The Nose: Halloween brings out sharks, pirates and other mercenaries

TheNose@thenewstribune.comNovember 1, 2013 

The rich and famous will spare no expense to enjoy the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay in University Place. You want the platinum package, the gold package or the Nose’s limited-time-offer aluminum package?


When Dale Washam was booted out as Pierce County’s chief taxman last year, there were many reasons to celebrate, but perhaps none as big as this:

He apparently was a fuddy duddy on Halloween.

“I have reinstated a popular tradition in the Assessor-Treasurer’s Office that was suspended under the previous administration,” new A-T Mike Lonergan said in an email to the TNT this week. “There is a costume contest among our employees, and over the years taxpayers have gotten a smile from seeing our cashiers dressed in themed outfits.”

On Thursday, Lonergan said the “ladies” in the office were wearing “quite fashionable shark hats.”

They were dressed as merciless predators, you say? Sounds about right, since they’re collecting second-half property taxes this week.

Tough act to follow: Gov. Jay Inslee has the misfortune of coming after fellow Democrat Chris Gregoire, whose elaborate Halloween costumes were an annual font of material for this column.

For their inaugural holiday getup, Inslee and his wife, Trudi, dressed as pirates at the governor’s mansion Thursday.

Perfect choice for a D, really, when you consider a pirate’s plundering demeanor and angry invocation of the letter “AARRRRRRRRRRR!!”

Rumor has it: Inslee made the children cry by instituting a cap-and-trade policy on their candy.

It was a dark and spooky night: In the Tacoma City Council chambers, that is, as Halloween came early during the regular Tuesday meeting.

Council members wore matching orange ties and blouses. David Boe brought in a plastic pumpkin for extra company. His colleagues kept a straight face until Mayor Marilyn Strickland called on “Councilman O’Lantern.”

The pumpkin abstained from all votes on the short agenda.

Seems he didn’t know Jack.

We’re flattered, truly: It’s not every day we’re mistaken for Mr. Moneybags on the Monopoly board — the kind of wheeler dealer with deep pockets who can afford to drop tens of thousands of dollars at the 2015 U.S. Open.

Guess that’s what happens when you’re a big-shot columnist at a leading American daily newspaper.

How else to explain the invitation Snores Truly received this week from the company in charge of corporate hospitality for the professional golf circus that will pitch its tents here a couple summers from now.

“The USGA sincerely appreciates your interest in and consideration of the U.S. Open hospitality program and hopes you’ll be able to join us in 2015 at Chambers Bay,” the emailed letter from MSG Promotions said.

Of course we will! Sign us up for your platinum package. It’s only $235,000, including a deposit of $58,750 due up front. It pays for a private tent on the 18th green and tickets to the tournament for us and 99 of our closest friends.

Put us down for two platinums, and throw in a gold for good measure. The gold package costs a measly $130,000, including a $32,500 deposit, for 50 tickets and other perks.

We’re also tempted by the Daily Puget Sound Suite Package – the most expensive per-person rate, at $1,110 a pop for the prime days of the tourney.

Some folks might say: “They’ve gotta lotta nerve charging so much! Who do they think they are, the Puyallup Fair?”

But we say it’s a small price to pay for a front-row seat to history. This will be the largest sporting event ever held in Pierce County, and by far the most prestigious gathering of people wearing strange and spectacular pants in University Place that week.

All enjoyed under the glorious skies (cloudy with a chance of slightly less cloudy) that define mid-June in Pugetopia.

Almost forgot to mention: The U.S. Open will bring a projected $150 million economic impact to our area, according to really smart people who project such things using complicated algorithms. Or a Magic 8 Ball.

Heck, we’re well on our way to spending that much money by ourselves.

Special deals from The Nose: We offer these exclusively to U.S. Open fans on a tight budget, meaning most people who actually live and work in Pierce County. (On the Monopoly board of life, we’re the ones who do not pass Go and do not collect $200.)

For $15, you can sign up for our aluminum package: Watch the tournament on a smartphone in a parking lot across the street at the Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.

For an extra $5, we’ll throw in a granola bar and a bottle of water.

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