Shop Til’ You Drop, How about improvising an audience?, and God is My Co-Pilot

Spent much of the day at the Mall of America here in Bloomington, MN (just outside Minneapolis).

We stopped here a couple of years ago on our way home from a Rocky Mountain vacation, but I was about to get a hip replacement and I couldn’t enjoy the walking.

Today, I strolled around the place and, lemme tell you, it’s massive. Four levels of stores, eateries, and entertainment. Each floor larger than most shopping malls – the place holds 520 stores and occupies an amazing 4.2 million square feet. In the center of the mall is a full size amusement park:

And who doesn’t like Legos?

I asked for one lego block from the top right corner...

Now, having spent several hours walking around this massive place, imagine my surprise when I found out that the Mall of America is not the biggest mall in the world. It’s not even the biggest mall in North America. That title belongs to the West Edmonton Mall in Canada at 800 stores and 5.3 million square feet. (Yes, I will be visiting there)

The largest in the world? South China Mall with 1,500 stores and 9.6 million square feet (maybe next trip). I think I’d need the other hip done if I walked that monstrosity.


I got one of those entertainment newspapers that are in every large city and that list the weekly diversions, concerts, and restaurants. (here in Minneapolis, it’s called the Vita’MN. Get it?)

There was a listing for the Brain Game, a night of improvisation that was said to feature the Twin Cities’ best. To quote: “Watch them match wits with each other, the audience, and the unforgiving clock.” Sold!

When I showed up at the Huge Theater (yep, its real name), I appeared to be the only one there and it was only twenty minutes before showtime.

I think they took a little liberty with naming the place, but I was still gung-ho. However, the clock kept ticking and the only ones showing up were obviously in the show (I could tell by the European shoulder bags the guys carried). With five minutes to go, I began to see myself as THE AUDIENCE and I wasn’t quite prepared to match wits with anyone let alone Minneapolis’ finest improvisors!

I imagined myself sitting alone in the audience and the troupe would pause during the “laugh moments” and look out into the audience for my reaction. That’s just too much pressure. (Now, if I could do that ‘cricket sound’ like when a joke bombs in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, I might have hung around – that would have been awesome!)


Luckily, my wife came to my rescue and reminded me that Minneapolis has a Hard Rock Cafe, so I abandoned the Huge Theater and headed downtown for some dinner, a couple of pics, and the mandatory pins for Donna’s collection.

Did you know that Minneapolis is the hometown of Prince? Me neither. There was the usual memorabilia along with a special Prince room. The car above the bar was Prince Purple…

And the license plate said it all:


Today’s Travel:  102 miles

Total Travel To Date: 1678 miles


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