Of hunching, free lunch, and stinky

By Lou Brancaccio, Columbian editor

Published:

 
photoLou Brancaccio

So I run into my buddy Jimmy on Sunday and he’s looking just a little depressed.

He’s an avid reader of The Columbian and this column (thanks) but it’s beginning to get to him.

I mean it’s really beginning to get to him.

“Government, religion, no one is getting along, nobody seems to be able to do the right thing.”

He was lamenting. Big time.

Yes, I have been — sad to say — a contributor to this malady. And Jimmy was jonesing for less malady and more melody.

He had just read my column on Vancouver city workers making the nicest building in the city into their new City Hall.

And earlier we ended up in a conversation about another column on how public officials are more inclined to look for political cover rather than show political will.

“I mean can’t you write about something nicer? Maybe pumpkin seeds?”

Then he remembered reading about some parts of the Northeastern United States having their pumpkin crop washed away because of recent flooding.

His eyes drooped even further. His shoulders hunched. And at that point I couldn’t do much to pull him out of his droopiness.

What to do, what to do?

I had planned on writing about the unsustainable pension plan for government workers and why politicians won’t fix it. But I decided to wait for another day. That would make Jimmy hunch even more.

Today seemed like a great day for (dramatic pause required here) a free lunch!

• • •

That’s right, my friends. I know you’ve heard there is no such thing but I’m here to tell you there (almost) is!

My free lunch contests are pretty simple but usually you have to at least be marginally creative. And this is no exception. A little background first.

My wife, Maley, is a very, very hard worker. But just how busy is she? Well I’ve taken to telling her at least once a day. Like …

“You must be busier than discarded nails at a tire convention.”

Or …

“You must be busier than a shark at a chum convention.”

You get the idea, right? And I’m sure you all are wittier than I am, so come up with some good stuff, please.

This is an email-only contest so please send your entries to the email address you see below. If you submit an answer by commenting on this column — on our website — that’s fine as well.

Deadline is Friday, Oct. 7. Please include your name, age and what city or area of the county you live in.

You’re probably as busy as a politician lining up a fact-finding trip to the Bahamas in January. But please try to find the time to enter.

• • •

On the Web

Click here to see an unfortunate headline wrinkle

photoAn unwrinkled copy of the Detroit Free Press.

Pretty good-looking front page, right? But sometimes when the paper folds in just the wrong way you get a pretty stinky result.

If you click on the link provided here, you'll see the end result.

Lou Brancaccio is The Columbian’s editor. Reach him at 360-735-4505 or lou.brancaccio@columbian.com.