If you’ve lived on the Eastside for a while, you can probably remember a place called Pizza and Pipes. The restaurant featured extremely talented keyboardists playing a huge, 1,200-pipe Wurlitzer organ with all the bells and whistles – literally, bells and whistles – along with soap bubbles and puppets. It was a pizza place designed for young families, the noisier the better.
I grew up in the town of Bend, Ore. It was the June of my 16th year, and my plans were set. After a grueling year completing the 10th grade, I now planned to spend the next three months in a mostly horizontal position, reading comic books and quaffing root beer. But the Old Man had other ideas.
Happiness is something like Justice Potter Stewart’s famous definition of pornography: “I know it when I see it.” Happiness, on the other hand, is something you’ll know when you have it.
But how do you get it?
In my dad’s day, he seemed to know a number of people with nicknames – and they were often nicknames that connoted the exact opposite of who the person really was. There were bald-headed guys named Curly. Gigantic fellows named Tiny. Slow-footed chaps named Speedy.
One of my great privileges is to occasionally be asked to be an emcee or auctioneer for fundraisers. Thus I found myself some nights ago at an event for the remarkable Bellevue Youth Theatre.
It’s fashionable to bash Congress these days – and also a lot of fun. But it’s simply not fair to say that they have done nothing in 2010. After all, Congress has just put forth bold, sweeping legislation to make TV commercials less loud.
There is no surer way to detect non-natives than by their geographical mispronunciations. When you hear Medina enunciated as “ma-DEE-na”, Puyallup as “POO-a-loop” or Ballard as “ba-LARD”, you’ve definitely spotted a newbie.
Overheard from a 12-year-old girl at a yard sale in Eastgate last weekend: “Hey, Dad! Come look at this thing! It looks really old! You’d love it!”
The thing was a VHS cassette player – a gadget so antiquated that the 12-year-old had never seen one before.
I was driving down Richard’s Road last week when a mini-van just in front of me suddenly whipped to the side of the road. Before the car had quite stopped, its right backdoor swung open and a small boy leapt out, ran into some tall grass and hunched over. I knew at once what was going on. After all, that small boy had once been me.