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BEST SIGN OF SPRING Minneapolis 2003 -

The first time you encounter it, it is shocking. You're driving down University Avenue the second weekend in April, windows reflexively sealed shut and the heat cranking. Just as you pass the U of M, it appears out of nowhere. You think at first that it might be an apparition. Your head jerks to the right. Your mouth falls open. Your eyes lock. You nearly drive off the road. This is what you see: Two slender legs protruding from a pair of shorts that appear to be shorter than any pair of shorts ever manufactured in the history of shorts manufacturing. A pair of arms, faintly defined by musculature, hanging free from a tank top that could have been produced from a dinner napkin and that barely conceals the wonderful world beneath its fabric. Flushed cheeks, trickles of sweat, no hint of dry, chafed, flaking skin whatsoever. Flesh!

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