October 1, 2003

Day II – Let Us Sing Out

Thursday had errands. We went to update the license tabs for the Green Dragon Wagon, a mission about which I had strong reservations. Last time I had to go to the Minnetonka licensing center it was a monument to inefficiency. Four workers were milling about, never presenting more than two of themselves to the public at any one time. Combined they did as much work as a man without thumbs. A paper ticket and some horribly patient red numbers stood between us and our meager goal for over an hour.

Any trip to the licensing center will remind you that the government is the most dangerous business of all, and it is the most dangerous because it does not need to compete with anyone. They will never be outclassed by a lean and efficient start-up. They will never have their bones gnashed by a Global Conglobulation Concern. Beware, anti-capitalists, as this is the world you wish for: government licensing centers that span the globe and deal in everything and offer nothing.

All in all, the visit was painless. Tab renewals operate on a completely different plane of licensing reality that requires no tickets and no numbers.

That evening Pip and Liz were kind enough to drift out to Hopkins and take me out for a night on the town. We parked in the Hopkins parking garage, up on the top floor where only one other car had dared to venture. It was a shiny new blue Mini Cooper, obviously parked away from the hordes to avoid door dings and other nasties that are visited upon new cars in the confusion of parking garages. We pulled up and parked right (right!) next to it. We leapt from the car and spun down a stairwell where many years ago, back in high school, my friends and I met a bum drinking a bottle of Listerine.

We hit up the bars in downtown Hopkins and caught up on camp news and gossip, both old and new. I explained kiteboarding on a cocktail napkin that ended up populated by Godzilla and an angry pack of protesters. Liz kept it as a momento.

Pip told glorious stories about the Twins, his eyes glittering with passion for a sport that I find ridiculous. Enthusiasm however, can overcome the nastiest of perceptions. This was a concept seeded and cultivated in the Midwest, of this I am certain. Who else would think to carve things out of butter? You can get away with loving anything you want, really, so long as you do it with conviction, zest and gumption. Love, always with the love.

As we talked the volume increased, and would continue to increase throughout my return to Minnesota. There’s something about the space, the wild plains of city and farm and suburb, that drives me to wild and passionate fits of shouting. Pip knocked over his water glass. I got a freaking pint of Honeyweiss. Liz flipped her new gone haircut. I almost broke the window shades. The onion rings were already cold when we got them.

We left the bar scene once the band started up, as it was a work night for two thirds of us and three thirds were in no mood to shout over Lynyrd Skynyrd covers. The lead singer was a real gone girl wearing red and black fishnet stockings. She reminded me of a girl I must have dated in a parallel life.

Tomorrow was to be in Duluth.

Dane it is so unlike you to supply me with useful analogies for my “capitalist pig” rants. If you want big business to go away we are left with a million DMV’s to work with.