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BEST SIGN OF SPRING Minneapolis 2004 - sudden, dramatic spectacle of vast swaths of flesh exposed for public

For the naturalists, there are bird migrations. For the news junkies, there are heartening reports of snowmobilers crashing through thin ice. For the baseball nuts, there is spring training. For everyone else, there is something much better: the sudden, dramatic spectacle of vast swaths of flesh exposed for public consumption. What a glorious relief it is. After all, the grimmest aspect of our long winters isn't frigid temperatures. It isn't the long night. It isn't snow. It is the winter wardrobe. For half the year, most people in Minnesota are swaddled in so much fabric they have all the shape and sex appeal of the Michelin Man. And then, voilà, the sun shines and this gross surfeit of coverings is shucked, showcasing shoulders, midriffs, thighs, ankles, necks, and backs. In an instant, all us hairless chimps who have been yearning to get it on have renewed cause for hope.

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