The Nose: That noise? 18,000 potholes crying out in celebration

TheNose@thenewstribune.comNovember 8, 2013 

Forget the shouts of victory in the Jan Angel camp or the whoops of joy at the No on I-522 headquarters on election night. Never mind the momentary quenching of bloodlust among the usual crowd of Tim Eyman haters.

And disregard the exhale of sweet relief that went up among supporters of Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland. (Good thing she sent that eleventh-hour robocall to rally the troops.)

The really boisterous sound you heard on election night was a chorus of 18,000 cracked and road-weary political survivors whose futures are now secure.

They are the potholes of Tacoma, yearning to breathe free and break your car’s shocks and struts.

To the untrained ear, that noise they made Tuesday night might be mistaken for “Hip, hip hooray!”

But listen closely and it sounds decidedly like “Neener, neener! You can’t stop us. You can only hope to contain us.”

As if we humans ever had a chance.

Eighteen thousand?! It’s a staggering number. They don’t even have that many Starbucks in Gig Harbor.

But that’s how many potholes Tacoma promised to fill using revenue from a utility earnings tax increase.

The people have spoken, and some observers declared this election a pro-pothole mandate.

Perhaps voters were confused. Maybe they thought they were OK’ing underground receptacles to legally store their pot.

Golly, we hope not.

Indeed, now is the time for T-Towners to rise up from their bumped and bruised derrieres. Today is the day to pay heed to the Deep South, where some of America’s biggest revolutions (the Freedom Rides of the 1960s) were born.

Introducing Ron Chane of Jackson, Miss. – aka, “The Pothole Robin Hood.”

Citizens, unite!: Chane gained notoriety last summer for stealing from the rich (his city’s giant pile of unattended asphalt) and giving to the poor (friends and neighbors tired of dodging craters).

Chane told the Clarion-Ledger newspaper he and his girlfriend got the idea during a particularly rough drive to grab a bite at Denny’s.

“We were behind a little hippie van with a bumper sticker that said, ‘Quit your bitching and do something about it.’”

So they went to work, filling more than 100 potholes and leaving a painted message with each: “Citizen fixed.”

“The revolution idea of it is to get other people to do it behind us,” he said.

Amen, brother. We’ve got your back here in Tacoma – a city known for a DIY spirit, with its Hilltop citizen crime patrols and Triangle District vigilante crosswalk painters.

So put down your spray cans, people. Pick up your shovels.

Let the revolution begin.

Memo to Pierce County auditor: Do we really need a secrecy envelope and a privacy flap? In an all-mail election, who are we hiding our ballot from — the family dog?

Response from the auditor: Your vote counts even if you don’t use the secrecy envelope.

Response from The Nose: Great. Now how ’bout you ditch the envelope and use that money to bring back the “I voted” sticker?

Girl power: Tuesday’s all-mail election did away with the all-male City Council in Puyallup. Julie Door cruised to a win. Heather Shadko also appears to have won.

But will the good ol’ boys of Meekerville get along with their new colleagues as well as they did the last women who served?

Let’s just say some fellers still can’t make it through a meeting without railing about former Mayor Kathy Turner. Former council member Nicole Martineau gets her share of patronizing remarks, too.

At times, the P’yallup council feels like a fifth-grade class of boys afraid of cooties.

Stay tuned to see the fallout when Mars and Venus collide.

Timeless treasures: Glad to see the state Capitol will soon crack open a time capsule and add some new items. May we suggest:

  • Pot sample from a state-licensed store (if one ever opens).
  • Surplus Mariners jerseys for Chone Figgins and Milton Bradley.
  • Pavement chunk from a Tacoma pothole.
  • Ransom note from Boeing.

This week in music history: The Disalmanac reported Wednesday that in the first week of November 1976, Steve Miller Band’s “Rock’n Me” hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts.

“Why anyone would want to go from Phoenix, AZ all the way to Tacoma remains a mystery,” the Disalmanac writer snidely comments.

Oh, c’mon, dude. That road trip now makes more sense than ever.

As Steve Miller confesses in another classic song: “I’m a joker. I’m a smoker. I’m a midnight toker.”

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