Craig J. Hansen

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He sits on a bench and tunes his guitar. It is already in tune, but he has time to kill. The taproom is almost empty. The woman behind the bar has methodically wiped the same surfaces with the same gray rag over and over. He plays in half an hour. He would like a few…

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The Run

“Well, here it is,” says Frankie. “Wow,” says Ivy, “that’s a lot of trees.” “It’s getting dark,” says Jimmy. “I hate winter, except for this, of course.” They stand for a moment, looking down. Ivy crouches and runs her mitten over the surface. “It’s covered with ice,” she says. Frankie joins her. “It sure is.…

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Lumberville Trolley

“Go ahead and take your seats, folks,” says the driver, using a handheld microphone. “And welcome aboard the Lumberville Trolley. There are some empty seats in the back. Yes, I know the seats aren’t all that comfortable. They’re all made of wood, just like the trolleys of old. And you can open those windows if…

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Interview with a Bumblebee

  “First, let me say how much I appreciate you meeting with me today. I know you are busy.”“No problem, and thanks for having me,” says the bumblebee. “So, it looks like you are a common eastern bumblebee.” “If you say so.” “Can you tell us something about yourself? You know, a brief introduction.” “Well,…

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Encounter Difference

  “Great to have you all here, our core group of managers and directors,” says the vice president. Around the long rectangular table, the mostly men and a few women look back blankly. “I have with us today Mary Miller from HR. As part of our diversity initiative, every quarter we hold a program where…

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Wrong Number

She dials, listens to the ring tone, and as soon as she hears the click that shows someone picked up, she says, “I’m leaving. I just wanted you to know that. You don’t even care. I’m walking out the door right now and I left the kitchen a mess and you don’t even care.” A…

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Milk Carton

“So, how long have you been playing that thing?” “I don’t know. Since I was a kid.” “Well, you’re pretty good.” The man who says this looms over the guitar player, looks like a biker. He’s big, leather jacketed, bandanna topped, bearded, tattooed, heavy booted, decorated with patches and pins. The biker points at the…

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Dog Talk

My two dogs sit comfortably in the living room. Jake sits on the seat of a wingback chair. He has a thick coat of mostly black fur, Border Collie bones, and a wolfish head. Zoey, a mutt, also has mostly black fur, graying in the face. She has kind eyes. Both are about 60 pounds…

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Dead Phone

I have the smart phone that can do lots of things that I don’t understand. And I forgive its quirks, as I’m sure it forgives mine. But then we have a problem. She wouldn’t charge up. In fact, I could watch her battery run down. I wasn’t doing anything unusual, and I thought we were…

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Beer Dabbler

Only in Minnesota. It’s odd enough to celebrate winter in any way and even odder to have a winter carnival, in January, outdoors. It’s an old tradition here, fueled by alcohol and hubris and, admittedly, a certain amount of hardiness. One of the more recent events has been the Beer Dabbler. It sounds like a…

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