I was only supposed to be there for one beer and one taco. Maybe two tacos, if they were good. Definitely only one beer.
I didn’t want to linger at the Chrome Industries party, which is a terrible game plan when beer is free, tacos are free, and I don’t know anybody so I could get caught up on Angry Birds. It was easy: one beer, one taco, maybe a second taco, few three-star scores and bounce. It was 7 p.m.
I got there an hour early, though (actually, the email said 7 p.m. I just don’t think the staff was prepared). I occupied myself at HauteDish next door with a Steel Toe Size 7. Love Steel Toe Size 7.
The party commenced. Chrome had scooped up two LynLake Brewery kegs. One was Ponyboy Gold. Love Ponyboy Gold. It’s low in alcohol, crisp, and goes great with tacos. Excellent time I had with Ponyboy Gold.
Chrome sold me a snapback for $10. Love snapbacks.
Someone began talking to me about … I don’t remember, but his leather jacket with the Erica Williams print on the back, love Erica Williams.
They played Event Horizon on the big screen. I’d never seen it, but damn if it wasn’t a trippy movie that held my attention for almost an hour.
When I finally left, it was just past 10 p.m. I wasn’t drunk, but I was in no shape to pack it up for the night. With all of Downtown before me, I curved the brim of my new snapback and took to the streets.
It was adventure time.
Post-script: The Minneapolis Chrome has since closed, which stinks because I’ve a duffel and a pair of sneakers I love from there. I wanted one of the sweet sling bags with the seat belt buckle, but now I have to hope they sign me to an endorsement deal and just give me one.
A couple of blocks up Washington Ave., I see a building under construction with two pools out front. I take this photograph, briefly debate taking a dip, then decide that wet clothes would be uncomfortable and move on. When a friend comments that he’d jumped in the pool, I attempt to go back but getting through the fences and constructions barricades gets exhausting.
I give up, content with the photo. Seriously, it’s a good thing I’m not single because this picture would’ve broken Tinder. We’d all be back on Yahoo! singles, posting snaps of ourselves pounding Coors Lights with safari hats on (don’t ask).
Later than when I was at that pool
I can’t remember if I’d gone to the Renaissance Hotel to pee or to try charging my phone, but what I do know is I happened to see a fake fireplace on their patio outside and decided THAT was where I’d accomplish none of the above. Love that sense of accomplishment.
I sit down between two couples, one older, one younger. The conversation awkwardly shifts from exercise to our sex lives before the younger couple brings up the coffee inside. It’s just outside the ballroom, they say, but they couldn’t get any because they couldn’t get in.
When has that ever stopped me, especially when it involves coffee? Love coffee. I’m goin’ to get some.
“Good luck,” the young lady scoffed. I shit-grinned. Do you even know who you’re dealing with?!
I step inside, easily, and get me some coffee. Not content merely succeeding, I stroll into the party. It’s lively, and the populace is well-dressed. Boogie Wonderland is performing onstage. They’re crushing it up there.
Not content merely being in the ballroom, I wander onto the dance floor. Everyone in their 70s clothes and upper-tier Macy’s rack suits welcomes the presence of Mr. Kinda-Sweaty-Definitely-Lost-Looking-and-Old-Navy-Shorts-Rockin Guy. The snapback was fresh, though.
Not content merely being on the dance floor with a fresh cup of coffee, I wait for a musical interlude and wave the lead singer over. She leans into my selfie.
I kinda fall in love with the singer. She reminds me of Mugsy from Black Diet. Speaking of, whatever happened to that band? They dropped a great album last year, then seriously just disappeared. Love Mugsy.
Not content merely … anyway, I go back out to the patio and tell my story to the older couple. The younger ones had left, probably to go beddy-bye since they were tired because they didn’t get any coffee. Dweebs. I tell the older couple my story, and the gentleman just about has a coronary.
“I know a couple members of that band!” he says.
“Come on,” I say. “Let’s go back in then.”
Now I’m sneaking friends into a dance party I wasn’t even myself invited to, but it totally works. We end up on stage right as the last song is ending, hang out for a bit and chat with the band, and we all gather for pictures.
What a great hat.
11:something I’m guessing
Between now and when I wind up at Charley’s Grill in the hotel, I give my phone to the front desk to charge. I loaf at a high table and dial up a bottle of Lonely Blonde.
At this point, a bro moves into the bar and up to my table. I say “moves” because he was too drunk to walk. I don’t know if he snaked standing up, or came in on the conveyor belts Jamiroquai danced on in the “Virtual Insanity” video, but there he was.
“Izz that a … Cubs hat,” he … says? Again, I’m hesitant to assign an everyday human word.
“No,” I say. “It’s a shoe brand.” Like I’m going to explain this to him.
“Ah,” he ‘says’ with a ‘laugh’. “I tttthhhhought that zzaid … Cubs.”
“Want one, brah? GOT’chu.” Oh dear.
I stand up, put a firm hand on his shoulder, then quickly remove it when I notice his forearm bleeding. The collar of his polo is half-popped. He’s got disco balls in his eyes. Poor schmuck looks like he just stepped out of the last chorus of “Blinded by the Light.”
Love that track.
What do I even do with this dude? The waitress looks concerned.
“You should probably just bounce,” I tell him. “I don’t think they’ll serve you.” Of course he doesn’t listen, sort of like how I didn’t listen and went for the coffee, BUT I manage to stall him long enough for the manager to cut him off at the pass. His conveyor belt is put in reverse and he moves out of sight.
The waitress thanks me for my help, I pay for my beer, and my phone is at 60 percent. Good enough.
Sometime After Midnight
I still haven’t been inside US Bank Stadium. I’ve had no Revival stadium food, no Bauhaus Brew Labs stadium beer, and no overpriced stadium seat. All I’ve had is one special night exploring its outers.
It’s an impressive stadium, indeed. Drew Magary said it looks like an eight-year-old designed it with Magna-Tiles, and I kind of can see that, too. Still, quite impressive.
At this point, I’ve been walking for nearly three hours and walked just over a mile. I head out from the sidewalk surrounding Sam Bradford’s killing room and into the parking lot. The port-a-potties are locked, which makes sense: the companies that install them probably profit from our excrement somehow. Gotta protect your assets, y’know?
In the parking lot, I walk past VAN TARKENTON and out hop two young ladies. Huh? They explain what they’re doing here (waiting for football) how much their space cost ($750 for the season, Flying Spaghetti Monster!) and whether they’d join me for a selfie (you’re weird, but sure).
I wish them well and proceed. I pass a Mills Fleet Farm parking garage charging $45 for non-tailgate parking spots. Forty-five is what I used to pay for the tailgate lot back in the Metrodome days. Curious: how much is a single seat at the Bank? $300? $400?
I’m calling it right now: Super Bowl LII tickets will start at $10,000. Bold North indeed.
I walk the mile back to my car, only stopping to find a port-a-potty down the street they had forgotten to lock. Ahhhhh!
Back up Washington. The end.
STILL GOT TIME? You can read about taking my mother-in-law and her friends on a brewery crawl, or the time Pretty Ricky got a little bit lucky at Cowboy Jack’s.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A minor change was made after publication. I remembered that it was Ponyboy Gold, not the porter, I drank at that party.