Although the dude has written over a 1000 blog post, I don’t think he has ever talked about going to a mall. There is a good reason; Sage ain’t a mall kind of guy. He hates them. This is the dude who loved the IGA at Trout Lake with its groceries, hardware, fishing tackle and ice cream. As Sage has often said, “you can’t get groceries in a mall except overpriced candies, teas and coffees. Nor can you find hardware and if there is a store with fishing gear, you can bet they’ll have everything you need to look like you look like a L.L. Bean model on a river.” Sage ain’t the model type. Of course, as Sage has complained to me, you can get over-priced ice cream in the mall at a place called Cold-Stone Creamy, not to be confused with stone-cold which nearly became his state when his heart missed a few beats after hearing the price demanded for a small serving of ice cream. With this background, you can see that no one was more surprised than Sage himself when he found himself inside the Mall of America, the super-mall by which all other malls are measured.
In the middle of last week, the stars must have been all aligned wrong or maybe God (or an employee of Delta Airlines) thought it was a time for a practical joke because Sage found himself, at the Mall of America. He should have learned by now not to fly on a summer afternoon, but he insisted he had stuff to do in the morning. The last three times Sage has flown West in the summer, it’s taken him as long to fly as it would have been for him to take a train. This time, however, weather wasn’t an issue. It was mechanical. There was something wrong with the plane and thankfully, the people at Delta decided to change planes, which was a double blessing. Not only was Sage blessed not to end up splattered across the landscape, he was also blessed because mechanical problems meant that Delta had to picked up the tab.
Sage had an hour and a half lay-over in Minneapolis, but because of the problems, he arrived with only nine minutes to get from one side of Minnesota to the other. The airport is huge and confusing enough that it must be by design. After getting off the over-stuffed plane, in which at least three or four people actually followed the flight attendant’s suggestions that those who could let those whose connections are close go ahead of them (and of course, Sage was sitting in the last row of the plane), Sage ran across the airport and along its moving sidewalks, only to arrive at gate G-22 in time to wave to his plane heading out toward the runaway.
“No problem, Man,” the ticket agent to Sage. Sage was a bit confused, as he never realized Minnesota was a haven for displaced Jamaicans, but I reminded him of the Jamaican bobsled team and how they have to have someplace to train. The Jamaican assured Sage he could put him on the 9 PM flight to Vegas and all would be well in the world. He started punching some keys on his computer and then began to shake his head and said it looked like Delta no longer had that flight… He sent Sage to the rebooking agent, who informed him that he would be flying to Vegas at 9 AM the next morning and that they would put him up at a new Radisson Hotel that’s connected to the Mall of America. She even offered Sage an overnight kit. I told him to take it, to get what he can why the getting is good, but Sage has flown enough to never travel without a toothbrush, deodorant and a change of underwear in his carry-on bags. Combs and brushes are unnecessary, at least in Sage’s case.
By the time Sage arrived at the Radisson, checked in, cancelled his hotel in Vegas and told the rental car folks to hold the Yugo he’d reserved for another day, the Mall of America was closing down. We walked around a few minutes, then headed back to the hotel where he spent his twenty-five dollar voucher for dinner on a Walleye Sandwich and a local oatmeal stout beer (when in Rome, eat like the Romans) and nothing for his favorite bear who had is eye on the salmon. Then, he slept in a hotel bed that probably cost three or four times as much as his hotel would have been in Vegas, and better yet in Sage’s cheapskate mind, he didn’t have to pay for it.
Sage is attending a seminar out west, tying it together with a week vacation where he’s been enjoying life as he drives across the deserts and spends time soaking in hot springs and riding in the cab of a 1914 steam train. I’m sure he’ll be posting more stories soon.
|The Lego creations at the Mall of America was pretty cool|