This column is an attempt to avoid talking about Ukraine for one week.
Every Real Change staff meeting has to have an icebreaker. I am partly guilty of encouraging this. In the past, I’ve contributed ice breakers. I understand the urge — it’s an urge to power. Take part in my stupid ice breaker! I got picked this month to present the icebreaker! Hahahaha!
Recently, the question was, “How do you like your potatoes?” Most people wanted French fries. No one mentioned scalloped potatoes in cream sauce. I came the closest, saying that I liked to slice them in chunks, fry them in butter and finish them off in heavy whipping cream.
The next month was the “pineapples-on-pizza” fiasco, as I characterize it. Simple question: Do you like pineapple on your pizza? No, I said. Pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza. Anchovies belong on pizza. I was in a minority. It was not a team-building exercise for me.
The next time I get picked to choose the icebreaker, I think I’ll ask what people like to do when they find mealybugs crawling in their cornmeal. Try to sift them out? Throw that cornmeal out and buy a new package? Just cook the mealybugs with the cornmeal and pretend they’re bits of coarse ground black pepper? That’s what I do.
See what I did there? Having revealed that plan, no one is going to want me to do that. I could forestall being asked to provide an icebreaker for quite a while. I’ll just say I can’t think of anything but the mealybug question.
I’m not the only one who has thought of this. A co-worker, “Caroline,” (if that really is her name) came to the back room where I and three other staff members usually huddle around a single glowing coal and asked this tentative icebreaker: What color food would we want to eat for the rest of our lives, if we could only eat one color of food? I said “burger” color. The sheer act of trying the question out makes it almost certain it won’t get used. They all know I’m just going to say burger again.
Speaking of things that don’t change, Bruce Harrell and the Seattle police had an idea about how a ton of misdemeanor laws were going to be heavily enforced within 25 feet of transit properties in the vicinity of 3rd Avenue and Pine. It’s now postponed while Bruce Harrell thinks it through more. I imagine some sort of feedback may be involved. You tell people what you are going to do, and they say things like, “No way we’re talking about mealybugs in our corn meal” or some such thing. “‘Burger’ is not a color! Orange is a color.”
The police don’t care, but Harrell is a mayor, and he’s sensitive to feedback. That’s a good thing. I trust him more than the police because he listens to people. Well, maybe not to me, but to some people, somewhere.
Isn’t public disorderly conduct a misdemeanor always, anywhere? Can it be more illegal within 25 feet of a bus stop just because the mayor, the police and King County Metro say so? None of those groups make laws. How is within 25 feet from a bus stop more public than 35 feet from a bus stop? What am I missing here?
By the way, I’ve been told by several lawyers that I don’t understand laws at all. In one particular instance, I was telling a Harvard-educated lawyer that if a law was a problem for a lot of people, we have legislators for that. They can just change the law to be the way the people want. Mr. Harvard said, “No, no, no. Laws can’t be legislated away, you ignorant mathematician. Laws are delicate little gazelles that need eons to evolve, and legislators are butchers.” Or something to that effect.
Well, I’m not ready to say “neener neener” yet, but it looks like all the people in this country who wanted us to pick between daylight savings or standard time and stick with it are going to get their wish, thanks to legislators. It may happen next year, in which case, unless you leave the country, you’ll only ever have to fall back or spring forward a few more times. Leg of gazelle, anyone?
We will return to Ukraine next week. You can count on that.
Read more of the Mar. 23-29, 2022 issue.