Clark: In population contest, Tacoma uses dirty trick
I should have known better than to pick on Tacoma.
As my Old Man used to tell me …
“Son, never get into a whizzing match with a skunk.”
And when it comes to malodorous municipalities, well, they don’t make jokes about the “Tacoma Aroma” for nothing.
That rancid reputation is well-deserved, too.
I know. Tacoma city officials mailed me a bag of “pasteurized wastewater byproducts” the other day.
TAGRO, they call it.
Of course, I didn’t know TAGRO from an oboe when I received it.
The stuff is dark and all ground up. Silly me, I thought it was coffee.
Trust me. Java it ain’t.
On Monday I came to work and opened the clear zip-locked baggie that some fiend in Tacoma had stuffed with TAGRO.
I stuck my nose inside the baggie.
I took a deep whiff.
“Oh. My. Gawd,” I gasped.
“Tacoma sent me a bag of $*%!!”
Good thing I didn’t try to brew a scoop or two in the office percolator.
This was my own fault of, course. I had to pick on Tacoma, City of Desenex.
Or is that City of Destiny?
But I digress. This all began shortly after the state Office of Financial Management released its city population figures earlier this month.
The numbers show Spokane – with a population of 205,673 – is still Washington’s second biggest burg.
Seattle is still Top Dawg, of course. But being a serial troublemaker, I decided that our 2,273-person edge over third-place Tacoma was worth some gloating.
So I bought a sympathy card and wrote, “Dear Tacoma. Eat my Dust! Respectfully yours, Spokane.”
I mailed the card to the Tacoma City Council along with a box filled with Spokane-related memorabilia, such as:
Near Nature/Near Perfect lapel pins, a vintage Expo ’74 Viewmaster, a Spokane Regional Visitors Guide, a “spokesman.com” baseball cap, a copy of my self-deprecating Spokane Song and a bunch of other Lilac City-related trinkets.
Were my actions juvenile?
Was this a sophomoric intent to rub our numerical superiority in the noses of Tacoma officials?
But let the record show that I never stooped so low as to rub anyone’s nose in a poo-trid biosolid.
You could close down a post office sending this TAGRO crap through the mail.
“Short for ‘Tacoma Grow,’ our award-winning, environmentally friendly products will give you better results with your lawn and garden …,” boasts the TAGRO information on the City of Tacoma website.
Good to know. Too bad I had to learn about the wonders of Tacoma fertilizer after NEARLY PASSING OUT FROM SMELLING THE STUFF!!
You got me good.
All the cutesy nonthreatening items in the box – which came from Tacoma’s Office of the Mayor/Council – lulled me into a false sense of sinus security.
There was a baseball cap sporting the logo of the Tacoma Rainiers, the West Side’s only decent baseball team.
There was a “Cultural Diversity” coffee cup, some booklets, a vintage Tacoma calendar, a Tacoma hanging ornament, some Tacoma pins and wrapped piece of Almond Roca, which I’m now too afraid to open. ( It could be something they dug out of a cat box, one of my co-workers suggested.)
“Spokane,” read the card I found tucked inside the package, “Congratulations on being #2! May birthrate and annexation continue to shine favorably upon your city.”
Up yours, Tacoma.
You can’t fool me any more. Thanks to TAGRO, I know you have a whole different connotation when you say we’re “Number Two.”
Doug Clark is a columnist with The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at email@example.com.