There: that should keep you creeped out for a day or two. It’s a rabbit head stuck on a showroom dummy at the Mall of America; if I worked at the store I’d bring a baseball bat to work daily. Not because I thought the thing would come to life and advance on me with its horrible bulging eyes and Cardassian cheeks, but because it could. It’s not likely, granted. But there’s really no downside to bringing a bat to work every day, and significant downside to being consumed by a godless plastic reanimated rabbit-headed manikin, and not being able to take his noggin off with one good swing. Especially because people would be so impressed. They’d be all like dude, that was incredible, how did you know? How did you suspect? And then you’d have to explain how STUPID one has to be not to prepare for the possibility that this thing is not a result of corporate’s marketing strategy, but something summoned up from the netherworld by that guy who works on Thursdays and has snakes tattooed on his tongue and has something in his pants that sets off the shoplifting alarm every – single – time.

I mean, duh.

Didn’t leave the house today, except to pick up Gnat. The reason is simple. The reason is Seven. That was the temperature. Seven. I am hard pressed to find a compelling reason to expose myself to Seven for no reason, when things can be done at home. (Note: the current temperature, as I write, is Two. In an hour it will be One. The temperature will drop fifty percent!) (Note: yes, I know, as measured against Absolute Zero this is not the case. But it already feels like Absolute Zero, so spare me the emails.) I wrote everything at home – a rare five-column day, alas – and ventured out only to go the grocery store, where I confronted the fact that I am fargin’ sick of Atkins, and want a stack of pancakes about seventeen miles high. Also caramel rolls and cinnamon buns and burritos with warm soft tortillas and all the other things I forbid myself in order to maintain a trim physique in case I should be required, by some sort of public referendum, to walk around naked all the time. When it’s two.

We went home; I made supper, walked the dog – who was about as quick to be done with his excretions as you can imagine – then bent myself to the machinery for the evening’s work. One more column awaits, so this will be short. I will, however, give you this:

And that is what? Well, that’s the future, once upon a time. It’s one of the few surviving Googie-inspired Embers restaurants, in this case an old survivor alongside the beltway in the south metro. In its time this was pure whimsical modernism, with its pointy roof showing the way to the New Frontier. The original rocket-nozzle light fixtures remain, as does the irregular stone so popular in the late 50s and early 60s. I weep for this one when I pass, every week.

It’s still an Embers, although that chain has fallen into conceptual desuetude. It lost its 60s cool vibe, and now markets itself as a co-brand. They will always have a nice spot in my heart, though; when they came to Fargo, they were fine dining, and that Emberger was a savory thing indeed. In the 80s, many many nights on the town ended up at the Uptown Embers, long since knocked over for a Chipotle. The days when you could walk into a restaurant at 2 AM and find 150 people all drunk, smoking, drinking coffee and inhaling pie are long past around here.

Here’s the website. This FAQ for franchisees is amusing, inadvertently. Note: POS does not mean “Point of Sale” to everyone.

But of course:
While listening to a bad old radio show tonight (so much of the old radio is krep, frankly; the old 99% rule applies here as well) I was surprised to find it ended with a five-minute monologue sponsored by Pillsbury, a segment that had nothing to do with the show. And it did not seem to make sense, either. Granted, I was only giving it half an ear. So I rewound and listened again, and to my surprise it was a segment announced by Cedric Adams, the man who was GOD in newspapers and radio in the Twin Cities for so many years. He was beloved in a way few can match; he was an institution, a utility, easily digestible, breezy, and utterly dispensible. But loved! Everyone loved Cedric. There will never be his sort again, simply because newspapers these days will give a column to a guy who ends the column with two inches of phone numbers for free puppies. I had heard of his radio success – it was mostly local, it seems, never quite national in the Godfrey sense. He wrote a book, and Doubleday published it, but I don’t think he had a broad national profile. Perhaps there’s a great repository of Cedric MP3 on the web somewhere. Maybe not. Perhaps this is the start. From 1951, Cedric Adams. Disconnected observations strung together for no particular purpose or reason. Podcasting, half a century back.

Note: the temp is now zero. As in: Nothing.