Leaving the Caribou Coffee Outpost behind, I traveled around the bend and came to a Clearing:
A breathtaking sight for the sore eyes of this weary traveler: the Tall Timbers of Commerce! All that was missing was the scent of Pine here in the City of Twins Airport. My traveler's pack was no doubt awaiting me in the baggage claim area, but the Con wasn't going anywhere so I decided to take some "Me Time" and do a little shopping. It's fun, plus the U.S. economy could use a boost.
Unfortunately, most of the shops were ones I'd never heard of. I'm always wary of peddlers along the trail who might be selling snake oil, but I did find one (you can see it in the photo) called "Mall of America" (with a name like that, what Patriot could resist?). I believe I'd heard of the Mall of America before, though this didn't seem as large in scope. Size doesn't matter, though. There was enough red, white, and blue merchandise within to satisfy any consumer urges. I bought a T-Shirt to serve as a reminder of my visit to the Great Mall.
In my wanderings I also came across a site of historic significance: the Men's room made famous by Public Servant Larry Craig.
The officials at City of Twins Airport have put a marker at this destination in the form of a joyous Snoopy statue. It's tasteful and fitting, but for me personally it reopens a wound. As those who know me know, I created Snoopy. Charles Schulz was a hack but he knew a good thing when he saw it in my sketch pad and the rest is history. But that's a story for another time.
If you're like most Americans you've forgotten all about last year's Larry Craig brou-ha-ha, so let me refresh your memory: Mr. Craig was going about his bathroom business when an upstart police detective mistakenly believed Mr. Craig was making overtures of the sexual persuasion.
I don't blame the cop. Police work is tough, as anyone who's seen "The Law and Order" knows. But it's a shame the media had such a field day over a bungled operation. Thankfully that's all been put to rest and the good Congressman is back hard at work keeping America safe from the two T's: Terror and Taxes.
Still, I wouldn't be doing my duty as a journalist if I didn't investigate the scene of the incident and follow the trail of truth. I entered the bathroom and, even though I didn't have to go number two, sat down in a stall.
All seemed normal, but after about 20 minutes I noticed I began involuntarily tapping my toes. It was the music! The sound system was playing just that brand of smooth jazz that gets feet tapping when you hear it in an elevator. Like Jessica Fletcher and Matlock, I'd cracked the case!
I'd love to argue this one in court (and Mr. Craig, if you're reading, I'm available). It would be open and shut. I've never studied law formally but judging from some programs I've seen I believe I'd have just the knack for it.
But I would encourage us all to look beyond the facts. For even without the proof of innocence—even if everything I've come up with on this case is wrong—there's still something to consider.
The music I heard in that bathroom was smoother and jazzier than any I'd heard in awhile. It gets you humming and it works great as background music on the morning talk shows, but it also is what I like to call "Mood Music." Put it on with a special someone and the sparks are soon to fly, if you know what I mean.
What's a weary traveler, beaten down by the day's journey, to do when that sax starts playing? I think we can all agree that Nature strikes in unexpected places, unexpected times. I'm not ashamed to say that after less than an hour in that stall I started feeling it myself. This is not unusual since my last divorce. I'll leave it to the Professors in the Ivory Towers and my court-appointed therapist to try and understand it. The important thing is to not talk about it.
So judge not, America. Not until you've walked a mile in Larry Craig's shoes…and in his stall.