If you do a photo search for babies, and this picture of a baby wombat shows up, you have to use it even if it's completely unrelated to the story. - Scott Barbour
Facing a shortfall in the gambling income that was supposed to pay for the state's share of the new Vikings stadium, Minnesota officials are placing their own bet on the best way to make up the gap: the Mauer twins.
In a hastily scheduled news conference on Thursday, Minnesota state officials said they've come up with a new plan to help pay for the new Minnesota Vikings stadium: monetizing the yet-to-be-born twin children of Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer.
"When we saw the projections on how short the electronic pull-tab revenue was coming up, we went back to the drawing board," said State Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans. "The political wherewithal just isn't there for a racino or a tax hike, so when we saw that Minnesota's own Joe Mauer was having twins, it just kind of clicked."
Frans and other officials were vague about how Joe and Maddie Mauer's just-announced pregnancy would help pay for the state's share of the Vikings stadium, but sources with knowledge of the discussions say that all options are on the table.
"Joe is as close to royalty as this state has," said one official. "Once those little princes and/or princesses are born, folks around here are going to [defecate] themselves. Sell rights to the first baby pictures to one of the TV stations or the Strib, that's gonna be five figures right there, you know?"
Another official who asked to remain anonymous due to the fluid nature of the discussions said a "Mauer Family Interpretive Center" is being pondered for the soon-to-close Macy's in downtown St. Paul. "You already have parents down there dragging their kids to the goddamn Science Museum and paying money for the privilege of seeing whatever boring science crap they have there now, " said the source. "If they're going to drop 20 bucks a head to go see whatever those Poindexters are tugging themselves over just so they can say they're good parents, how much will they pay to go see an exhibit about a hometown hero and his rugrats? $30, $40? Add parking, souvenirs and concessions to that, and these little miracles are a license to print money."
While it remains unclear if the Mauers themselves are on board with this effort, officials say that is the least of their worries. "Joe is a true blue Minnesotan," said Frans. "He's one of us, and we expect he'll green light our efforts here. If a Joe Mauer MVP Diaper Genie can help us build a start-of-the-art facility for the Vikings, who says no?"
(Author's note: inspiration for this post came from friend-of-the-blog Michael "RandBall" Rand. Also, while his quotes are fabricated, Myron Frans really is the state of Minnesota's Revenue Commissioner.)