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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Community Comment

Picture of the day…July 24, 2008

Good morning, Netizens...

A seagull sits above sunbathers on Brighton beach in southern England on Wednesday. (Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images) (July 23, 2008)

Many of the sage minds in the Virtual Ballroom might ask, why have you posted a picture of a seagull when we have all seen the flock of gulls that regularly eat at Dick's parking lot downtown? There is an important difference between the seagull in this picture and those fly-by-night french fry artists that poll the parking lot at Dicks for handouts. This is an English seagull, a distant relative to the gulls of Dicks, and although I am certain it would hop on a stray french fry in a heartbeat, there are cultural differences.

British seagulls, instead of bellowing in gull-talk at any other gulls who might try to infringe upon a choice location for begging, probably would comment something like, “I say, Old Man, cease and desist. I was here first!”

American generic seagulls just screech, “Butt out Bozo!” in gull-talk, a noxious sound if I ever heard one.

It is a theory, and only that, but I submit that seagulls “talk” in the various lingua franca of the areas in which they live. See how cleverly I snuck that in?

A similar theory of communication applies to the hand signs that take place each day between myself and our barrista of the day. One finger, modestly uplifted means 'I'll take another cup of whatever that was you served the first time'. Two fingers uplifted means 'Pretty good stuff! It didn't eat my fillings nor cause me to have exotic fits on the floor.' The middle finger, well we all pretty much know what that means but in the parlance of the Virtual Espresso Bar it takes on new meanings, such as “Do you have hazardous waste permit for that stuff?'

Relax already. We do not serve hazardous waste espresso at the Virtual Ballroom. Which reminds me, I'd better head that way shortly. I've been told I have a new pair of paisley-and-cream colored Speedos awaiting my inspection suitable for wearing in the Ballroom.


Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.