St. Paul hosted Senator Barack Obama last night at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The redundancy is on purpose since most of the news outlets were unable to utter the words St. Paul without Minneapolis coming out first.

This morning as I was heading from the parking ramp to my office building I bumped into an Obamafan who was left behind from last night’s revelry. I could tell he was not from here since he was extremely chatty at 8am. He was also talking to me in an elevator which we never do. I suspect in his natural environment he would also not talk to others in an elevator but he was so excited, I suspect from the orgiastic events of last night, that he was acting outside his comfort zone.

Him: “Where ya going this fine morning?”

(It was raining, overcast and cold)

Me: “uh…to work”

(I was unprepared for such an assault so early in the morning and found myself oddly and rarely tongue tied)

Him: “Oh yeah, what building do you work in? I’m going to the Crown Hotel, is your building by the Crown Hotel?”

Me: “uh….I’m in that one over there” (I point in the general direction of my building whose name escapes me even though it is painted on the side of the whole building, which indeed is right next to the Crown Hotel)

Him: “There is a Skyway to the Crown Hotel isn’t there?”

(Minneapolis was the first city to install Skyways in their downtown. We followed suit the next year. The Skyway lets us go from building to building during the winter months without actually having to go outside into the cold. It is really just a large scale Habitrail system. No one knows where it begins or ends but there are stories of a large running wheel hidden in the tubes somewhere.)

Me: “Yes… but… “

Him: “Great, oh, I see it right there.”

He hops out of the elevator and dashes into the Skyway system.

Had I not been so stunned to talk to anyone so early in the morning I would have been able to tell him that he was headed off in the wrong direction and it would have been faster had he just walked across the street with me.

The Grateful Dead played here decades ago. We lost several Dead Heads to the Skyway System. Occasionally they would get out and you would see them walking around dazed and confused months after the show. They were easily identified with their tie dyed shirts and unkempt hair. The Obamafans are much more hygienic and certainly far more perky in the morning but like the Dead Heads I fear we have lost another one.

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