The Nose

The Nose: Speaker Chopp’s moustache credentials seem a bit sparse

We always appreciate a good moustache. Not surprising, given its proximity to a certain body part.

Movember is our favorite month, rating well ahead of Octobeard.

The feelings date back to a warm childhood spent with Papa Proboscis. He would tickle his six kids with a Better-than-Bronson black ‘stache that had impressive soup-straining qualities.

Near the top of our bucket list? Being invited to judge a moustache contest someday.

So obviously we were envious when we heard that state Rep. Frank Chopp, the speaker of the House, presided over the First Annual Stache Bash last week.

Chopp is running for reelection, and this was a campaign event, so we’ll allow the Seattle Democrat some creative latitude.

And as political fundraisers go, a Stache Bash is definitely easier to swallow than a Democratic pig roast put on later this month by Tacoma state Rep. Laurie Jinkins. Vegetarian participants are encouraged to sculpt a pig out of fruits or vegetables.

(As if any legislator has ever hesitated to dish out pork.)

We’ll give Chopp credit for this much: He’s faithfully stuck with his salt-and-pepper muzzy (now mostly salt) throughout the seasons of his public life.

But does he really deserve the grand title of “Silver StacheMaster,” as he was anointed by his Stache Bash handlers?

Please. There’s only one elected official in Washington state whose whiskers measure up to that title: Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor.

And best of all, his upper lip plumage is strictly non-partisan.

Frankly, Mr. Chopp … : You might not even have the best cookie duster in the state House. You’re certainly lacking the total facial hair package.

Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, conveys gravitas with his Grizzly Adams look. Rep. David Taylor, R-Moxee, appears to be going for a Duck Dynasty or Dustin Ackley homage.

It’s time to raise the stakes, Mr Speaker.

Frank “Mutton” Chopp has a nice ring to it.

Da Mayor goes big time: No, not Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. His invitation must've gotten lost in the mail.

Tacoma's Marilyn Strickland was the Puget Sound poobah whisked off to the other Washington last week for a taping of NBC's "Meet the Press." She made a blink-and-you-might-miss-it appearance with two big-city U.S. mayors.

Strickland looked poised as she took her turn bragging about the resilience of American cities alongside Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett.

She kept her composure when the show's new host, Chuck Todd, painted her political stripes as independent rather than Democrat.

And somehow she kept from punching out the leader of the city that beat the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL, and the mayor whose city stole the Sonics.

Strickland previously showed up on national telly in January to give post-State of the Union remarks on "PBS News Hour." So she has advanced from a program only your grandma watches to a program your grandpa might watch, too, if his bladder wakes him up early Sunday.

And this time, it was nice to see her stuck in front of a fake backdrop of the White House, not the Space Needle.

Awkward moments in UP: September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and the tactful leaders of University Place recognized it in memorable fashion at last week's City Council meeting.

With the gentleness of a doctor snapping on a pair of rubber gloves, Mayor Denise McCluskey decided to put one of her male colleagues on the spot:

"I heard Councilman (Kent) Keel had his (prostate) screening earlier today, so I'd like to give him the honor of reading the proclamation. Would you mind?"

"Right here?" Keel responded, seemingly caught off guard and wondering if he could stay seated.

"What, you can't walk anymore?" the mayor quipped.

Nervous laughs from the council and peanut gallery.

Keel, rising to his feet, sheepishly offered: "It was a couple hours ago, so I'm OK."

McCluskey knew she was on a roll. She couldn't stop as Keel walked forward to read the proclamation on behalf of the Tacoma Prostate Cancer Support Group.

"As you can see, he is in fit shape," she said. "The doctor gave him the A-OK. He has the body of a 35-year-old, so I've heard."

Oy vey.

All in all, the experience had to be nearly as uncomfortable as the exam itself -- and took more than three times as long.

Can't wait to see the wacky hijinx the mayor has planned in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Something we don't expect to see in our lifetime: An appearance by University Place Mayor Denise McCluskey on "Meet the Press."