Takin’ it to the streets

You shoot the barkeep one last confused look, grab your bag and dash from the restaurant into the deserted Pillsbury Center. You bolt toward the escalators and begin to climb frantically. Your hands become clammy and your breath staccato as you remember the story your Uncle Earl used to tell you about the boy who didn’t step off in time and was sucked under the moving metal teeth.
You leap from the top step, stop and take a breath. You hear a rustle from below and your eyes widen with fear as you catch a glimpse of a shadow moving in your direction.
“They’re following me!” your mind screams. Your senses seem quickened and your ears detect another noise. You run through heavy doors and into the plush skyways.
You race above the downtown streets through 72 degrees of carpeted luxury, occasionally pausing to pound on the windows and scream for help.
Your lungs begin to close up and your side aches. You realize you’ve hit the wall and can’t continue running. You stop and the sound of your gasping echoes through the abandoned corridor.
You lean your head against the window glass and look out at the lights which appear to have halos. You remember the sweet-and-sour cold of your margarita as your head begins to spin. The hallucinogenic sounds of a lilting flute lift your spirits and you begin to breathe easy once again.
Suddenly, a man holding a silver flute thrusts his hand in your face and asks for change. You scream and your feet carry you further into the bowels of the Minneapolis skyways.
You reach a door and race into the Radisson Plaza Hotel. You find the stairs and pound down to the first floor. The exit sign points you out and the biting wind hits you in the face.
With the alcohol on your breath pressing against your tongue with each breathe, you look around the bustling street corner. Across the street is a patrol car and one of Minneapolis’ finest. In front of you, a taxi pulls up and the “not in service” sign blinks off and the driver, who looks a lot like Richard Nixon, smiles at you.
Of course, you still haven’t decided what to do to get your ticket back. Maybe you should just sit down for a few minutes in that bar down the street.

If you think the safety of the police is worth the risk of your not-quite-legal drunkenness … See C.O.P.S. in your hometown page 19
If you decide the cabbie is not a crook and hop in the taxi… See Going to Aspen, California page 22
If you decide to drown your sorrows at the watering hole … See Don’t touch the dancers page 18