Here Now Some History #27: The Seattle Burning Time

By Kristine Ota

Many travel blogs suggest taking the Seattle Underground Tour to learn about the dark underbelly of our city of angels, as the city standing today is not the same city that once stood. On June 6th, 1889, Seattle was engulfed by a great fire, creatively dubbed The Great Fire. Few, however, recall the fire that preceded it, known to historians and local drunks as The Seattle Burning Time. 

Fire looks cool, but its not cool. Its very hot.
Fire looks cool, but it’s not cool. It’s very hot.

Seattle was initially built using straw, hay, and each settler’s self-loathing for moving out West. The arid terrain from the East, which has an abundance of dry grass, provided the city’s first building blocks. But on September 29th, 1853, the day that would be remembered until June 6th, 1889, dry materials’ inevitable fate inconvenienced the lives of at least a couple of people.

Born on March 11th, 1828 to a gold digger and a gold digger’s gold digger, Beatrix Thumbie became the city’s first and only female businesswoman in Seattle. A rising star, she helped introduce a product we use today – hairspray. After a drunk patron spewed his drink in her face and subsequently her hair, Thumbie realized she had made a discovery. According to a journal discovered by our staff, the incident gave her the “most glamorous hair day of all my days.” She partnered with alcohol distributors and bottled her new product in fancy, old-timey atomizers, which can be viewed in Seattle’s Museum of Lost and Found.

Besides her hair, Thumbie’s beauty made her one of the most sought after bachelorettes in the city. She was named one of Seattle’s “Top 5 Women Who Are Too Pretty For Ideas” by the Seattle Gazette.

Thumbie had many suitors, the most infamous of which was Mayor Jonathan Longbottom, who tried many tactics to woo her. One such tactic was his garish wooden carriage, which was custom built with large wheels and a gold detail. He would ride past her salon multiple times a day and demand his driver command his carriage at such a speed that his wheels would spray mud across her storefront, which she would then have to clean. Thumbie journaled:

We all knew when Longbottom would ride past on his monstrosity, for the bottles in the shop would rattle and fall to the floor… And as he passed the shop, he yelled out his carriage, ‘Oopsie, did I do that?’ Yes. Yes he did do that.

After many failed marriage proposals, Longbottom accused Thumbie of witchcraft. In a power play,  he charged Beatrix with sorcery and declared she would be burned in Pioneer Square. Little did the city know, Thumbie stored large amounts of hairspray in the city center.

Seattle celebrated the annual Lighting of the Witch festival, with colorful parchment paper and streamers that lined the city blocks and buildings. Beatrix was led in a procession behind children running around on broomsticks, while they chanted the popular nursery rhyme of the festival:

You could have said yes
But instead you said no,
So now we must burn you,
to Hell you will go!

Longbottom's diary was full of detailed drawings of Thumbie and witch burnings
Longbottom’s diary was full of detailed drawings of Thumbie and witch burnings

The children tied Thumbie to a pole, on what would be Safeco Field today, atop a platform of straw and kindling. Her cotton dress draped alongside the small stage, completely covering it, while the children placed small bundles of straw in dress pockets. When asked her final words, she said, “Thumbie’s Hair Salon will be under new management tomorrow but our doors will still be open.”

When Mayor Longbottom lit the kindling it wasn’t long before the fire reached one of the stockpiles of hairspray, and blew up the his very office. The fire tore apart the city, destroying half in the first few hours. It would have covered the entire city, if the rain had not arrived. Like Longbottom’s carriage, the rainstorm came quickly and left just as quickly. Unlike the carriage, it distinguished flames, but the damage had already been done.

After, it was decided that all future buildings would be made of timber. The decision was unanimous; since the city was always damp, it would be impossible for the lumber to catch fire. Men in top hats patted each other on the back and proceeded to measure each other’s dicks to see who would be the first to break grounds for the new city. They would have drawn straws, but the mayor said it was, “too soon” to make that kind of reference. The city would soon rebuild as a sprawling woodtropolis, only to be destroyed again by the Great Seattle Fire.

So if you’re visiting the Seattle area and decide to take the Underground Tour, ask your guide about The Seattle Burning Time and give them a wink. You’ll feel satisfied that you know more than the guide.

This guy must know a lot that you dont
This guy must know a lot that you don’t

 

Top 7 Pumpkin Carving Designs

By Elizabeth Brammer

If you read the internet, you know about listicles, but this one is better than the rest so get hyped. Every week we count down the top 7 in various categories about the great city of Seattle. This week we explore…

The Top 7 Pumpkin Carving Designs

Fall is called fall because of these. Or so we've been told.
Fall is called fall because of these. Or so we’ve been told.

Autumn is officially upon us, and if there’s one thing we associate with fall, it’s pumpkins. Fall is all about pumpkin everything! Pumpkin this, pumpkin that – not to mention pumpkin spice, which I won’t again in this article. No, this is about pumpkins themselves, those orange balls so indicative of the harvest and our inevitable return to the cold emptiness from whence we came. In the meantime, though, how about we put a little fire in that gourd and let it shine out through cleverly patterned holes?

You may have some trouble figuring out how to carve your pumpkin, but have no fear. This list is here just in time to offer you the top seven ways you can add whimsy and a whiff of menace to your Halloween décor.

7. Triangle Face

There is nothing more classic in pumpkins than ol’ Triangle Face. Two triangle eyes, a triangle nose, and a mouth full of triangle teeth? Classic for a reason, this is the simplest jack-o-lantern pattern. If you can stab a pumpkin, and I’m willing to bet most of you can, you can make Triangle Face.

6. Jagged Triangle Face

Looking for something a bit scarier than Triangle Face? Are you into the spooky nature of the season? Perhaps you want to drive kids off your porch instead of inviting them onto it? Jagged Triangle Face might be for you. Make those teeth a little bit jaggedier and the mouth looks scaaaary. Make those eyes menacing vertical near-lines. Maybe paint the outside of the pumpkin black too. Maybe infuse the pumpkin with the soul of a demon or other ghost. Let those acute angles work for you.

Pumpkins don't burn as easily as your hand. Be careful
Pumpkins don’t burn as easily as your hand. Be careful

5. Happy Triangle Face

Did that last one scare you? Maybe something a little more neutral. Maybe Happy Triangle Face. Maybe an oblivious grin. Keep it sunny. Ignore your impending doom. It’s ok! There’s a fake candle inside the pumpkin so we’re all warm and safe. Well, we’re at least safe – fake candles don’t give off heat, but hey, at least they’re safe. For now.

4. Silly Triangle Face

Ah hahaha so silly right? It’s silly because nothing we do matters! It’s so silly because there aren’t any spirits or ghosts, there are just us, marching ceaselessly our literal emptiness so similar to the hollowing of the pumpkin, poking holes in the carcasses of a harvest reaped for our own amusement. Why not give it a little lift in the under eye area, like it’s laughing with us, or at us. Silly, Silly Triangle Face!

3. Triangle Cat Face

Animals don’t fear their own demise because they aren’t aware of it. The animal who peacefully walks beside you as a familiar, whilst prepared to eat your face off if given the chance. And who among us wouldn’t eat the warm, still beating heart of the recently slaughtered prey? Careful on carving – balance your desire for a whisker thin slit with the realization that if it’s too thin your Triangle Cat Face, like you, will inevitably sag into unwanted, unloved, ready-to-compost Triangle Wrinkle Face.

2. Just Stab It a Bunch

It feels good, doesn’t it? Stabbing the pumpkin, piercing its flesh with your razor sharp instrument, crumbling the skin and pulling out the juicy insides to bake its seedy-progeny with salt and oil? Squeeze it between your fingers as you desperately cling to a life slipping by. Or maybe carve a Witch on a Broom. Hahahaha. Hahaha. Fuck it.

  1. Baby Triangle Face

Baby Triangle Face can be done either as a tiny Triangle Face on a regular size pumpkin, or a properly scaled face on a smaller pumpkin. Babies are cute, Triangle Faces are cute. Return to innocence.

Do not carve this baby with any shapes, not even triangles. His mom will kill me.
Do not carve this baby with any shapes, not even triangles. His mom would kill me.

Here Now Some History #26: Joseph Smith Gets a Job

By Penn Nayim

On September 21, 1823, an 18-year-old farmer named Joseph Smith wound down his night in his usual way: With a round of prayer and some routine supplication to The Almighty. These were the pre-Internet days when the Second Great Awakening was in full swing and late-night sessions with The Big Guy in the Sky were all the rage.

Second Great Awakening-style Protestantism was the porn and Amazon Prime of its time.
Second Great Awakening-style Protestantism was the porn and Amazon Prime of its time.

The Smith family wasn’t down with the whole new-age religion thing; they were more into good, old-fashioned folk magic. But that didn’t mean Joseph couldn’t engage in America’s favorite 1823 past time. No, far from it! He was praying up a blue streak, asking for forgiveness for past sins and for infractions he hadn’t even gotten around to committing yet when, out of nowhere, an angel named Moroni burst onto the scene.

According to Joseph’s written account of their interaction, Moroni dressed like Gandalf the White meets the Big Lebowski. His robe was crisp and brighter-than-bright (not that dingy white you get with some detergents). He kept said robe slightly ajar so that it might act as a window treatment of sorts to his heavenly chest region. In short, Moroni was one delicious-looking holy morsel.

Maroni sayeth:

Joe, listen up: Have you ever wanted to work in publishing? I ask because The Heavenly Father wrote a sequel to the Bible and he’s thinking of hiring you as his editorial intern.

Joseph responded all like,

You know, I’ve always thought of myself as a really talented writer/agrarian with an eye for detail. I’m so honored you would come to me with this opportunity. I know you must have a lot of applicants what with this Second Great Awakening going on.

To which Moroni respondeth,

Well, that’s just it, Joe: God is not digging this Second Great Awakening. It’s so derivative of his earlier stuff, you know? It’s been done, it’s almost a cliché, and he really wants to be a thought leader—a disrupter in the industry. Which is why we’re going with you: You’re the child of folk magicians who know how to extract divine knowledge from rocks. And let’s face it: You are the undisputed rock star of your family. We think you’re the right person to help us experiment with some more avant-garde teachings. You think you’re up for that?

Joseph said he was up to the challenge. What else was there to say? When opportunity comes knocking, you answer. You know how it is when you’ve been looking for work for a while: You’re grateful to even have a job. And with such a reputable organization!? You tell yourself you’ll work out the details later and if it gets to be too much you can just back out, right? RIGHT?

This is a guy wearing Moroni's robe. His name is Willy.
This is a guy wearing Moroni’s robe. His name is Willy. He laces up the v-neck for modesty.

Well, about that…

Moroni reached into the folds of his plunging V-neck frock and plucked out a heavenly employment contract/scope of work parchment, recovered and transcribed by our researchers as follows:

  • This is an unpaid position with very little room for advancement.
    Experience in Public Relations, Publishing, Event Planning, Government Affairs, Marketing and/or Swiss Banking Practices a plus.
  • Sense of humor a must! (Because when the townspeople find out what you’re up to, they’re going to try to stone you to death.)
  • Candidate will be expected to translate God’s works into English.
  • God’s latest masterpiece has been transcribed onto gold plates to give the work some weight; therefore, candidate must be able to lift up to 60 lbs.
  • Discretion is a must: Candidate will be expected to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Violation of this agreement will result in immediate termination, as well as other disciplinary action including, but not limited to, the physical annihilation of the candidate so that candidate really thinks about what he’s done.
  • Candidate must have access to reliable transportation as the plates are hidden in an undisclosed location. Since Google Maps hasn’t been invented yet, candidate must be able to clearly and distinctly recognize that undisclosed location when location is disclosed to candidate via a vision. (Don’t worry, it’s local.)
  • Candidate must agree to an Acceptable Use Policy for the plates.
  • Candidate will also be required to sign a non-compete.
  • All information accessed by candidate should be considered proprietary. As such, candidate can assume that information should not under any circumstances be shared with Satan (even if he offers to pay you for your work which is a benefit we do not offer at this time—or ever).
  • Benefits package not competitive.

The rest, as they say, was simple Latter Day Saint history.

Moroni’s “My Style” Pinterest inspiration board
Moroni’s “My Style” Pinterest inspiration board

Joseph got around to digging up the plates four years later with the help of a friendly necromancer; dislocated his thumb fighting off some muggers; hid the plates in a barrel of beans; and eventually misplaced the plates entirely.

Joseph Smith died in 1844 after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds, falling from a window, and sustaining yet more untreated gunshot wounds. (Again, the medical benefits package was not competitive.) His story has been sorely misremembered.

 

Top 7 First Date Spots on a Budget

By Amos Annan

If you read the internet, you know about listicles, but this one is better than the rest so get hyped. Every week we count down the top 7 in various categories about the great city of Seattle. This week we explore…

The Top 7 First Date Spots on a Budget

A first date has a lot of pressure attached, and you need the perfect environment to trick that special someone into seeing you again. While Seattle’s nightlife is full of great spots, not every bar or restaurant has the necessary ambiance and low price point to make an affordable first date lead to another. Fortunately, we’ve found the best destinations to further your pursuit of fornication and compiled them into this list!

7. Dick’s Drive-In

Yeah, it might be very cheap, and yeah, it might not have an interior, and yeah, it might seem classless, but if you’re on a budget and your potential significant other isn’t a vegetarian, you can’t go wrong with a juicy deluxe and fries. Take a bag on a picnic in a park and get to know your person in the great outdoors!

This lady likes paddleboarding more than she likes you.
This lady likes paddleboarding more than she likes you.

6. Agua Verde

Waterfront! Tacos! Margaritas! Make your date think they’re in Mexico at this Wallingford eatery that boasts a full menu of Mexican-inspired delicacies. And, if you’re feeling adventurous, head out into the Montlake Cut on paddle boards you can rent right there. They can’t leave early if you’re out on the water! Because they won’t want to. It’s fun out there.

5. Comedy Underground

It may seem risky, but watching live comedy is a great way to get to know another person. You can discover what makes each other laugh, introduce alcohol to the situation, and have built in conversation topics as soon as the comics get off stage. Plus, watching sad clowns whine about their loneliness is a sure way to make them realize they don’t want to be alone forever and you are, at the very least, physically there.

4. Kerry Park

It’s just a park! You can do whatever you want there at no cost aside from the cost of whatever it is you choose to do. Play a board game, do some people watching, or enjoy the parks’ expansive view of the city at sunset and let it lull you into a reverie detailing the bright future the two of you can have together. But wake up quick, that daydream won’t come true if you don’t pay attention to everything they’re saying. And even if you do, it probably won’t. Daydreams are fantasies and fantasies aren’t reality. Never forget that.

This was definitely an out.
This was definitely an out.

3. Tour Safeco Field

Don’t go to a game, those are boring and expensive! Just take a tour of the stadium and let the Mariners’ rich history of failure and culture of depression remind you how sick you’ll feel once they realize how much better they can do than you and inevitably kick you to the curb. Is it worth the couple hours you’ll spend together? Probably not, but it can’t hurt any more to try than it would not to, right? Right? …Right.

2. Town Hall

For just $5, you can take in a lecture at town hall and bore them right from the start. Don’t bother trying hard to be entertaining, show them what life with you will really be like right off the bat because your heart is going to be broken no matter what. At least this way you can learn something and not completely waste yet another hour of your miserable life.

1. Calvary Cemetary

Because… fuck it.

There's really only one way to be together forever
There’s really only one way to be together forever

 

 

Here Now Some History #25: The Great Manspread of 1954

By Evelyn Jensen

Third wave feminism and discussions of equality across genders during our modern era has sadly fogged the rich history of a movement that has since been stigmatized: the Men’s Rights Movement.

Early Men's Rights activists first gathered to oppose women suffering or something
Men’s Rights activists first gathered to oppose women suffering or something

Before women across the nation began making wild demands of unrealistic equity, the United States was rife with the superior influence of the male psyche. The board room, senate, and battlefield were ruled with an iron fist that was as stoic as it was productive.

But there was one arena in which men were hardly present, save dinnertime. The kitchen had become the woman’s kingdom, a land where wives could wield unruly power with the flip of a mixer switch. Appliances, nonperishables, and flatware all danced at the command of the doting Mrs. Cleaver. Clever advertising painted the kitchen as a haven for women across the nation, slowly conditioning the public to believe the lack of male presence was not only a non-issue, but a crucial part of the American domestic narrative. These nuanced images and propaganda blinded everyone to the true inequality of the male.  But that only lasted until September 14, 1954, when a man named Dick White spoke up and everything changed.

A humble insurance executive from Iowa, White had stood idly by like the rest of America’s hard-working fathers, blissfully unaware of the creeping domestic oppression at hand. One hazy, September day, while his wife lazed away in the kitchen preparing for an 18-person dinner party, White approached the refrigerator for his 3rd beer of the morning and received a forward command to, according to White’s diary recovered by our researchers:

“leave the room so she could have adequate space to ready the home for entertaining my boss and colleagues that evening.”

Dick White’s style made him a convincing spokesman for insurance and male kitchendom alike

It was in this moment that it all became horrifyingly salient: the American man had lost control of his own home. It was not long until White’s frustrating realization had bubbled over into households down the block, throughout the town, state, and eventually, the nation. Men everywhere were frenzied with the spirit of reclamation. They had the inspiration, but now they needed the execution. How could they prove to their greedy counterparts that full control in the man’s favor was the ultimate equalizer? Picketing and protesting just wasn’t enough, not to mention the confusion that ensued between men’s rights and women’s rights groups after White was photographed holding a sign reading: “Women don’t belong in the kitchen”.

After much plotting and scheming, White came up with the ultimate act of defiance. If they could physically overtake the space, it would show that total control was in their favor. So they staged a sit-in for September 20. And they would not rise until their demands were asserted.

Men marching from kitchen to kitchen in the small town of New York, New York
Men marching from kitchen to kitchen in the small town of New York, New York

Husbands and fathers across the nation, knowing no age or race (though they were mostly white), took to each other’s kitchens in droves. White hatched a plan for all men to link arms and stand wide for an entire month, in what became later known as the Great Manspread of 1954.

What started as a feisty demonstration, though, quickly became a hunger strike, as women were barred from preparing any meals in the kitchen and the men participating were unaware of other avenues for acquiring nourishment. The sit-in came to an abrupt end on September 21. But the spirit of the fight was not lost. Land’O’Lakes even honored their efforts by selling Manspread, a low-cholesterol margarine that was the color of steel. The typical canary yellow margarine was triggering to some men, as it mirrored the color of classic suburban kitchen curtains.

The Great Manspread of 1954 serves as a window into an era when men had a voice. When they had a life-jacket to keep them afloat in an ocean of shrill cries of inequality. Sadly, that spirit is now relegated to deep web message boards, fedora shops, and Ann Coulter book signings. Sometimes you can still see people practicing micro-protests on buses and public spaces in solidarity with the brave men that spread for an entire day.

The spirit lives on in very specific bookstores and newsstands
The spirit lives on in very specific bookstores and newsstands

Top 7 Outdoor Patios

By Michael Draper

If you read the internet, you know about listicles, but this one is better than the rest so get hyped. Every week we count down the top 7 in various categories about the great city of Seattle. This week we explore…

The Top 7 Outdoor Patio Bars

Seattle has established itself as destination city for lovers of both food and the outdoors. So why not combine the two? Here are the top seven spots you can go for delicious food, beverage, and views of the majestic geography that defines our meaningless existence here in the city.

Picture12
This is not a Marination Ma Kai slider. Life is hard sometimes… Why wont the website upload new images today?

7. Marination Ma Kai
Take the water taxi from downtown to this West Seattle hot spot! The Korean-Hawaiian fusion menu offers a fantastic complement to the stunning view of the skyline across the water.  Enjoy a nice drink, take in the sunshine, and down some kimchi quesadillas or spam sliders if food is something you enjoy.

6. 100 Pound Clam
This new spot on the water in South Lake Union offers immaculate cocktails and a well curated seafood selection in its trendy outdoor seating area. On a nice day, watch Seattleites take to their own personal water playground on sailboats, paddleboards, and even a hot tub boat! We recommend taking a stroll down the pier after happy hour, because happiness is fleeting and you best not waste it.

5. Pecado Bueno
The fire pit at the original Fremont location is always a popular destination for those in search of colorful margaritas and authentic guacamole. The patio offers prime people watching, with no skyline or water views to remind you that you will never make something of lasting value out of your life. Bonus tip: even meat lovers crave the veggie tacos!

Rooftop Brewing serves beer. This is not beer. The internet is striking back against my search history.
Rooftop Brewing serves beer. This is not beer. When the internet will no longer cooperate, the sweet release of death feels more appetizing than veggie tacos.

4. Rooftop Brewing Company 
A literal rooftop awaits you with its lesser known views of Interbay and Queen Anne! The darker beers are especially sought-after here, but the whole menu is hand-crafted by some of Seattle’s most talented brewers. The atmosphere is so relaxing, a woman named Diedre could approach you and say “I was once dead for 37 minutes and there is nothing. Complete blackness engulfs your being, as it will for eternity. There is no Great Consequence for our actions. Nothing matters.” and it would not harsh your IPA-buzz. Rooftop has no kitchen, so pack some snacks.

3. Ivar’s Acres of Clams
Fish and Chips-lovers know this destination well, both for the quality of its seafood fare as well as the unmatched waterfront views. As you eat, think about the fried flesh of a once-living being you are now consuming with tartar and fries; take solace in the fact that our physical bodies will someday become a part of the Earth once again, even if our souls will not. Walk on to a ferry after finishing your meal!

2. The Pink Door
The long, dark night of the soul is approaching and there is nothing that can be done to stop it. Can this really be it? You want to believe there is more, but you can’t. Your thoughts drift back to that stormy night: the windshield wipers could not keep up and you were going too fast. No amount of guilt will ever bring him back. Even if you had taken responsibility for it, his time is up. Forever. Because of you. Soon enough it will be you, too. Does this emptiness ever go away? Filling it with local microbrews and happy hour bites on sunny patios will not work, but continuing to try is the tragedy of the human experience. This place seems as good as any.

1. Westward
Ahoy! Grab a blanket and curl up by the fire pit at this upscale Northlake restaurant that’s brimming with style! Order a dozen oysters and a playful butterbean appetizer as you marvel at the Space Needle’s inspiring visage from across the lake. Need I say more? Would it matter?

Darkness. The essence of reality. The moon sure is pretty though
Darkness: The essence of reality. The moon sure is pretty though.

Top 7 Things To Ask Yourself Before You Fuck Around With That Ancient Relic

By Zak Nelson

If you read the internet, you know about listicles, but this one is better than the rest so get hyped. Every week we count down the top 7 in various categories about the great city of Seattle. This week we explore…

The Top 7 Things to Ask Yourself Before You Fuck Around With That Ancient Relic

So you’re in a creepy tomb, antique shop, or old cabin in the middle of the woods. You see an ancient relic in front of you. You say to yourself “well, I would very much like to fuck around with that ancient relic.” Hold on, there are some things you have to ask yourself.

  1. Does the object have any inscriptions on it?

If so, then you are good to fuck around with that ancient relic. Just do not read the inscriptions on the relic. Especially if the inscriptions are in Latin. There is a reason that it is a dead language. Because everyone who read it died.

This digger dug up a relic but didn't fuck with it even a little.
This digger dug up a relic but didn’t fuck with it even a little. Kudos.
  1. Did you dig up the relic?

Listen, that relic probably would have been better off buried. To make matters worse, you have committed a fucking with relics faux paux. Sorry, but instead of giving that relic to a museum you have to destroy it. I don’t make the rules, the Relics Fucking Association (RFA) does.

  1. Do you hear voices whenever you pick up the relic?

Ohhh shit, that relic if most definitely not to be fucked with. However, if you hold these relics gently and listen to the voices, they will give great advice on how to diversify your investments in your Roth IRA. Otherwise, the advice that they give is not very good.

  1. Is the relic an archaic puzzlebox?

Well, fuck with that relic and solve the puzzle. Otherwise those demons in the seventh circle of hell will never know how smart you are. Sure the cost may be your mortal soul, but at least it will be a demon-confirmed “smart” immortal soul.

  1. Is the relic a dried animal limb?
Fuck with this skull and you might lose yours. No promises.
Fuck with this skull and you might lose yours. No promises.

With a dried animal limb comes the burden of wishes. Whether it be a monkey’s paw, a jaguar’s foot, or a tapir’s toe, the animal limb will grant you three wishes but twist them in ways you never thought possible. The most fun you can have with these dried animal limbs isn’t the wishes, but making these animal limbs do uncharacteristic things. Haven’t you always wanted to have a monkey and a gorilla high five?

  1. Are you going to be defacing a mummy’s tomb?

This is not advisable unless you are best friends with Brendan Fraser.

  1. Do any of these relics belong to the Wu-Tang clan?

Don’t do it. Wu-Tang’s relics ain’t nothin’ to fuck with.

They keep the relics beneath the DJ booth. Try not to fuck with that.
They keep the relics beneath the DJ booth. Try not to fuck with that.

Here Now Some History #24 — Defining the WRIMJOB

By Zak Nelson

The Civil War in the United States was a horrible bloody affair, a conflict that pitted families against one another, and is generally considered unpleasant. The war is mainly known for its archaic tactics, bloodshed, and the number of things you can use “state’s rights” as an excuse for. Many, however, do not recall that the Union used Washington State as a medical center for research and development from 1862-1865.

The Washington Research Institute for Medically Jumping Old Bushwackers (WRIMJOB) was established in the Southern Washington territory on August 31st, 1861 in an effort to preserve and revive the lives of potential soldiers formerly employed as bushwackers or corpses . The Native American tribes living in the area were fine with it, supposedly. 

Establishing WRIMJOB was arguably Lincoln's greatest accomplishment. It's not a winning argument, but it is technically arguable.
Establishing WRIMJOB was arguably Abraham Lincoln’s greatest accomplishment. It’s not a winning argument, but it is technically arguable.

The institute was the brainchild of presidential beard Abraham Lincoln and professional alcoholic, sometimes soldier, Ulysses S. Grant. Both Lincoln and Grant were immensely hopeful that the WRIMJOB would help the Union turn the tide of war. Robert E. Lee tried to get the Confederacy a WRIMJOB of his own, but was sadly rebuked by Jefferson Davis.

During its first six months, the WRIMJOB became incredibly popular, but neither Lincoln nor Grant had time to oversee all that the WRIMJOB had to offer. A medical director had to be appointed. Finally, in March of 1862, Lincoln appointed Margaret Pennywaggle as chief medical director at the WRIMJOB. Pennywaggle was an odd choice for some, mainly because of her lack of a medical degree. No one made their displeasure known quite as much as straight white males, though their anger was not directed toward Pennywaggle’s lack of a relevant degree, but rather her lack of testicles. Pennywaggle felt immense pressure during her first year as medical director as Lincoln was desperate for a breakthrough and straight white males, as history has shown, don’t shut up about anything.

Some were more vocal than others, and A.P. Woodridge was chief amongst them. Woodridge was balding, had an unkempt beard, and probably didn’t even understand what the WRIMJOB was. Although he worked in the mailroom and did not possess any qualities that would have made him an appropriate fit for the position, Woodridge felt he had been passed over for the role of medical director at the facility, Pennywaggle confided in a journal retrieved by our staff following her first meeting with Woodridge:

When he talks, it is like someone let the air out of a balloon inches from my ear so the only sound I can hear is that of a farting bee.

This is a straight white male artists rendering of what Margaret Pennywaggle may have looked like. Its probably accurate
This is a straight white male artists’ rendering of what Margaret Pennywaggle looked like. It is not accurate.

However, despite his general oafishness, Woodridge had significant support at the WRIMJOB and conspired to fight Pennywaggle at every turn. Along with pressure from Lincoln, the constant struggle to get things done began to wear on Pennywaggle. She journaled:

I feel my stomach knot into a bow each time I walk through those doors. My skin puckering at the wonder of what fresh new hell will be served at my desk.

Although frictions were great at first, Pennywaggle slowly gained the respect of those at the WRIMJOB. In January of 1863, Pennywaggle resolved to “grind til’ I own it,” and proceeded to fire Woodridge and his compatriots. Without their obstructions, Pennywaggle’s WRIMJOB began to turn out medical advancements like no one’s business. With medical advancements like hand-washing and moving latrines away from drinking water, the WRIMJOB became a symbol of medical advancement in 19th Century America.

By 1865 the war was over, and the luster of the WRIMJOB was beginning to fade. Lincoln was having trouble convincing Congress the funds were still necessary, while Grant wondered if bourbon paired better with gin or vodka. Pennywaggle had already seen the writing on the wall and resigned in January of 1865. A.P. Woodridge passed away later that year after drunkenly falling on a rake. After Lincoln’s death, the WRIMJOB fell into a state of disrepair. It was later turned into a brothel after the “W” fell off the facility. That same brothel later gained notoriety for a very specialized kind of pleasure, missionary position. Still, many historians will be quick to tell you how important the WRIMJOB was to the Union winning the Civil War.     

 

The Pacific Tower used to be exclusively used for WRIMJOB work
The Pacific Tower used to be used exclusively for WRIMJOB work.

Top 7 Hiking Destinations

By Ezra Parter

If you read the internet, you know about listicles, but this one is better than the rest so get hyped. Every week we count down the top 7 in various categories about the great city of Seattle. This week we explore…

The Top 7 Hiking Destinations in and around Seattle

7. Rattlesnake Ridge

Just a short 30 minute drive east from the city center, Rattlesnake Ridge offers a challenging hike for novices and a nice change of pace for those with a little more experience. With expansive views and a great variety of flora to explore, there’s always something intriguing to look at. Are there rattlesnakes there? No, but the name sure is alliterative!

Whatever you do, do not go in that building. The Falls are too pretty.
Whatever you do, do not go in that building. The Falls are too pretty.

6. Snoqualmie Falls

Who doesn’t love waterfalls? Who doesn’t love rhetorical questions? Better yet, who doesn’t love rhetorical questions about waterfalls!? The park rangers at Snoqualmie Falls, that’s who. They prefer to be able to answer hikers’ questions directly and concisely, by telling them about the history of the area or the best time to see the Falls at their largest. Hint: It’s springtime, because the snow melts into the river.

5. Carkeek Park

Not every hike has to be outside the city! Some are within city limits, like the trails at Carkeek Park. While there isn’t a mountain or lake at the end, there are plenty of great spots to dig! You shouldn’t hide anything too valuable there as the park is just as easy to access for kids and transients as it is for you, but what do I know? I just write about this topic for a living. You should trust me.

4. Smith Tower

It may not typically be considered a hike, but walking up every flight of stairs at Smith Tower is a significant challenge to your legs so it qualifies. Plus, if you go down to the basement, turn left at the men’s restroom sign, and enter the door labeled “Janitor,” you’ll find yourself in a dirt room perfect for burying treasure. The room spans eleven city blocks, so you’re sure to find some unused space. Don’t break the unwritten code: leave anything you find right where it was. The guards are always watching.

Mount Rainier is not as close as this image makes it look. You do have to hike there
Mount Rainier is not as close as this image makes it look. You do have to hike there

3. Mount Rainier

The summit is beautiful in the summer, like an unwashed gourd in an empty orchard struck just so by a ray of subtle moonlight. And speaking of moonlight, if you follow the light of a full moon as it bounces off of Reflection Lake you’ll be guided to the spot Roy Olmstead hid his bootlegging profits during prohibition! It’s empty now, but there’s plenty of space to stash your stash and the rock door still works if you can remember the incantation to awaken its ancient magic. It’s “Beer before liquor, Roy Olmstead is quicker. And also a better bootlegger than you, Ralph.” He liked to keep his staff humble.

2. Rachel Lake

Named for Rachel Marshall of Rachel’s Ginger Beer, Rachel Lake offers a treasure-burier an opportunity unlike anywhere else. Just an hour and a half east of the city, the titular lake at the end of the trail is the only lake on Earth with tunnels that lead directly to a former Native American burial chamber hidden directly below the water. While initially used to entomb leaders of various local tribes, the chamber has become a haven for pirates and hoarders alike. The ginger beer still flows like water, but according to testimonials Rachel herself hasn’t visited in centuries. Be sure to use a very distinctive X when you mark your spot to avoid any confusion. Sometimes it gets crowded down there!

1. The Bank

I won’t presume to know which bank is right for you, but all of them have great vaults to hide your stuff in. Plus, you don’t have to drive, hike, dig, or anything! Take an Uber, check your treasure in with the teller, and go about your day. Now that’s what I call living the good life! I have simple passions.

Maybe don't trust the teller if it's this guy.
Maybe don’t trust the teller if it’s this guy.

Editor’s Note: Don’t bother to look for Ezra’s treasure in any of these locations. He’s a blog writer, he doesn’t have any. Seriously. This isn’t a ploy to protect it or anything. 

Here Now Some History #23– Seattle Welcomes the Circus

By Michelle Wen

August 24, 1862 was a remarkable day in the history of Seattle. It was the first time a circus had ever come to town.

Reader, I hear you gasp in shock, “Why?” “Why did we suffer such deprivation?” “Is it not a truth universally acknowledged that there is no greater joy than a tiny monkey in a dress riding a shetland pony?”

A circus in San Francisco and Boston would make grown men weep with joy, animate the bedridden, fill all with special excited tingles. Not so in Seattle! In 1862, Seattle was full of proud, lumbering, bearded men and tough, salty women; folks who eked out a living from the unforgiving sea and the cruel dark forests of the hinterland; folks with no patience for clowning around.

The Barnum and Bailey Circus was the first to venture to Seattle. Some say the BBC had no choice but to resort to Seattle after it had packed one too many pachyderms into party cannons – news of which spread across the circus hubs of the Eastern seaboard.

Regardless, the show began immediately upon the unveiling of a giant orb by a monocled man and his loping gibbon sidekick Murphy Brown, which was met with boos and other naysayings. Local reporter Filbert S. Fitzgerald said of the scene:

0 Stars. Utterly uninspired, charmless and wretched! One could spend a better morning scrubbing mildew down the bottom of a well, or flagellating in the rectory. 

mystophocles

According to the adjacent diary page of one Wilhelmina Burley, a salmon husbandry expert who had been pulled away from her morning fish milking by the ruckus, the tipping point was an anchor hurled by her friend “Big” Bertha Hargraves.

The news reports indicate that Bertha and the many others who joined her in tormenting the circus folk were widely seen as heroic defenders of the public trust. A series of popular cartoons were printed in the newspaper that week to illustrate this barrage, and used the dictation of town square stenographer Marlin Weighins for all the dialogue. Though the images have been smudged beyond printable quality, the speech bubbles remained legible and are transcribed below.

Fie! Ye dare throw an anchor at me, I make an anchor of you! In time the name Bertha will not be for a human, but for an anchor! One that cannot go backward, one that cannot progress forward, one that is, as said, an anchor, but to the entire city, not merely a single ship!

You ne’er do well! Begone the likes of you! Everyone toss fish in his general direction!

A fish? Ye dare toss a fish at Mystophocles, but cannot even hit me? Hark, be it known that for fishes come to land by way of mariners, this city will forever be beset by a ragtag group of mariners ever capable of pitching but never any good at hitting!

Oy, this will cut ye down to size! Boys, throw yer axes on 2. Two!

What convenience to have weaponry delivered to me at the moment when I most need it! Ye shall all luxuriate in instant delivery of goods and services, ignorant that like waters of a mighty river rising and rising, your homes and food will grow costly, and you’ll all be drowned like those fools who linger in the Amazon basin during floodtimes… but in debt!

Tax records show that "Big" Bertha Hargraves was the foremost cobblestone maker and road-layer in Seattle and had quite an arm on her.
Tax records show that “Big” Bertha Hargraves was the foremost cobblestone maker and road-layer in Seattle, and had quite an arm

Boiling with rage at these insults, the crowd determined the ringmaster ought to be put on trial by ordeal. With an axe in his leg, a head wound from the anchor, and fish guts in his eye, Mystophocles could hardly flee (as the rest of the circus had done). Tarred and feathered, he was left for dead by the waterfront.

This was the end of Master Mystophocyles.

Or was it?

In the early days of excavation for the Alaskan Way Viaduct, journal fragments were unearthed. A local group known as Mystopho-clites believe these to be belongings of the hapless ringmaster based on entries such as this:

Have decided to head to Seattle on August 24. Dreamed of mountains spewing fiery rivers of lava, flurries of ash falling. Not even endless rain could quench such disaster… Can better predict year and time of occurrence if I go there in person. Will save the city and be such a hero…

President of the Mystopho-clites Pleace Butterall said in a statement at the excavation site, “Some say Master Mystophocles’ words were predictions – others say they were curses. Either way, they will come true. If only we had not thrown that anchor. Or those axes. Or the fish. Or tarred and feathered him to death”.

Reince_Priebus_by_Gage_Skidmore_3
President of the Mystopho-clites Pleace Butterall smiling contently after delivering a best man speech that got two laughs and several claps at his sister’s wedding. This photo was obtained legally.

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