Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Working downtown in Minneapolis for the first time in years, I rely on the local bus system. It takes me half an hour to get home, and costs about $3.50 a day. Compare that to the local parking situation: $5 for the first half-hour? I don't think so.
And rush-hour traffic? Standing at the bus stop during rush hour, I watched the shimmering, sleek forms as they slipped out of parking lots and side streets onto a one-way street. Tires would squeal a complaint as they would rush a few feet to slip into a space just large enough to advance upstream. Darting from side to side, individuals would leap ahead of their slower-reacting fellows.
Channeling all this was the conductor in a blaze yellow vest, standing in harm's way like a tiny grizzly among giant salmon, gesticulating wildly as she filled the air with shrieks and squeals on her whistle. She would attempt to halt onrushing behemoths in their path by pushing the air against them. Those whose turn it was, she would pull on an invisible cord.
The object of all this franticness is to get the contents of the shiny forms to the suburbs, where they will mate, reproduce, and die. And their offspring will add to the next generation's problems.

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