PETTY QUESTIONS: Around the World

By Owen Bates on December 11, 2010


Loyal readers! Loyal Washingtonians! Don't ever let them take away our states' rights! Sic semper tyrannis. Thus began the shot heard ‘round the world.

Christmas is almost here! I love this time of year. December is great. Has King 5 lit the Seattle (boo!) star thing yet? Being across the country in the place our nation was invented, I can't get the channels.

But whenever I get blue about being so far away from home this holiday season I just think of garlands, soft carols, and plane tickets for Logan to Seatac on December 20th. Traditions bring you back home. Don't buy your tree to early or it could die.

Question time.

The Almond Roca is my favorite chocolate-toffee crunch candy. Brown & Haley, creator of the Roca, is housed in downtown Tacoma. But guess what? They don't offer tours! What gives?

---Choked Up Over Chocolate

CUOC, you need to make your own tour. There are a few options for doing this.

One is a violent overthrow of the government of the United States of America, which I neither recommend nor condone you consider.

The easiest option is probably just to stage the world's most eloquent, well-dressed break-in and steal all the money at once. But that's...that's impossible. It's sealed shut. (I can get in.)

No way, man. Don't you see the engraving? That's a Tomakyuchi design. You can't get past those. Can't be done. (I can do it.) No way. (Pass the Milanos?)

You'd need some crew. (Already got a crew.) You'd need the best. (I've got the best.) You'd need someone you can trust. (I can trust them.) We all agreed after the Neapolitan gig, no more jobs. (This is the last job.) Sure, and Leftie's a rightie. (Come on, I already bought the plane tickets.) And you thought we weren't coming? Give me those tickets. (Call the Fourteen. The jet's on the tarmac now.) You're a real son of a bitch, you know that Fox? (You can pilot one of these things, right Spin? You've still got a license?)

So anyways CUOC, try that.

I play a lot of guitar in my free time. When my parents sent me away to college, I naturally wanted to take the guitar with me. But every time they get around to actually shipping the thing, the semester ends and there's no point. I'm losing all my finger calluses. I don't want to disrespect my parents, and I know school is for hitting the books, but my parents are acting like real yahoos. What should I do?

---Bottleneck Blues

Those first days at university can be tough. Who's my new best bud? Where's the cafeteria with all my old high school buds? Is getting an "easy A" really worth it in the long run? Well BB King, when my imaginary friend Jen first got to college she... Oh, I'll just let her tell it.

Walking down the hall, Larsson 3-East, I couldn't find my room. No... No... No... No... No... No... No... No... No... No... No... No... No... No... No... No... I checked my rooming sheet again. Larsson 3-North-Northwest. This wasn't even the right school.

I felt lonely. My parents waving goodbye to me from the car in Heaven, my baby sis running around trying to manage a household of five other children for the first time, all on her own, let alone snag a date for the Sadie Hawkins dance. I felt so distant from them, tens of meters at least. I was going to cry without stage tears or anything. Get a grip, Jen. It's dog-eat-dog here at Dog College. Amazon woman prime directive: survive.

It was a long road full of womyn's scholarships and healing festivals. But now I was here. Clear-Eyed Jen the Albino was back in action and ready to take on a new kind of challenge: the freshman fifteen. This would be tough considering that albinos are unable to exercise under light, and are historically fat.

Zoobooks didn't do this place justice. Stairs, windows, walls, objects in all three dimensions: this really was prestigious. And the slides! A slide to your bedroom! A slide to Dean LePrincipal's office! A slide to fooseball! A slide that resembles the fooseball slide from afar but really is a secret slide only for ghosts. My house has no slides.

It was hard for Mum and Pup to understand what was going on. Why did I need to go so far from home? Why did I need to drag that home into foreclosure? When could they leave the tarp shelter? They couldn't accept that their little girl was all grown up. Nothing made sense to them. My parents came from a different time. A caveman time. I cannot pronounce their names.

Coming soon: "Blood or Bust." Next week, 2010.

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