By all rights, I should be incredibly busy at work right now. Unfortunately, I’m not in good favor at the moment, so as punishment, I have less work. I’m not exactly sure how that’s supposed to work, but, whatever. The point is, there is a ton of work to be done, so I could get interrupted on this posting at any moment.
Saturday night was supposed to be spent at the Minnesota Rollergirls bout. We were still a tad bit hungover from Friday’s festivities, but it was nothing a beer or two wouldn’t fix. We were running a bit late to meet up with Angel & Karl due to other obligations, but we were still OK. Then we got to St. Paul.
For those of you who don’t know St. Paul very well, it’s a bit of a mess. Those that grew up there know how to get around but the rest of us are pretty much screwed. So, you learn a couple paths to places you frequent and wing it from there.
We were originally headed for the Liffey for a pre-bout beer, but opted for Station 4 instead. Station 4 has much more parking available and a free shuttle. Having played several gigs there over the years, I knew how to get there. Unfortunately, I had not factored in a parade.
Yes, that’s Minnesota for you. February 4, and there’s a freakin’ parade going through downtown St. Paul. This was no half-assed event, either, this was the real deal. Apparently, every cop in the city was there to block every street on which a hapless driver might like to turn.
Knowing full well I couldn’t navigate this thing on my own, we stopped to ask a cop for help. “How can we get onto 4th Street?” I asked.
“You’re on 4th Street.” she replied.
“Yes,” I said, “but it’s blocked. How can we get to a point where we can continue on 4th Street?”
“Just go around,” she replies.
“OK,” I say, taking a deep breath. “How far down is 4th Street blocked?”
“Oh,” she says, giving me hope as understanding seemingly dawns on her. “Just to 7th.”
So, I thank her and we drive on. After only a couple of blocks, we realize that the numbered streets don’t go the direction she was pointing us. So, we grit our teeth and attempt to navigate downtown St. Paul with about half of the streets closed. As we left downtown, still passing barricades at every block, it seemed to us (as reasonably sane people) that they had literally closed one side of the city for this stupid February parade.
Eventually, we got away from St. Paul, essentially by driving around it. As much as we were both looking forward to the bout (and seeing Angel, Karl and whoever else happened to be there) we decided that a nice dinner was preferable to a second attempt at that nightmare. Thus, we found ourselves at the relatively new Happy Gnome, a new offering from the fine folks that brought you the Muddy Pig.
I’ll pause there, as it seems that I may be able to actually do something around here after all. Next time, I’ll offer up my review of the Happy Gnome.