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Originally published Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 12:06 AM

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Signs your ferry system is going glub, glub, glub

The Wrap by Ron Judd


Seattle Times staff columnist

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We really hate to cast aspersions upon a local institution with as proud a history as our local ferry system. OK, who are we kidding?

Without further ado, several signs that your state ferry system is taking on water:

• Primary revenue source: new line of delicious artisan smoked-meat products processed entirely in engine room of M.V. Elwha.

• Every cup of chowder sold in galley comes with spoon, packet of crackers and life jacket.

• Summertime promotion: Kids Swim Free!

• System spokeswoman admits to carrying in pocket small chunk of wood to silently knock on as she extols ferries’ excellent historical safety record.

• The schedule for arrival on Bainbridge Island contains an asterisk notation: “*Plus/minus one day.”

• Hundreds of otherwise outwardly sane employees insist for years that new ferries listing perilously to one side were built that way on purpose.

• Management renames a longstanding ferry terminal (Keystone) after a town (Coupeville) on the complete opposite side of Whidbey Island, wonders out loud why GPS-following tourists keep getting lost, then spends staff time and money on informational posters attempting to undo the original misinformation.

More assembly-station gossip:

This Is What Democracy Tastes Like: Still waiting for late results to determine the most pressing question from the primary election — namely, whether the glue strip on ballots sent to King County voters tasted more like rotting death, or just regular, garden-variety nasty funk.

Super Dupers: Those two men accused of posing as Cherokees in a scheme to successfully dupe City Light super-genius CEO Jorge Carrasco out of valuable scrap copper have been arrested in separate states. Not that we’re paranoid, but could someone please put a freeze on all City Light bank accounts on the day of their bail hearings?

Note to Editors: Sorry the column was late. We were out back having a barbecue with the neighbors, after which we decided, just for fun, to torture some folks.

New Rule: If you’re a mouth-breathing tourist who flies his camera drone into a boiling hot springs in Yellowstone National Park, the specialized device park employees will deploy, at the end of a tether, to fish it out is: you.

Is it Too Late to Reconsider that Bailout? Hoping to save staff time, General Motors henceforth will issue lists of vehicles not under a recall order.

More on That: You just can’t buy this kind of evening-news PR: “Owners are advised to keep their vehicles outside, as they may catch fire when unattended.”

Special Note to John Ray: Marysville bigfoot hunter who recently was opining about various unexplained happenings: “When you rule out everything that lives in that forest, what are you left with? You can’t say it’s not a Sasquatch.” All together, class: It’s not a Sasquatch.

Meanwhile, Over There: U.S. planes dropped bombs in Iraq to “protect Americans” who are still there ... why, exactly?

And Finally: Flipped out about the reported theft of 1.2 billion website account user names and passwords by Russian hackers? Don’t be. About 800 million of those were old ones, long ago forgotten by Mr. Wrap.

Ron Judd’s column appears each Sunday. Reach him at rjudd@seattletimes.comor 206-464-8280.



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