Every city has its stereotypesâ€”New Yorkers are gruff; folks in Savannah are hospitable; Los Angelenos are photoshopped to perfection; people from Phoenix are gun-toting racist ass-clowns; etc. We here in Seattle have our typesâ€”it’s a big enough city with plenty of diversity, but by far the most common type is theÂ educated white techno-centric liberalâ€”and perhaps the most pervasive trait you’ll encounter should you visit, especially amongst the educated white techno-centric liberals, is one of obnoxious passivity. To demonstrate I offer the following thought experiment:
Imagine you’ve walked to your local park and set up a blanket on the ground; your partner reads a magazine beside you while you watch as your two children perform cartwheels on the grass. A young man enters the park with his dog, a thick black labrador retriever named Duke; the man begins to throw a tennis ball for the dog, who is only too happy to continually retrieve the ball. Midway through returning the ball, the man chatting absently into his cell phone, Duke stops out on the grass and contorts himself into the second-most humiliating dog-pose of all, Crouching-Shitter (the most humiliating dog pose being a subset of Crouching-Shitter known as The Anal-Scoot, or simply The Scoot). After he shits Duke returns to his master who continues throwing the ball for him. A few minutes later Duke and his owner leave the park. The shit steams on the grass as nearby your children play leap-frog.
Where people from any other city in the country would call out to the young manâ€”Hey, you need to pick your dog’s poop off the grass, folks in Seattle will do no such thing. Speaking to the owner would be”confrontational,” which is another way of saying that to do so the parents would be forced to interact with another human, face-to-face, instead of from behind the safety of their computer screen. So rather than speak to the dog’s owner the Seattle family will keep quiet. The partners will awkardly eye one another, their raised eyebrows conveying what their words will notâ€”Did you see that man’s dog poop on the lawn? Hurriedly they’ll remove their children from the grass. They’ll confer and concur and abjure and rest assured that someone needs to say something. But no one will say anything. No one will tell the offending dog owner the simple, straightforward factâ€”Your dog shit on the lawn and you need to pick it up.
What the Seattle parents will do, instead, is go home and post an angry, frustrated complaint on some public-forum website. Then they’ll sit down and compose a sign. And not just any sign, but this sign:
(My favorite is #6)
Then, since their own appeals to reason won’t be obnoxiously passive enough, the parents will ensure that this trait is passed onto their kids by having the children also make signs. And not just any signs, but these signs:
And there you have it, the short and simple on all too many folks in Seattle. Too tepid to confront a person over dog poop, but squirrely enough to make absurd signs, laminate them and zip-tie them to the park fence.