The Last Bar, Minnesota, and Prince

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life. Snacks help. Electric word, snacks.

Where two or more Minnesotans are gathered, if there are snacks, there will always be enough, because nobody will take the last one.  Our ancestors trudged across the prairies in wagons (but decided to go no further than Fargo) and taught their children to never take the last bar on the plate. Those children taught their children, and thus this knowledge was passed from generation to generation in Minnesota.   

And yet we never knew why.  

I have a high school friend who just opened a coffee shop in Minneapolis, and she says “if there’s one cookie or muffin or whatever left on a platter it will NOT sell.”  I have a college friend from Montana who always delighted in her Minnesota friends’ refusal of the last thing on the plate because it meant there was always a cookie left for her.  And now, with full knowledge of the situation, I know that last cookie was NOT for her.  And that last cookie or muffin will never sell in my friend’s coffee shop. 

Recently, I stumbled across an old Twitter thread that revealed the truth.  


I can hear you saying it now, “Ruby, how could our ancestors have known that to take the last serving was an affront to a pop star not yet born?”. To that, I simply reply: Do not question the power of His Royal Badness. 

Prince was the coolest.  As Minnesotans, he was one of us.  Yes, people all over the world loved Prince, but the thing is, he always came home – he was a Minnesota kid.  And for those of us who are also Minnesota kids, that made us feel just a little bit cooler.  We knew that at any moment, maybe we could accidentally run into Prince somewhere. Prince has been on I-94. I bet he stopped for pancakes a time or two at the Alexandria Perkins, just like the rest of Minnesota. Maybe you’d run into him shopping for used CDs at The Electric Fetus in Minneapolis. Anyway, the potential was always there and that was cool.  

I’m still not over Prince’s death.  He gave us so much. We have his full career to enjoy, plus we all know about that vault, so there’s the potential of more music. But I’m greedy.  I want more.  I want to know that there’s still the potential of taking a trip to the cities and looking to my left on 494 and seeing a 1999 purple Plymouth Prowler convertible pass me while I think “Is that…?”.  But it’s not to be.  

So, I will continue to leave the last bar an offering.  As a symbol

I will do this in remembrance of him.  



bar /bär/ – an amount of food or another substance formed into a regular narrow block. In Minnesota, it is the preferred system for cookies, cakes, and brownies.  Chocolate Revel Bars are the best bar.  

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