Spotted: Norm and his morning cup


"He looks like I just poured ice water down his undies"

class=img_thumbleft>One of the (sometimes) nice things about living in the Twin Cities is how aw-shucks small town it really is. Case in point is this recent run-in citizen Jeff Johnson had with Norman Coleman, junior U.S. Senator from the great state of Minnesota (Johnson assures blotter it is absoluely 100 percent true):

So every morning I do a dumb thing.

I work just 5 blocks from my house in Minneapolis, but I drive a mile across the Mississippi River gorge to St. Paul to get coffee, just because I like the view. But during this particluarly dumb pre-6 a.m. morning, who do run into at my local Caribou Coffee? None other than my freshman Senator Norm Coleman! Who, like when you meet rock stars, is a suprisingly small dude.

He's alone with me waiting for our disposable income drinks, and I approach him with big hearty smile and handshake. Really kind of stoked about the whole deal, I give Norm props for not learning a southern accent like most Senators do after a few months in Washington and he laughs hard. I rib him some more about living in the ungodly heat of D.C., and we yuk it up about the weather. I swear to God, I actually start to like this guy--a perfect politician.

As we get our coffee and get ready to leave, I drop the zinger with a smile and tell I can't let him off the hook for the Jack Abramoff mess and I ask him if he's gonna help clean it up. I'm looking at him straight in the eye and his face turns to a pre-dawn stone and he looks like I just poured ice water down his undies. Norm actually started to stutter and mumble as he escapes out the door into the Ford Avenue dark. I don't think he was expecting anyone to drop the A-word so early and so far from the beltway.

I think of the quote by Buckminster Fuller, "Chance favors the prepared mind."