Yikes, looks like it’s time to buy a unicycle.
That was our first reaction this week after hearing about the state House majority’s new plan to raise transportation revenue by, among other things, slapping a $25 fee on the sale of bicycles.
Can’t imagine many bike shop owners or spandex jockeys will pop wheelies of joy over this idea. Although the fee will apply only to bike sales above $500, no hardcore cyclist would be caught dead on a Huffy bought on sale at Walmart.
That means the fee could have a chilling effect on bike commuting and on progressive traffic planning ballyhooed by Washington poobahs.
And kiss goodbye that national award as the No. 1 most bicycle-friendly state for five straight years – an honor bestowed by the League of American Bicyclists, which sounds like a team of superheroes. (Coincidentally, cyclists and superheroes are both known for wearing tight, colorful lycra costumes. And for having a superiority complex.)
If it seems the world suddenly hates bicyclists, then let’s place the blame where it belongs, on Lance Armstrong.
Meantime, maybe we should give state lawmakers their due for taking a stand, finally, for Washington’s persecuted gas guzzlers and tailpipe smokers.
Come to think of it, why stop at yanking the chains of cyclists? Take a pound of flesh from other freeloaders who put wear and tear on road shoulders, bike lanes and sidewalks.
Tax them all!: The joggers, the blade rollers, the moms pushing strollers.
The children at lemonade stands. The grownups who stand and dance, shaking signs for condos or confections or school bond elections.
By all means tax the old folks taking walks, especially the ones with yapping little dogs.
Tax the boys who ride Big Wheels and the girls on bikes with training wheels. (In fact, charge them more for having extra axles, like the state does with trucks on the Narrows Bridge.)
Double tax those annoying cyclists who ride down Ruston Way, three abreast, with shaved legs and matching shirts and no regard for traffic alerts.
Triple tax cyclists in the Fremont Solstice Parade, Seattle’s most famous naked bike ride.
Those guys really chap our hide.
And put baseball cards in the spokes: You gotta admire the pedal pushers in places like Portlandia who have bought into the idea of a bike tax, seeing it as a way to enhance their credibility.
As Portland biker/lawyer Ray Thomas wrote in 2008: “When bicyclists can point to a tax they pay toward roads, then we will have a real seat at the transportation table.”
We hope it’s a banana seat.
Righteous idea, dudes! Several legislators down in O-Town really outdid themselves with a plan to invest nearly $200 million in expected marijuana tax revenue into public preschools.
Or, as we’re calling it around the TNT newsroom, “Tokes for Tykes.”
Next, why not put some pot money into K-12 salary increases?
We’ll call it “Reefers for Teachers.”
Cheese? Puh-leeze! An interesting note from the Tacoma Rainiers this week, to the effect that Ivar’s will handle concessions this season. Of course! What could taste better on a hot summer afternoon than a steaming bowl of chowder?
The real problem comes with the announcement that Beecher’s, the Seattle-based cheesemonger, will have a presence on the concourse. Ballpark menu items will include mac and cheese and grilled-cheese sandwiches.
The only cheese we want to see at Cheney Stadium is the high cheese that pitcher Taijuan Walker hurls at a batter crowding the plate.
Don’t be surprised if the team agrees to change the words fans sing during the seventh-inning stretch:
“Buy me some peanuts and Monterey Jack...”
They speak another language out there: It’s nice that local military types want to help new Army spouses figure out the shorthand. Maybe their soldier husbands and wives were deployed to a FOB as part of OEF but now are PCS’ing back to the U.S, and the spouses are moving to JBLM ASAP.
But this invitation sent out the other day on Twitter set off our irony alarm and left us LOL:
“JBLM ACS @JBLMACS
Having trouble deciphering Army acronyms? Attend an AFTB class, Mar 5 - 6 and/or Mar 19 - 21 and learn more about Army life.”
All this gibberish must make a young spouse feel like he or she has PTSD and needs to seek counseling from an MFLC.
Or at least resort to frequent use of his/her own military acronym:
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