Wednesday, December 25, 2019
As each year rolls awkwardly along I jot down notes that might be useable in a column someday, then toss them into a folder. Around now is when I discard the year’s unused material. Here, in no particular order, are a few items that never made it into print in 2019.
Breakfast of Champions. Back in August I ran across a Seattle Times story about a million dollars’ worth of cocaine turning up in banana boxes shipped to Washington Safeway stores, including the one here in Bellingham. Well, so that explains it. After having my cereal and bananas one morning I started making my usual to-do list for the day. The activity began speeding up and getting a little frantic. It ran to 183 items including, write a novel, read Finnegan’s Wake, learn Arabic, buy a horse farm, and enroll in medical school.
Catch Me if You Can. Last spring Blaine innkeeper Robert Joseph Boule was arrested for allegedly assisting people illegally crossing the U.S./Canadian border. Possibly Robert could have come up with a different name for his business than the one he chose: the Smuggler’s Inn. Apparently there is no truth to the rumor that Mr. Boule also owns an inn on the Arizona/Mexico border called La Posada de los Contrabandistas.
The Frugal Gourmet. I was really impressed by a use for leftovers from Saltadena Bakery on Holly Street. Rather than tossing cake scraps onto the sidewalk for the pigeons, the bakery started packaging them as a treat called Lil Scrappies. Being an enterprising fellow myself, I began sweeping out toast crumbs from the bottom of my toaster oven and marketing them as Lil Crummies. Business has been slow.
Nautical Nightmare. The dumbest political mailer of the recent election came from the Coalition for a Better Northwest Washington, a PAC funded by such totally objective parties as Phillips 66 and Marathon Petroleum. We were warned that “Satpal Sidhu has some radical ideas and taking away your motorboat is one of them.” Oh no! Now that he’s been elected county executive Satpal Sidhu will be coming for my motorboat. Wait a minute, I don’t have a motorboat. Maybe when he shows up I can give him my car instead.
Business Opportunity. This year we learned that State Senator Doug Ericksen signed on as a lobbyist and PR man for Hun Sen, Cambodia’s corrupt dictator, human rights abuser, and former member of the genocidal Khmer-Rouge. Doug, if you want to expand your business, you might contact Teodoro Obiang, dictator of Equatorial Guinea, famous for allegedly skinning opponents alive and eating their testicles. He could probably use some good PR, and since you don’t mind working for murderous thugs, this might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Straight Talk. The Vatican, 1965—the Catholic Church officially rejected the notion that the Jews killed Christ. Salt Lake City, 1978—the Mormon Church removed a ban on African-Americans serving in the priesthood. Bellingham, June 2019—the Firs, a Christian Retreat, not giving in to this sort of trendy political correctness, opted to stick with one of its prejudices by firing a talented and popular camp counselor for being gay. Oh, well, maybe next century. You don’t want to rush these things.
A Bridge too Far? Recently Bellingham City Council voted to permanently remove George Pickett’s name from the bridge at Prospect and Dupont streets. Some folks wanted the name to stay on the bridge because Pickett, as a United States Army officer, played an important role in early Bellingham history. Others wanted the name gone because Pickett later fought for the Confederacy. I supported removing Pickett’s name for another reason. Pickett didn’t build the bridge at Prospect and Dupont. He built a bridge at Prospect and Ellsworth that was taken down in 1873. City Council has also decided not to rename the bridge. I found that disappointing as I was going to suggest Rhodes Bridge. I’m a safe choice since I did not serve in the Confederate Army. I was pro-Union and I was only a child at the time anyway.
OMG! WTF? KMN! Thursday, November 21st, a day that will live in infamy, Tim Eyman announced that he is running for governor.Hey, Tim, here’s a tip: if you make it to the governor’s office, there’s already a desk chair there. You won’t have to steal one from Office Depot.
Well, that’s it for 2019. Now I think I’ll sit back with a cup of cocoa and watch Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas. See you next year.