Gather ’round the fire, little Nostrils, and listen to the story of a special night when St. Nick made his most thrilling trip to the Evergreen State.
It’s chronicled in a children’s picture book published this year, “Santa is Coming to Washington.” It tells of the time when the right jolly old elf got lost in an unexpected snowstorm over Lake Washington and grounded his sleigh atop the Space Needle. (Lucky for him, probably the only free parking in Seattle.)
Don’t worry, wee ones. Santa got moving again in plenty of time to make his rounds of our state’s rooftops, including an obligatory pass through poor ol’ Pierce County.
“There were big chimneys in Bellevue, and small chimneys in Spokane,” author Steve Smallman writes. “He squeezed down thin chimneys in Tacoma and plummeted down fat chimneys in Vancouver.”
If we weren’t so drunk with holiday spirit, we’d be offended by these stereotypes — Bellevue, of course, has fat chimneys to fit big bags of toys for all its rich girls and boys; Tacoma has skinny chimneys for its bedraggled welfare urchins.
But honestly, these days we’re glad to have any chimneys at all.
The Tacoma area is one of only 31 places in the U.S. that violate federal air-quality standards for fine-particle pollution.
Big Brother is watching — and while it’ll soon be legal to light your bong, it’s getting harder and harder to light your fireplace.
So grab your inhalers, kiddos, and gather ’round again as The Nose reads our 2012 holiday poem. It gives a breathtaking glimpse of T-Town’s ghost of not-too-distant Christmas future.
’Twas the Night Before Christmas
(The Clean Air Version)
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of presto logs danced in their heads.
And Mama with newspaper, and I with old two-by-fours,
Stoking the flames of our only heat source.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the fireplace to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Thinking: “If we run out of wood, we’ll just burn our trash.”
When, what to my wondering eyes should I ogle?
Eight burn-ban inspectors wearing night-vision goggles!
With a little old driver, preaching low-smoke attainment,
I knew he was the chief Puget Sound Clean Air Agent.
More rabid than pit bulls, his enforcers they came,
And he whistled and shouted and filled us with shame:
“No wood stoves! No bonfires! No soot! No pollution!
Onward we march to the clean-air revolution!”
“To the top of the porch!
To the top of the wall!
Now ash, away! Ash, away!
Let’s have no ash — at all!”
He spoke lots of words, then went straight to his work,
Delivering $1,000 infractions. Man, what a jerk!
“All particles are evil,’ he said with a snort.
(“Though I’m told to ignore the ones from the port.”)
And I heard him exclaim, as night turned into day:
“Happy Christmas to all — and God bless the EPA!”
Call him the whiz kid: Around these parts, leaky cup problems are usually limited to hot beverages at Starbucks – annoying but hardly scandalous.
Now comes “The Case of the Leaky Cup” that we hope never to see reproduced in a Hardy Boys Mystery.
The cup in question was used in a urinalysis of Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, whom the NFL accused of taking a performance-enhancing drug. Sherman said the sample was tainted because the first-string cup leaked or overflowed, and a backup cup was brought in from the bench to handle the spillage.
Sherman beat the rap. Never doubt the power of a Stanford education.
And in case you ever think you have the worst job in the world, rest assured, there is one worse: NFL urinalysis specimen handler.
New Year’s resolution: We will use less bathroom humor in 2013.
But it’s not 2013 yet! Just when you thought technology had advanced as far as it can, a Puyallup company pushes the envelope.
The company is Honey Bucket, and it refuses to take the competition sitting down.
“With the new mobile site, customers may reach Honey Bucket instantly via their smartphone, tablet, or other Internet-enabled hand held device,” the company says in a news release.
Because when you gotta go, you gotta go?