Monday, October 16, 2006

Only In Seattle

Yes, indeed. I have noticed a few things in the newspapers and in my general daily life that have added up to another list of "Only In Seattle!"

1. Only in Seattle do decorative gourds actually rot. You know what I am talking about---this time of year, in addition to pumpkins, the grocery store carries all sorts of squashes, Indian corn (is this PC? Don't know) and colorful weirdly shaped gourds.

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My current collection minus one.

On Friday evening, I was cleaning up the kitchen and wiping off the countertops when I noticed a bread crumb strutting his stuff. Wait a minute, bread crumbs can't dance. "Ewwww! Dave come and look at this frolicking piece of food."

"It's a maggot," he replied calmly with no emotion. "Look there's another one." This little guy was suspiciously close to my decorative gourd collection. Sure enough, I flipped over one of the gourds and it was moldy and rotten. Ewwwwwww! Disgusting! Totally disgusting! Seriously, I couldn't believe my eyes. When I was a little girl in the 1960's, I had a couple of gourds as toys that had been my mother's from the time she was a child in the 1930's. But that was Montana where the humidity is 1%, if that. Only in Seattle (or in this case, my Mukilteo kitchen) do decorative gourds actually decompose.

2. Only in Seattle is wine dedicated to our beloved orca. Hoodsport Winery is devoting a series of reds and whites to the protection of the Puget Sound Orca.

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"The artwork on this bottle is a tribute to the native people and wildlife indigenous to our region. The whale on the front label is an adaptation of Orca the creation of artist Clarence Mills, a member of the Haida Nation of British Columbia."

Of course, I can also get a WA license plate with an orca. I have not yet purchased either. I am too busy worrying about maggots.

3. Only in Seattle would the newspapers and TV carry a story about the death of a beloved aquarium fish. "Swish" was 31 years old and over 30 pounds. He had spent time in various places in the Seattle area including a restaurant on the Seattle waterfront. I have a vague memory of seeing him there. Finally, he found a home in the International District at a Korean BBQ restaurant. Unfortunately, the aquarium leaked and Swish was found dying on his side on the floor. Heroic efforts were undertaken to keep him alive but sadly, he perished after 11 days. This happened last August. Why the story did not make it to the media until October is mysterious and unacceptable. Someone is covering up. Cover up, I say!

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"Swish" CLAYTON AQUARIUMS / Seattle Times

And some quotes:

"It was so sad. We considered him a part of the family," said Richard Chang, who runs the restaurant with wife Lynn...

Restaurant regulars doted on Swish.

"He had a personality," says Gwen Rhomes, of Renton.

The loss was hard on the aquarium company workers...

When his tank needed servicing, technicians knew sticking their hands into the water also meant scratching Swish's head. "He'd rub his body on your arms, kind of like a dog," Korch recalled...

"He just fell in love with him. Maybe it was his shape," daughter Lynn Eng Chang recalls.

Since Swish's death, the restaurant has collected about $500 -- donations to a "Swish fund."

Now a $5,000 freshwater aquarium has been installed and a new pacu, believed to be about 3 years old and some 7 pounds, arrived last week. A Kau Kau customer donated him after the fish outgrew his Federal Way home.

"He swam over to look at me, and that's a good sign," Korch said. "He's a good fish. He's got the potential to be Swish II."


Excuse me, I have to go get a tissue before my next and final entry.

4. Whew! I'm ok. I'm ok. Finally, only in Seattle would a church have a special prayer vigil for our endangered salmon.

Salmon vigil
Tuesday A service of prayer and reflection for endangered wild salmon. 6-7:30 p.m.; St. John Lutheran Church, 5515 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle, free, 206-286-4455.


I'm going to call them up. Because they just have to add "Swish", his family and "Swish II" to their prayer list.