Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Show me the Cash Money

Our story begins last week Saturday. The Rhino and I had to get up super early so we could formally purchase Bloomy1, our very first food truck! Boss! We were so excited about this fact that we went to Rhino’s company holiday party the night before, which was being held at Chino Latino in Uptown, and proceeded to have one* cocktail.
* More than one

We then meandered over to Williams, which apparently has gone from an “early 20s preppie crowd trying hard to impress all the other early 20s preppies” that I loved dearly when I was 22 (somehow, just tossing your peanut shells on the floor without getting yelled at seems both devious and delicious, like you’re breaking the fundamental rule learned when you were three that “YOU DON’T THROW YOUR TRASH ON THE FLOOR!”) to an “early 20s hipster crowd trying hard to impress all the other early 20s hipsters” that, being an almost-30 grown up, now makes me cringe and think, “look at all those deviants just throwing their peanut trash on the floor. Would you do that in your own house? I don’t think so!” In any case, we had one* more cocktail before hailing a cab back home.

* More than one

We finally made it to bed around 3:30am and fell into a blissful sleep. Less than five hours later, my alarm clock started chirping, and we had to pry ourselves out of bed and go to Ham Lake to pick up Bloomy1. We were very, very grumpy. We are not morning people. 

We had procrastinated on picking up the funds for this purchase beforehand so needed to make a bank stop to take out a rather large stack of cash. No worries though, I had it all planned out. We would go to the Eden Prairie bank, take out the large stack of cash, and get to Ham Lake by our mutually agreed-upon time of 10:30. When we got to the bank, however, we discovered that their lobby was closed on Saturdays (despite what was noted on the website). What?! Ever the optimist, I responded by saying in a loud cheerful voice “Okay! We’ll just go to the drive thru!” Once in the drive thru lane, we were made to understand that the cap on cash withdrawals was $3,000. We needed more than two times that much. I started sweating.

At the teller’s advice, we drove to the Wayzata bank location, a mere 25 minutes away. Neither of us knew where in Wayzata this bank was, even though I’d lived in Wayzata (a city of just 3.2 square miles, according to Wikipedia) for two years before I met the Rhino. We fought. However, with the help of our smart phones, we figured out where the bank was (after at least one wrong turn) and I immediately realized that I had driven or walked past this very bank over 1,000 times before. The lobby sign said “closed.”

At this point, I decided not to be optimistic anymore and started having a whack attack. I figured that I would be forced to go to the drive thru and default to my verbal judo tactics in order to negotiate my way into the large stack of cash we needed, despite the $3,000 cap.

Here’s a transcript of what ensued:

KJ: Drives up to the teller window
Teller: “How can I help you today scary lady?”
KJ: <This is the point at which I cast my verbal judo spell using what I learned during Basic Training:* large words, distraction techniques, active listening, and street truths.>
KJ: Pause for response
Teller: “Well, you can’t take out that amount of money using the drive thru window so you’ll have to come into the lobby!”
KJ: “Wait, the lobby is open?!?!”
Teller: “It sure is!”
KJ: “Um…”

*I have never taken Basic Training.

So, needless to say, my verbal judo tactics were successful and we walked into the fake-closed lobby to get our dollars. By the time we were halfway to Ham Lake, we were both staring googly eyed at the stack of cash and saying things like “Do you need some change? Oh, well let me see if I have any!” and “Ok, it’s my turn to hold it now!”.

Rhino enjoyed holding the dollars.

The guy we were buying Bloomy1 from lives in a ginormous castle with a circle driveway and stone lion statues everywhere. I like pretending that I live there. He invited us inside to his office/library/museum and we spent the remainder of the time signing paperwork and trying not to touch any of his fancy museum pieces. We sadly handed over our cash money but drove away with our very own truck!! This moment made me remember the story about letting birds (money) go free and sometimes the birds (money) will come back to you.

Anyway, we are very gratefully storing Bloomy1 at Rhino’s mom’s house until we drop it off at the makeover garage for its transformation from empty truck shell to fully operational Bloomy’s on wheels.

Rhino spent the remainder of last weekend and early week learning neat things about food, as he had to take his official Food Manager exam on Wednesday at 1pm. This exam required all of the following things:

1. $175
2. Extensive preparation and completion of numerous learning modules
3. An easy-to-use flash card system created by yours truly (#goteam or #nerd, your choice)
4.  A one hour drive to the exam station, in Mankato, which necessitated 
5. That Rhino take a PTO day

I am happy to report that the exam went without hitch and the Rhino passed with flying colors! Now he spends his days informing me of proper food storage techniques, and I practice multi-tasking by both listening to him and reading the new (and very funny) Tina Fey book. I’ve had to learn to laugh on the inside.

Last Friday brought our first meeting with Mr. Mark “Awesome” Palm from Chameleon Carts. Mark is the brains and brawn behind the Bloomy1 makeover. We got to see the inside of another food truck makeover he had done as well as a warehouse stocked with equipment as far as my eyes could see. I stared, Rhino drooled, and we both got a little giddy. With Mark’s help, we are about 1,000+ steps closer to finalizing the details of the Bloomy1 makeover. And he gave us some kettle popcorn to boot. We ate all of it. We were happy.

The ensuing week was spent putting the dozens of Kickstarter reward packages together and making the handful of last minute holiday package shippers who were waiting in line at the post office very very very angry. After three Christmas celebrations and lots of laughs and memories with our families, the Rhino and I settled gratefully into our week of vacation time away from our day jobs.

So that brings us up to the present. I am attempting to convince the Rhino to make another video (for a top secret project) but it is a tough sell considering what happened last time. He’s avoiding my sales techniques and celebrating the fact that he won the Fantasy League chalice this year. <Insert Rhino comment here: "Whatever! It's engraved!">> We never put up our Christmas tree. Well, you can’t win them all.

Happy new year from these two food truck fanatics. We’ve had an amazing 2011 and hope you have too. 2012 - bring it on!

Peace, love & roast beef,

Rhino & Katie

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