Even though we still have a few inches of snow on the ground, I know spring started this morning.
No, I didn't see a robin.
Or a crocus.
I saw the surest sign of spring. A crazy bum on the sidewalk, talking to himself and lurching around.
Yes, they are out of hibernation, and, like a grizzly bear, highly unpredictable and easily agitated.
So I'm walking the mile in to work. I park on the residential street in Minneapolis and walk about a mile because:
1. There is no free parking around the U.
2. I refuse to pay to park to go to work.
I mean, it's bad enough to have to GO to work.
I'm not going to PAY money to do it.
So I walk about 20 minutes and I like it.
Except when you have run-ins with the crazy bums, who like to hang out in this particular area of Minneapolis, very close to downtown.
Me (looking ahead and seeing the tell-tale aimless shuffle of crazy bum): Oh goody....
I make extra noise as I walk in his direction, lest I startle him. It's like when you're hiking in the wilderness and you wear bells, to let the bears know you're coming. I briefly wonder if they make crazy-bum bells. I bet they sound like tiny police car sirens.
I cough and stamp my feet louder as I approach. Crazy bum man is lurching in both directions, taking up most of the sidewalk. Suddenly, he stops and turns, seeing me for the first time.
I smile, careful not to look directly at him. He might get spooked.
Crazy Bum: "Hey! Are you following me?"
Me (laughing as I pass by): "No."
Crazy Bum (laughing): "Just kidding!"
Crazy Bum (still laughing): Herggaboodala... mrrrff...booga...
I pick up the pace slightly. Even though he was wearing a big hoodie, I'm pretty sure he had a tin foil hat on underneath it.