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Maybe a few more signs would help

By Rich Glennie
I can hear it now: “Not sure what happened, boss, but it just jumped out at me!” the driver tells his supervisor.
To his insurance company, he adds, “I was driving along, minding my own business, and the building just hit me! Ya, that’s what I said!”
It seems drivers cannot avoid running into the Glencoe Dairy Queen. Physically hitting the building, that is.
It happened again recently as workers were finishing up the reconstruction around the west-end business this fall. A year or so earlier, the Dairy Queen was damaged by a semi that collided with the front entrance on the east side of the building. This time, it was a piece of construction equipment that ran into the west side of the restaurant.
Some of us are beginning to wonder: Is someone trying to hint that the Dairy Queen needs a drive-through? Apparently vehicles don’t fit through the current doorways.
Perhaps in our sign-happy community we can come up with a few spare stop signs to bolt onto the Dairy Queen building. Or maybe we can post a “Dairy Queen crossing” sign, much like those for deer.
Speaking of newer signs, have you seen the new pedestrian signs in the alley between the old Gould theatre building and the former Common Cup store on Hennepin Avenue? They were put up, along with posts in the alley, to prevent trucks and other vehicles from getting onto Hennepin Avenue via the alley.
Can’t say I’ve seen a pedestrian use the alley yet, but now we have an “alley to nowhere” to go with a walking path and a street of the same ilk.
The closing of the alley is part of the city-MnDOT project to replace the sidewalks and underground utility services on the east side of Hennepin Avenue. It was supposed to happen this past summer, but didn’t. The city apparently jumped the gun on its part, assuming the state funds were ready, too. Didn’t happen. The work is now planned for next summer … funds permitting.
The question among us coffee drinkers at Gert & Erma’s is how do we get into these businesses if the street and sidewalks are all torn up? You see, some of those main street businesses have no back doors.
Us coffee guys — the Swede, the Norwegian and me, the Finn — are looking at a plan B. We propose a wooden plank leading into Gert & Erma’s. My worry is Ole, the Swede, and his ability to walk the plank. Olav, the Norwegian, moves so slowly it doesn’t really matter. I’m still fairly agile despite my girth.
I can picture it now: the Swede tumbles off the plank into the hole in the street. The rest of us look down, like all good sidewalk superintendents, and ponder how to help.
“Dere he is,” Olav might say as he looks at the Swede in the hole. “He’s on his back like a turtle.”
“Vat should vee do now?” Olav asks Olofinnpoika (the Finn).
“Get him a foo-foo drink,” Olofinnpoika replies. “Make it a large. I think he’s going to be down there awhile.”
And then we all wait for the rescue crew to fish poor Ole out.
While we wait, it will give all us coffee drinkers something new to talk about.
How’s that for a win-win situation, eh?
Rich Glennie was the editor of The Chronicle for 23 years. He retired Aug. 1, 2014.