Rite of Spring

Today was one of those deceptive, insidious March days in Minneapolis, when the sun shines bright, the temperature soars into the upper 30s, the snow tries to melt, and all nature smiles. It’s false, that smile, hiding ample devious malignancy for a dozen bad dames in hard-boiled mysteries. She’s a beautiful dame, with classic lines that never go out of style, but she has a gun in her garter, a stiletto up her sleeve, and her ring holds a secret compartment containing a rare Middle Eastern poison, undetectable by modern science.

In other words, it’s March in Minnesota, and we’re gonna have at least one more blizzard. But the dame was lookin’ good today, and you might as well enjoy her beauty before she shivs you in the ribs.

I left the cocoon of Blithering Heights to journey out to the mean streets of Minneapolis. There’s a big church near Franklin Avenue known as Mindekirken (Memorial Church). It’s your one option if you want to attend a Lutheran church service in Norwegian in this city. It also serves as a sort of Norwegian cultural center.

Every Tuesday Mindekirken hosts an open house, with a nice Norwegian-style lunch and an invited speaker. Today that speaker was Your Ob’t. Servant. I spoke about the Icelandic Sagas, and they let me sell books afterwards. (Yes, I know today was Monday, not Tuesday. Just for this week, they had to move the event because of the primary elections tomorrow. The church, I assume, is a polling place.)

It went well. Turnout was good. Some audiences are better than others. This audience, though mostly made up of people (even) older than me, was sharp and appreciative. They laughed loudly at the story of “Thorarin’s Toe” from Heimskringla, which is my gauge of the mental acuity of an audience.

Good (and profitable) days have been rare for me of late. Thanks to the Mindekirken folks for making one possible. I was so buoyed that I actually took myself out for dinner at Perkins tonight, something I don’t do often anymore.

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