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The Taming Of The Xanadu

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Illustration by Tara Jacoby

On the list of things the state of Minnesota loves to boast about, Rollerblades are somewhere near the top. To understand this you must go back in time to a simpler period, the America of the 1980s and '90s, which for the purposes of this blog we will refer to as "Justin Prime." Society was itching for a new way of experiencing the world! We had unlocked the secrets of New Coke, even a "lite" version of Budweiser. Cagney & Lacey showed us that even women could be cops!

And yet, we were still stuck on the matter of personal transportation. No, not bikes! Or scooters! Mankind needed something that could offer the breakneck speed and sexy silhouette of ice skating, but without the need for a potentially hazardous blanket of ice covering every imaginable surface, throwing cities into never-ending night. Why not a wheels, rather than a blade? Hence, Rollerblades were born from the mind of Scott Olson, a hockey lad living in the Minneapolis suburbs. Suddenly we were free from the shackles of the skating rink, able to blade around the lake, to work and school, to your intimate rendezvous.

Anyway, this week's episode of Normal Gossip is a tale of inter-generational nemeses, calculating grudges, and bro dad betrayal. Also, there are Rollerblades? Was that cryptic?

Marlena Rodriguez joined us for this week's episode! If you got to see Normal Gossip Live last summer, you may remember Marlena from our show in Los Angeles. She's a comedian and TV writer who has written for shows like Clone High, Silicon Valley, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. She has performed at shows around the world and was named as a Comic To Watch by Comedy Central.

Marlena talked about the necessity of Friend-DA while working in LA and the necessity of grudges, before telling us about some truly messy college soccer team drama. Kelsey returned the favor by diving into this week's tale, which starts innocently enough at a local PR mixer before taking us back, back in time to the 1990s! Steel yourselves for a story of acid-washed denim and revenge that would surely make the Bard himself politely chuckle.

You can help the show by subscribing on Pocket Casts, Overcast, or wherever else you listen! You can also follow Normal Gossip on Instagram. If you are looking for the transcript of this week's episode, you can find it here.

As a reminder, we're always looking for new stories! If you have gossip to share, email us at, or leave a voice message on our hotline at 26-79-GOSSIP.

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