN #1:  Did you hear that Brad and Jennifer are breaking up?
ME:  (ears perked)
WOMAN #2:  Oh my god, I did hear that.  I heard that Brad is cheating on her. 
ME:  (blood pressure rising quickly)
WOMAN #1:  I can’t believe it.  Jennifer seems like such a nice person.  What a jerk. 
ME:  (sternly) Do you know me?
WOMAN #1:  Excuse me?
ME:  You heard me.  DO. YOU. KNOW. ME? 
WOMAN #1:  No.
ME:  I am Brad.  I am Jennifer’s husband.  I don’t know who the {redacted} you think you are, or where the {redacted} you heard this {redacted} gossip, but it’s complete {redacted}.  Next time MIND YOUR OWN {REDACTED} BUSINESS.
WOMAN #1: I don’t…..
I angrily walked away and found my wife in the back of the hall.  I explained the whole story, in verbatim. 
ME:  (pointing) It was those two women over there.  I told *that* one to go {redacted} herself.
WIFE:  That’s Jamie.  I work with her.  I can’t believe she would say anything like that.
ME:  Well, she did.
WIFE:  (long pause)  Could they have been talking about Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston? 
ME:  The what now?
WIFE:  They say Brad Pitt is cheating on Jennifer Aniston.  Were they talking about that?
ME:  Uh, I don’t know.  Maybe. 
WIFE:  You’re unbelievable. 
ME:  Brad Pitt? Who the {redacted} talks about Brad {redacted} Pitt?  
WIFE:  I am going to have to apologize to Jamie on Monday morning.
ME:  Let’s go home.
*Outstate Bar of the Week:  Doherty’s Tavern, Prior Lake, Minnesota.    Conveniently located in the middle of nowhere, halfway between Prior Lake, Lakeville, New Market-Elko, New Prague, and Jordan.  Cheap beer.  Heggie’s Pizza.  They don’t have a website, but look it up on Google Street View.  It’s glorious. 
*Context-Free Diagram of the Week:
Your embarrassing and/or regrettable tirade stories, favorite outstate bars, and thoughts on the diagram are welcome in the comments.

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