How I Got Stupid in Minneapolis

Let me tell you how ignorant I used to be.  One time…I packed a duffel bag and hopped a plane in Columbus, Ohio…headed towards Chicago…and wound up getting stuck at the Minneapolis International Airport due to inclement weather.  The weather wasn’t ignorant.  What was ignorant was that I only had 62 cents in my pocket; no stupid food and hotel voucher mattered if I couldn’t afford the cab fare to the dang place.  It was around 7pm when I realized my flights…ALL the flights had been cancelled and wouldn’t resume until morning.

At first, it was cool.  Adrenaline pumping…taking smoke breaks outside with some cool hippies who were on their way to meet God via Delta.  There was a soccer team from somewhere in the midwest who let me share their crackers and Cheeze-Whiz.  This was prior to 9/11….so aerosol cans were waved on through.  I think.  Anyway…around 10pm the crowds got thinner and thinner and by 11pm….I was the Lone Ranger.  With my 62 cents.  Which wouldn’t even buy me a crumb because of the over-priced vending machines.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever been to the Minneapolis airport…but it’s flippin’ huge.  Especially when it’s completely empty.  I was like Christopher Columbus up in there…exploring, being nosey.  I noticed that the cleaning staff were starting to give me looks that ranged anywhere from curious to frightened.  They finally got fed up with me asking to open the doors so I could smoke…and invited me out through their special cleaning land door.

It was out here on the sidewalk that I became stupid.  Against my will.  You see, the moisture in my eyeballs froze.  No, I mean it FROZE my eyeballs wide open.  I looked perma-startled.  My snot stopped dead in its tracks.  My lungs felt like someone had poured anti-freeze down my gullet and all the while, the cleaning people stood huddled together…a safe distance from me…talking smack about me in a non-English dialect.  Hell, it could’ve been English…but by that time, I was too stupid to know.

Long story short…I was stranded in that place for 2 1/2 days.  Write that down.  Two.  And a half.  DAYS.  By the second night, the cleaners had warmed up to me….sort of.  Enough to bring me some tacos wrapped up in aluminum foil and a can of Tab.  Oh yes.  Tab.  I think they were sick of hearing about how I only had 62 cents to my name.

At any rate….I high-tailed it out of there.  But know this.  I haven’t been right since.  Not completely.  I’ve dimmed a little.  Like if you ask me, “Quick!  What’s 6 times 7?”  I’ll have to stand there for a minute and figure out what 6 times 5 is first…because I’m familiar with that….then count up from there.  So we’re looking at…oh, I dunno…a good 35 second pause.  See?  Dim.  This wasn’t so before Stupid Town.

I don’t really know how to end this stupid story…other than to say on occasion…I miss being young and stupid with only 62 cents in my pockets and no fear.  Maybe I would’ve stayed cool…had it not been for those two days in Stupid Town.

DISCLAIMER: To all those who dwell in Minneapolis and its surrounding areas…be not offended.  Be warm, people…be warm.


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