Spring has sprung, and so has squirrelliness

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April 23, 2002 // UPDATED 1:18 pm - April 30, 2007
By: Julie Swenson
Julie Swenson

Why you should run down Nicollet Mall in high heels and pretend you're Wonder Woman

It's gorgeous these days and that can mean only one thing: I don't want to work. The very act of sitting at my computer writing these words is close to excruciating because I'm feeling so very silly, squirrelly and ready for some fun. Not the kind of fun you have when you play Solitaire at work when no one is looking.

No, cabin fever this year calls for more. My assignment to myself is to cure cabin fever without spending much, getting arrested or changing out of your work clothes.

First, pretend you are Superman or Wonder Woman. You can run up the Nicollet Mall in heels and a suit. If you look really upset, people will think you are running from one important client to another trying to save the day. Carry a few file folders in one hand and have papers occasionally fly out onto the ground for added drama.

When you get tired, continue south on the mall to Big Brain Comics, 81 S. 10th St. I've spent entire afternoons over the years sitting in the comic-book store reading the entire stock and only made a few purchases. They always have great music playing and comfy chairs and it's the epitome of a no-pressure sales environment. (But be nice and buy something.)

Next head over to the Hyatt or the Hilton. Both of these lovely hotels have easily accessible ballrooms from the street. Just walk into the lobby and locate the nearest Up escalator. Once upstairs, take a minute to catch your breath and get a look around. You are looking for unmanned check-in booths and coffee/donut stations. Saunter up to said donut station and look like you know what you are doing -- look at your watch a lot, and draw on the slightly upset look you had during your earlier jog. Then help yourself to a cup of leftover coffee.

Now that you have nourishment, build up your nerve and open up the door to the nearby ballroom/conference room. Is it a big meeting with empty seats in the back? Well one of those seats is waiting for you to plop into and gain some free knowledge. Is it a small meeting where people are actually talking and getting things done? (These are very rare.) If so, just say a quick "Oops! Wrong room. Sorry!" and shut the door gently and go back to the donut station.

Next you can head over to Target to experience the thrill of the chase with a shopping cart on the escalator. Remember, you don't need to buy anything, you can simply take a cart, put it on the cart side of the escalator and ride up or down along with it. Make sure not to leave one of your co-workers or your kid in the cart for the escalator ride. It's fun to see this invention in action, and lately they've had booths in the store to give away free pop if you apply for a Target credit card.

If you do want to buy something, spring for a cheap plastic kid's kite. As you are winding down from a day of petty mischief, this tool will come in handy. Take yourself for a walk over the Stone Arch Bridge. Since you are hovering over the middle of a river, there's plenty of wind and no trees around to ruin the fun. There's no need to run in and out of traffic either. To get the kite flying, you can pretty much just stand there, hold it up, and it will take right off.

No time to blow off steam during the day? That's just fine. You can go to the Downtown post office until 11 p.m. on weeknights and talk stamps with real people. The folks who work in the window have been there for years, and they know all the Downtown characters and what they like to mail. And you never know who you'll run into checking their PO box late at night. Maybe you'll see Prince picking up fan mail or Kevin Garnett sending off his Visa payment at the last minute. Everyone uses the post office and everyone procrastinates, even the rich and famous.

While you're there ask Prince what crazy things he's been doing to cure cabin fever, and be sure to let me know!

When she's not acting silly, Julie Swenson (julie@abbaspr.com) is owner of Abbas Public Relations.