Dear Uptight Seattleite,
I'm tired of not being able to go to a park here without sliding around in goose shit. Last weekend, my husband and I took our son to Gas Works Park to play but had to leave when we couldn't find a single poop-free spot of grass. We've had similar experiences at Golden Gardens and Green Lake. When I suggested to my co-workers on Monday that we should consider getting rid of the geese, this was greeted with a long, icy silence. The last time I looked, geese weren't on the endangered species list, so what's the problem?
Anti-Pooping Party Member
First of all, geese and the products they produce are part of the greater natural harmony with nature. That's why it's all the more shocking that there would be an effort afoot to round them up and put them in internment camps. I'm not saying they're being rounded up because of being Canadian per se. I'm not saying that this is part of a larger hostility toward universal health care and liberal attitudes toward the use of marijuana. Or that the perfection of the fit between the regal necks of the geese and the jackbooted heels of the Fish and Wildlife Service is anything more than an accident. All I'm saying is, how many coincidences must a man walk down before they coincide with something rotten in Carkeek Park?
So how can I convince you not to add to the genocidal din aimed at these aristocratic, migratory waterfowl? I know it can be a challenge to get around the parks during geese season, but you could make a game of it. Goose-step (sorry!) over as many of the greenish blobs as you can. Staring at their whimsical shapes can actually be like cloud gazing. Look, there's a clown's head! And that one—it's conjoined twin sharks! I'm sure your child would appreciate that. Or make up some geese haiku as you go. Here are a few to get you started. I have kind of a knack for haiku (look for my byline on the bus), so don't worry if you can't capture the essential core essence of the geese quite like this:
Squishy stepping and
wry smiles. Our northern friends
have blessed us amply
Honk! Honk! Honk! Honk! Honk!
Music of late Februar-
y and early March
See? Fun! The real problem isn't on the ground, it's in your attitude.
Dear Uptight Seattleite,
I am a true Seattleite. Boeing baby, been here my whole life. Vote liberal. Hate Bush. Environmentalist. Love the woods (so much that I stay out of them). Hell, I'm even the owner of that über-hip combo, a coffee shop/bar. It doesn't get much more Seattle than that. But I have a problem. While most of my friends look down on sports (except soccer, natch), I love a sport that every God-hating, granola-munching, fleece-wearing liberal is obligated to hate: NASCAR. What can I do? What should I do? Should I do anything?
Kurt at Cafe Racer Espresso
NASCAR, NASCAR...that's with the cars with all those advertisements going around and around? They do it in Alabama or someplace? I don't see any reason you shouldn't feel OK with consuming racing-related entertainment such as that. Accept yourself completely, and you may find that others accept you.
It's also OK to understand that the journey toward self-acceptance can include reflecting on the ways that you can approach your life with greater awareness. So go ahead, Kurt. Go ahead and understand that. Your reflections could include reflecting that repeatedly traveling in a circle—or even a NASCAR oval, rife with archetypal fertility associations as that shape may be—is possibly not the most sustainable approach to transportation.
An alternative and equally thrilling spectacle you could support—and I'm just throwing this suggestion out there; no pressure—is the Commuter Efficiency Challenge. Sure, it might be fun to sit back with a beer and a chew on a Sunday to watch the racing of the race cars. But I bet you would find it no less satisfying to fire up the ol' laptop and hunch over the blogs of commuters competing across the city in categories like carbon neutrality, footprint smallness, and peak-time roadway usage avoidance (commuterchallenge.blogspace.com). If you love action, try this on for size: live webcams set up along particularly problematic arterials. No, that's not a joke, they really have that. They put the real in real time, my friend. Check it out. If you dare.
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