Monday, February 8, 2010


My job was to shovel our whole driveway...

I got a parking ticket last week. It doesn't happen often, but every now and then I have to make a trip to the big courthouse in downtown St. Paul. It's only several blocks from where I work in the Golden Rule Building. Through the skyway and down an escalator at Crown Plaza Hotel, then outside for half a block. Little baby steps today. Very slippery sidewalks.

Getting in the front door was the hard part. There's security. Empty the contents of your pockets into the little bin. Place purse through the scanner. Watch the campaign button; it's got a metal pin. Ooops, the security guard must not be a Dayton supporter. Hey! Give that back, mister. It's the only one I've got left. The nerve of some people...

I finally made it into the waiting room with about thirty other people. Not all were there for parking tickets. Some were there for not wearing their seatbelts. Naughty.

Wait, wait, wait...I guess that's why they call it a waiting room. Thirty people of all ages, races, ethnicities, gender preferences and political persuasions. People with tattered jeans and people in business suits. All at City Hall to beat a rap.

Have you ever sat in a crowed room of people and no one wanted to say a word? Kind of like the silent elevator. I had to speak up. Right?

"Anybody here ever been to a Toastmasters meeting?" I asked. One person had. The others didn't know what it was. That gave me an opportunity to tell them. They listened. A few were interested. I handed out my Toastmasters business cards.

One guy asked me about my campaign button. "Why are you wearing that?" he asked.

"It's easier than wearing a sandwich board," I replied.

Then the waiting room crowd all started talking at once. "I'm voting for the Mayor," said one. "He'll be a good governor."

"I'm voting for Rybak too," said a large football player type man.

"I'm suprised," I commented. "I thought you would vote for Dayton.

"And I thought you would vote for Kelliher or Gaertner."


A woman who said she was a nurse said she was determined to vote for Paul Thissen. Another said her choice was John Marty. The field was wide open. No clear straw poll results here. Was a persuasive speech in order?

It was.

There are now seventeen new Dayton supporters running around in downtown St. Paul. My job was done, my parking ticket was dismissed, and I was on my way back to work.

I hit the skyway and stopped at the University Club. I wanted to check out Lifetime Fitness in downtown St. Paul. No thanks. I like my club in White Bear Lake. The one housed at the University Club has elevators that only go in one direction. Down. Guess they want you to get fit by taking the stairs up. Also, the running track on the 9th floor stops before it gets all the way around the circle. I left the building scratching my head in perplexity.

Going back to work at MDH was a pleasant diversion.

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