The Nose

The Nose: Good grief! Our South Sound Christmas just got a lot less colorful, and spangly

They might as well just cancel Christmas this year.

That bah-humbug sentiment got stuck in our snout this week after hearing that the city of Lakewood had put the kibosh on one of the South Sound’s most time-honored holiday traditions.

This Saturday’s third annual running of the Jingle Bell Rock Your Ugly Sweater 5k fun run has been called off.

Put on the back shelf. Hung out to dry. Mothballed.

Guess if you want to see ugly sweaters this year, your options are now limited to ... well ... any office Christmas party in America.

Also, dozens of pub crawls, hundreds of trendy retail and vintage clothing stores, and countless copycat fun runs — including one in King County’s Marymoor Park to be held the same day Lakewood’s was scheduled. (Leave it to the !@#$% northlanders to steal our event.)

Or you could just spend a December weekend with your grandma — the only person you know who owns a first-generation BeDazzler and wears a felt-applique dancing Santa sweater vest without irony.

What a rough couple of weeks it’s been for Pierce County merrymakers. First, the planned performance by Bill Cosby (an ugly sweater aficionado himself) was canceled at the Pantages Theater. (Poof, there went our stocking stuffers for Mrs. Nose). And now this.

Oh, yeah, and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium had to put down an arthritic reindeer.

What’s next, a power outage at Zoolights? A severe case of laryngitis infecting the Singing Christmas Tree? A riot in the maximum-security ward at Tacoma Elf Storage?

In the words of Charlie Brown, America’s most famous ugly sweater model: “Good grief.”

An ugly mess: Lakewood poobahs tell us they had to cancel their event this year because it didn’t draw enough advance registrations.

This can mean only one thing: The Earth has finally run out of resources to meet our ugly sweater consumption. And the good people of Lakewood are caught in the grip of the shortage — a fashion disaster on par with the great polyester leisure suit drought of ’78 and the plaid-flannel grunge shirt crisis of ’92.

So who can we blame for spoiling Christmas this year? Why, the feuding dockworkers and bosses who’ve slowed work to a trickle at the Port of Tacoma, of course!

Somewhere anchored in Commencement Bay, there must be a containership piled high with ugly sweaters, waiting for good homes.

Seattle’s great shame: Gee, we thought it was good news this week when Tacoma Public Schools announced its Class of 2014 had graduated a record number of students.

Not to Frank Blethen, publisher of the Seattle Times, who evidently sees it as a competition and mourned that Tacoma (gasp!) had surpassed Seattle’s graduation rate.

He tweeted: “Another embarrassment for states largest and most dysfunctional district.”

Memo to Mr. Blethen: Any day our city can embarrass yours is a happy day in our book.

Massive pastry deployment: In a top-secret mission executed with the precision of a JBLM special-ops unit, 80 mystery cakes were delivered all over the Tacoma School District on Tuesday — two to each high school and middle school, and one to each elementary school.

Workers at the Pacific Avenue Fred Meyer pulled two all-nighters making them. Boosters, administrators and school board members delivered them. The Foundation for Tacoma Students paid $3,200 for them.

Teachers and staff at each school devoured them — a reward for helping boost the graduation rate this year by 8 percent. (This explains the inscrutable “Tac8ma” frosted atop each confection.)

Sorry, kids. No cake for you!

If they make things too delicious at school, you’ll never want to get your diplomas and get out.

If you’re lucky, though, maybe next year they’ll let you lick the beaters.

Uff da!: Kudos to Pacific Lutheran University for hosting a community discussion Thursday about the fatal police shooting and community unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

It was held in a venue on the Parkland campus that’s perfect for airing serious concerns about diversity and racial dynamics.

The Scandinavian Cultural Center. A place where Swedes, Danes and Norwegians can all come together in peace.

Ya sure, ya betcha!

Yum yum: Those vagabonds on the Pierce County Council held a meeting in Puyallup City Hall this week, and Meekerville Mayor John Knutsen welcomed them with a lip-smacking treat.

Not scones. Not Earthquake burgers.

He left them each a Snickers bar.

A sweet gesture, sure. But with all that pricey jail overtime they’ve had to cover lately, they’d probably prefer some 100 Grand or PayDay bars.

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