In a city like Tacoma that never sleeps but does enjoy an occasional afternoon nap, crime-fighters must be creative in their round-the-clock approach to fending off the bad guys.
The latest tactic: Try to reason with them, trusting in the old adage that there is honor among thieves. Or at least car prowlers.
To that end, City Councilman David Boe this week advised anyone within sound of his wise architect’s voice to hang a yellow tag from their rearview mirror, courtesy of the Tacoma Safe and Clean initiative.
“STOP thief!” the hanger warns, or rather pleads. “There are NO VALUABLES in this vehicle.” It then lists things that are not inside the car, such as money, purse, briefcase, cellphone and iPad.
We think this is a boffo idea – the best crime-deterrent message since “Baby on Board Carries No Cash!”
All that’s missing is the word “please,” because most thieves just want to be asked nicely.
Scumbags in the 253 also appreciate full disclosure, so we’re going to customize our hanging tag with a list of items that can be found in the Nosemobile. An emergency egg-salad sandwich in the glovebox. A pair of smelly tube socks from last month’s workout at the Y. Mrs. Nose’s Kenny G CDs. (Please, please take them, Mr. Prowler, sir!)
Unfortunately, we have rotten luck and smart-aleck punks in our ’hood. One of them is bound to smash a window and take nothing – except the warning hanger on our rearview mirror.
Thieves have feelings, too: Boe likes to brag that he’s been pedaling all over T-Town for Bike to Work Week. He must be hanging his yellow tag on his handlebars.
Displaying it in your car, he said at Tuesday’s council meeting, is a way to tell criminals: “Don’t waste your time.”
To which Mayor Marilyn Strickland added sagely: “It does require that you do not have any valuables in your locked car.”
Good point, mayor. Imagine the feeling of betrayal if the crooks discovered later that a car owner violated his end of the social contract.
More signs of the times: Tacoma Public Utilities could hang a “Stop Thief!” tag on its reserve fund. The Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center could do the same with its parking fund.
Maybe that would keep the city from raiding them again.
Why stop there? Let’s put giant yellow “no valuables here!” stickers on all the exit ramp signs along the freeway in Tacoma.
Out-of-town bandits will just keep driving past!
Where’d we put the compass? The Schnoz likes a good romp in the woods as much as any urban outbacker – the feel of the wind in our hair, the sun on our back.
And yet we’ve never considered taking those sensations to the next level by taking a hike wearing nothing but a smile. Naked as a bigleaf maple in January.
For one thing, there’s the chafing. For another, losing car keys in the backcountry is hazard enough when we have pockets to keep them in.
But if nudist hiking is an activity you and your free-bird pals would like to try, the 2012 observance of National Trails Day has an opportunity about 70 miles northeast of Tacoma. The Washington State Patrol presumably would like you to wait to disrobe until you reach the trail.
The family friendly, clothing-optional hike is set for June 2 at The Lake Bronson Family Nudist Park in Sultan. The 3.5-mile jaunt doesn’t start until 1 p.m., giving the forest a chance to warm up – and you a chance to wise up. Entry is free because … well, where are you gonna put your wallet?
What are you staring at? Organizers say nude hikers should expect a background check. Which sounds like an official way of warning that some lookyloos might check you out from behind.
Of course, you could always play it safe on Trails Day and hike (or join a work party) close to home, such as at Mount Rainier National Park. Clothing definitely required. Unless you’re Bigfoot.
More natural fun: REI has planned a Trails Day event in Tacoma. At Titlow Park. If an off-color joke creeps into your mind right now, that’s your problem.
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