Thursday, March 13, 2008

What's It Like in Minnesota?

Well, there are trade offs. Things tend to even out.

If you want beer, you must work for it. It is not at the convenience store or even the grocery store. It's at liquor stores. And the liquor store near my house closes at 8pm. Because who would ever want to buy beer after 8pm?
This is a place where they have The Onion free on newsstands with local entertainment sections.

Temperatures have soared to the high 40s here lately which means all the ice and snow are melting and I may yet avoid learning to work my new big flat shovel.
It gets cold again at night so in the morning when I walk to work (3 miles!) I step on wet sidewalks and puddles that are actually tiny ice rinks causing me to slip and flail about madly as though in a cartoon.

People are very nice.
One of my co-workers thinks that many Minnesotans are kind of superficially nice. Like they're just acting nice but they don't mean it.
That's fine with me. I don't want to share my soul with the lady at Caribou Coffee, I just want pleasantness. Isn't superficially nice just another term for polite? And I'll take that over the folks at Uptown Espresso in Seattle where I felt like I was really ruining their day with my perpetual demands to engage in some sort of "cash for coffee" business arrangement.

A brief encounter this morning:
ME: Good morning.
PERSON WHO IS APPARENTLY MY CO-WORKER: Good morning! Wait... are you Roger?
ME: No. I can be if you'd like. I'm John.
PWIAMC-W: John MOE, right? Weekend America?
ME: Yeah. Hi.
PWIAMC-W: I was thinking it was Roger. I guess I was thinking of Roger Moe.
ME: Who is Roger Moe?
PWIAMC-W: Nobody. I've never heard of Roger Moe.
ME: Okay then. Well, nice to meet you.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you misunderstood through the Minnesoter accent. Perhaps she was calling you Roger Moore.

Quick checklist to see if this was the case:

1. Did you replace a macho, hairy Scotsman at the radio station?

2. Did you enter the building by jumping from a blimp, springing open a hidden, mini-handglider and cruising the thermals to the buildings skylight?

3. Where you carrying a 1979 Golden Globe Award for World Film Favorite-Male at the time?

Kimm said...

And if you find the ground this interesting now, just wait 'til mud season! Hint... that's what's next...

Glad you're starting to get acclimated!

Glenn Fleishman said...

Now, I want to make a distinction between pleasant behavior in public institutions, such as coffee shops, and pleasant behavior in private situations, such as between friends. If, in Minnesota, you never get beyond friendly, you betcher, with closest friends--that's a problem. But if everyone in public places is friendly, you betcher, that just reminds me of Port Townsend.

You try to tell me that any place on the planet is friendlier than Port Townsend, Wash.

When my wife and I had our wedding up in the fort above the port (former fort), our guests would come back from visits to the town proper asking us WHERE WE GOT THIS PLACE. People would walk up to them and start having conversations. The sushi chef for a lunch my wife and I had there, well, we invited him to the wedding and still keep in touch.

I hope Minnesota is just like that.

I'm glad you mentioned Uptown by name. I was there several years ago, and was really put off by them, but didn't associate that with your hipster references.