The Nose

The Nose: If you don’t want the Tacoma tree or movie for Christmas, try the tattoo

Just in the Saint Nick of time, Snores Truly offers a few fresh finds you might consider as gifts for the Tacomaphile who has everything.

There’s one in every family — the slavishly devoted T-Towner who drives a Toyota Tacoma, buys all his fasteners at Tacoma Screw and does all his fertilizing with Tagro.

The tenacious Tacomaddict who knows how to play Leonard Cohen’s “Tacoma Trailer” on a Tacoma Guitar, and likes to kick back on an Ethan Allen brand Tacoma sofa while wearing Naturalizer brand Tacoma sandals.

Now, voila, here are three more items Bill Baarsma can put on his wish list for Santa:

• The Tacoma Christmas tree.



Our Minnesota bureau reporter recently discovered this holiday treasure at a Menards home-improvement store in the Twin Cities.

To be precise, it is a 6.5-foot pre-lit “Tacoma spruce” tree. (The South Sound isn’t often associated with spruce trees, but oh well.)

It comes out of the box with 250 clear miniature lights. (Three short of 253, but oh well.)

Like the city for which it’s named, the Tacoma spruce is kind of smallish, compared to the Seattle spruce or even the Spokane spruce.

Kind of a second-class tree, really. But affordable and festive without being ostentatious.

If it weren’t artificial, you could take it down Dec. 26 and have it recycled into another local product we told you about a few years ago: Tacoma Firelogs.

• A copy of the 2012 movie “The Tacoma Syndrome,” by French-Canadian filmmaker Nils Oliveto.



We’d never heard of this movie. Our arthouse friends down at the Grand Cinema/Tacoma Film Festival say they’re not familiar with it, either.

But a plot synopsis on the IMDb movie website describes it thusly:

“Tacoma, Washington: November 7, 1940. The Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapses dramatically four months after its opening. Montreal, Canada: present day. A major city in a terminal decline. The deteriorating roads, crumbling bridges and widespread construction repair sites have become a dreadful reality for its residents. The Tacoma catastrophe and the Montreal urban downfall have a significant emotional impact on the personal life of Dr. Markus Tulay (Nils Oliveto), a university professor specialized in bridge engineering ...”

Great Galloping Gertie! That sounds truly awful and truly fascinating, in a complicated French-Canadian way.

We figured a movie about a Tacoma syndrome would revolve around something else.

Say, a perpetual inferiority complex. Or a widespread fear of being mugged by a meth dealer.

• “Made in Tacoma” tattoo.



No, this probably isn’t a new product. But it’s making a comeback after a Pierce County Jail inmate escaped last month with the proud three-word declaration inked on his chest.

Give this gift to Dad and you won’t have to worry about it being hung in a closet and forgotten. Like a bad necktie.

It will stick with him for the rest of his days. Like a life sentence.

Handel with care: All thoughts of mundane city business and other earthly matters were set aside for a few minutes Tuesday in Tacoma City Council chambers. A capacity crowd, there for a debate about paid sick leave, fell silent.

Then the Tacoma Symphony Chorus launched into what may be the most famous four syllables in Christmas music history.

“Haaaaaaaah- lay-lu-yah!”

A contingent from the choir gave a free performance of the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s “Messiah.”

When the applause ended, Mayor Marilyn Strickland shifted to public comment time.

“Everyone who comments will be required to sing their comments this evening,” she said, drawing laughs.

One man actually did. He chimed in with a short solo after several people noted the city was having a long-overdue discussion about a mandatory sick-leave policy.

“Haaaaaaaah- lay-lu-yah!” he sang.

Did we mention this was the last council meeting of the year?

“Haaaaaaaah- lay-lu-yah!” we sing.

Because they do tend to drag on. As a certain composer might say: “Forever and ever ... and ever ... and ever.”

What do these two men have in common?.

The most interesting man in the world: Move over, handsome silver-bearded beer pitchman. Pierce County Councilman Stan Flemming is challenging you for your title.

He is a doctor, an Army Reserves general, a public servant, a raconteur. He can give a flu shot to a councilwoman with one hand and wield a gavel to maintain proper meeting decorum with the other.

He is the life of parties he’s never attended. His charm is so contagious, vaccines were created for it. He lost his reelection campaign just to see what it feels like.

He is ... the most interesting man in the world.

Or so say Flemming’s fellow council members. At his final meeting Tuesday, they sent him off with proper worshipfulness — and with the most boring farewell gift in the world.

“You’d think I’d have a couple of six packs of Dos Equis under the desk. But I don’t,” said council chairman Dan Roach. “But we do have a beautiful plaque.”

In other words: Stay thirsty, my friend.

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