Monday, September 16, 2013


Recovering Seattleite

Remember the scene from the movie Field of Dreams when farmer Ray Kinsella hears a voice that whispers, "If you build it, he will come?”

Well, they say something like that in Seattle, too. As in…

“If we build it, they will come — so we are NOT building it! NO way, NO how!”

You see, just like the Emerald City in the merry old Land of Oz, the Emerald City of Seattle is a magical place. In fact, it casts a certain spell on the folks who move there. Within a month, they find themselves saying things like, “I’m so glad I've moved to this awesome city! And now I've closed the door behind me such that no one else can come in and wreck the place.”

You think I’m joking.

You see, I lived in Seattle during much of the rise and fall of Grunge. It was a heady time, and a lot of people were moving in. So, naturally there was a lot of traffic on the gravel path around the much-loved Green Lake.

As a result, the city came up with a plan to widen and pave the path so that there would be room for everyone and Chihuahuas would no longer get trampled.

But here’s the thing — the neighborhood folks did NOT want this. In fact, they started showing up at every planning meeting to protest. “If we build it, they will come!” they said. “So what if half of our Chihuahua population is in traction right now, the answer is NO!”

Heated discussions monopolized meetings, and opinions occupied the newspaper editorials…


Chihuahuas were injured, recovered, then were injured again.

Finally (after Chihuahua injury number 757, I’m guessing), the neighborhood relented, and the new path was built.

Did they come?

I have no idea. I moved away.

Recently, however, I had the opportunity to walk the glorious Green Lake path. Honestly, I couldn't really determine whether there are more folks enjoying the stroll now than did 20 years ago. However, I did note all of the bright, shining, smiling faces…

On each and every Chihuahua.

And just in case you think my little tale is a wild exaggeration and that I’m being too harsh on the wondrous Emerald City, today just so happens to be National Stay Away From Seattle Day.


Go ahead, Bing it. Then enjoy this little e-card on me.

PROMPT: Whether you’re keeping folks away in Seattle or keeping it weird in Austin, every place has got its own personality. Is yours cool hipster or persnickety spinster (cough… Seattle)? Write about your place in the world today, or the wondrous world you've built in your manuscript…

Then plan your move to Seattle — Trust me, they need someone just like you!


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