Sign of the Times

Pumping up the troops for the best company ever

Eventually, the employee audience--carrying noisemakers and bags of wristwatches and headphone radios emblazoned with the Target bull's-eye--shuffle out to another part of the convention center where a circus of sorts is under way. There's a huge Target hot-air balloon erected in the center of the hall, and a guy whizzing around inside a see-through sphere on a motorbike. Kids do tricks on a skateboard ramp. Two members of the Monkees play, and then there's a thunderclap of indoor fireworks and a downpour of confetti.

Outside the convention center, an army of limos and SUVs wait to take the talent back to the airport. Two of the B-52's seem a little dazed coming into the bright sun of the afternoon, and they wait patiently at the back door of a stretch limo. Apparently that's one code of the famous: Never open the door of a limo yourself. Always wait for the driver to open it.

Behind them, a steady stream of celebrities and their entourages step out into the heat and up to the limos. Before mid-afternoon, all of them are gone.

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