A few days ago, I began a post about Fond-Du-Luth casino with a brief and absurd conversation with a security guard. A few minutes ago, I just had a short conversation that seemed to be the exact equal and opposite. The exchange was at the lunch counter in Amazing Grace, a hearth-y coffee shop in the basement of the DeWitt-Seitz building in Canal Park, and it went something like this:
“Excuse me. Does your wild rice soup have any meat in it by chance?”
“No. No meat. But there are almonds slivers in it though.”
He then arched his eyebrows at me. I thought about the moral repercussions of eating almonds and smiled and committed his words to memory, verbatim. I ended up getting the soup.
* * * * *
Before coming to Duluth, I brainstormed some far-fetched ideas for Duluth stories — stuff that would blow peoples minds. Needless to say, most of those ideas are horrible, but I had a chance to do some accidental research for one of those project-lets today.
In the sprit of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler, I thought it would be neat to spend an E.L. Konigsburg-esque night in the Duluth Pack Store. Like the children in that book (and probably a dozen copycat episodes of children’s shows through the years), I would inconspicuously wander into the store and sneak myself into a tent right before closing time, remaining silent and still until the store was closed up.
Then I’d spend all night in the store, roughing it and having imaginary adventures! And then I’d make crazy movies and blog about it!
Upon walking into the Duluth Pack Store, I realized two things:
(a) A night like that would be the opposite of “roughing it,” as the store is filled to the gills with high-end outdoors gear.
(b) Such a story would be less about fantasy and more about sustained trespassing and the associated anxiety.
Instead of scheming a crazy caper, I just looked at clearance socks for a few minutes, admired some Filson hats and Mountain Khakis, then left.