(The following is a satirical take on what Donald John Trump would most likely say during his campaign for mayor of Seattle)
What happened to Seattle? I used to love this place. Affordable, but it was still big enough of a city that there was always some cool new hole in the wall to explore. Laid back and cultured, like Portland but people had jobs. It was a place so wonderful I couldn’t imagine ever living somewhere else. Continue reading “Make Seattle Great Again”→
Brett Hamil is a comedian based in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. He performs standup comedy all over the U.S. and Canada, writes a regular humor column for City Arts magazine, does a monthly video commentary on city politics for the Emerald, and hosts his own talk show focused on local politics, The Seattle Process. Brett was kind enough to sit down with me and discuss his career in comedy. Continue reading South End Based Comedian Brett Hamil: “The Grower”→
New Year’s Resolutions are tough to keep. The trick is to not be so specific. Instead of saying you want to lose 20lbs or quit smoking crack, set realistic goals for yourself. Do the little things that will make you a better person. Here are some areas we can all relate to and work on together. Continue reading Humor Sauce: New Year’s Resolutions→
It takes a village to raise a child, but just because that child grows up doesn’t mean the village is off the hook. Adults who are rude act that way because we rarely challenge them on it. We as a society need to stop letting these people slide. Join me in enforcing these basic social contracts: Continue reading Humor Sauce: It Takes a Village→
I’m glad summer is dead. I know that sounds harsh, but you should be too. From summer’s rotting corpse comes fall, my favorite season of all. Here are some reasons to rejoice with me:
Pumpkin spice my life
Lattes, candles, even Oreo jumped on the bandwagon. And why not? People like to trash talk pumpkin spice because it’s so “in your face” this time of year, but guess why? Because it’s delicious! I love pumpkin spice. Can’t get enough of it. They’ve been pumpkin spicing everything this year but I want more. Pumpkin spice deodorant. Pumpkin spice iPhones. I want pumpkin spice Xzibit to pumpkin spice my ride so I can drive it all the way to eggnog season.
It’s finally cooling off
Seattle isn’t built for the heat. Not enough places have air conditioning. Give me my flannel, jeans, and boots: official uniform of the Pacific Northwest. Most importantly of all: no more flip-flops. I don’t care to wear them personally, but moreover I don’t care to see other people’s toes. Especially dudes. No one wants to see you bro out with your toes out, Chad. Make those little piggies wee-wee-wee all the way home.
Return of the rain
After a very dry summer we should all welcome the rain back with open arms. Sure, it rains a lot in Seattle and makes everyone collectively drive 30 mph on the freeway, but without the rain the hipsters would never get wet. They obviously aren’t showering. Let the rain do its job. As the great Jeff Goldblum says in Jurassic Park, “Nature finds a way.”
IT’S SO PRETTY
The only time littering is okay is when the trees do it. Oranges, reds, and browns turn this city into an autumnal kaleidoscope of beauty. Summer just can’t compete with that. So go put on your long pants, jump in a pile of leaves, and save your Grinching for winter. Summer is dead and it’s not coming back; well, until next year.
I know the grey can get people down and us Seattleites have to enjoy every bit of sunshine we get, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t appreciate the fall for what it is. Pumpkin spice everything, covered feet, cleanish hipsters, and above all else, it showcases this beautiful part of the country we are all lucky enough to live in. Happy fall, everyone.
On the way home from work I saw a sign above the freeway that read Drive High, Get a DUI. Ok, but how does a cop tell if you’re high? I’m pretty good at hiding it, I fooled my mom for years. After a little research I learned the police have no on the spot test to prove someone was under the influence of marijuana while driving. The standard field sobriety test is given regardless of what they suspect you’re under the influence of. This is ridiculous. Being high and being drunk are on two opposite ends of the spectrum, therefore should require an adjusted field sobriety test, which I have provided for you below.
The standard field sobriety test is broken into 3 parts:
The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (The Pen Test)
That’s right. Nystagmus. No, it’s not a Harry Potter spell. Nystagmus is the bouncing of the eyes when they’re all the way to the right or left. This is what the police officer is looking for when they have you follow the pen.
Adaptation: Pretty much the same test, only the officer uses a RedVine (or if you’re a disgusting degenerate, a Twizzler) and drags it across your lips. If you don’t take a nibble you pass.
The One-Leg Stand
Stand on one leg and say the alphabet. Be honest, could you do this sober? Balancing is hard and that LMNOP part of the alphabet song is no picnic either.
Adaptation: This test is stupid so I’m throwing it out completely. You want to catch a stoner? Show them a cat .gif and see how long they voluntarily watch it. More than 5 times through? You’re under arrest, Cheech.
The 9 Step Walk and Turn
9 steps, heel-to-toe, turn, 9 steps back. During this little runway walk the cop is checking for balance and judging your outfit.
Adaptation: Again, same test, only you have to tell the officer a story while you walk. If you can’t get to the point by the end of the 18 steps, you’re higher than angel sandals.
All joking aside, if you get pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana, deny everything and get a good lawyer. They have no way to prove it. However, I beg all of you to reconsider ever getting behind the wheel while stoned. I can forgive an 80 year old woman driving 30mph on the freeway, but not you Stoney Bologna. Stay home and order a pizza.
I am not a soccer fan. However, like most Americans, I’ve been sucked into the World Cup frenzy. After watching almost every game so far, and as someone with a very limited knowledge of soccer, here are some things I’ve taken from the World Cup:
Ok, I get it. You’re on the biggest stage there is and you want to stand out, but if I was a World Cup referee I’d red card half the players right off the bat for unacceptable haircuts. I’ve officially seen every type of mohawk, fauxhawk, swoop, loop; I even saw a guy with an off-center rat-tail. What the hell is that? How am I supposed to explain to my children that a grown man has a rat-tail? I don’t have children, but you get my point.
This happens in a lot of sports, but soccer is the only one I know that’s adopted it as part of the game. I’m surprised soccer can even be played in the rain, you’d think the raindrops would knock all of the players down. This is why I’ve always liked hockey. It’s similar to soccer in a lot of ways, but in hockey if you take a dive out there, someone is going to beat the crap out of you. Soccer could learn something from this.
It always amazes me how many people say soccer is boring. Usually these are the same people who will sit through an entire baseball or football game. I love both of those sports but you can’t watch every minute of them, you’ll go insane. Soccer is one of the only sports that doesn’t stop every 5 minutes for a commercial, and I’ve found this a welcome change. Also, I saw a guy get jump-kicked in the chest last week. That was pretty awesome.
My Own Fitness
It’s hard to watch these amazing athletes run hard for 90 minutes and not feel like a piece of garbage. These guys are out there in the best shape they can possibly be in. I can see abs right through their children’s medium jersey. I’ve enjoyed this World Cup for many reasons, but the main one has been the constant motivation to exercise.
The Thumbs Up
It’s how soccer players say good job to one another. If we take one thing from this World Cup, let it be that the thumbs up is back and totally ok to use again.
As this World Cup comes to a close I find myself looking forward to the next one, and I might even start checking out some of the Sounders games. Soccer is an exciting sport with many interesting characters. I find the all the diving and haircuts silly, but overall I’ve really enjoyed it. I am still not a soccer fan, but I’m getting there.
I love Seattle, but over the years I’ve heard a lot of people badmouth this city for a variety of reasons. Most of the time the reasons given are, in my experience, completely untrue. So your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to help me defend this fine city from slander. These are the most common complaints about Seattle:
This is Seattle’s biggest stigma, and you know what? It’s true. It rains a lot here. What people don’t know is about 90% of the time it’s a very light rain, a mist, a sneeze from the sky. If you’re in Seattle long enough you begin to realize the only people using umbrellas are tourists. You don’t need one. Your body heat alone will keep the rain from hitting you. Since moving here I’ve learned to appreciate the constant rain in Seattle. It keeps everything luscious and green, and it’s the only way some of these non-showering hipsters would ever get wet.
The Seattle Freeze
I’ve heard the story a hundred times. Someone moves here from a small town and just can’t seem to make any friends. They say Seattleites are unwelcoming, distant, and cold up front. There are two things wrong with this. First, making friends as an adult takes time. If you come on too strong it creeps people out. Pump the breaks, hayseed, and play it cool. Friends will come if you don’t try to force it. Second, this is not a Seattleite problem. This is a city of transplants. I’ve lived in Seattle for 8 years and I know zero native Seattleites. They’re like sasquatches. So many people swear they exist but I’ll be damned if I’ve ever seen one. The Seattle Freeze is an excuse used by boring people whose personality is even greyer than our weather.
Ok yeah, Seattle has a rich history of drug use, but what do you expect from a city with a giant needle sticking out of it? Do you enjoy the music of Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix? If they didn’t have easy access to drugs right here in Seattle none of that music would’ve happened. You’re welcome. And if you’re not into illegal drugs, we have a pretty awesome legal one here.
Now you’re informed. We are proudly wet, unaccepting of the dull, and fueled by drugs. The next time you hear someone besmirch this city, defend its honor.
Michael Primavera is a Seattle based humorist whose collection of comic musings can be found at twitter.com/primawesome
There are three things that make Easter great: Candy, Hardboiled Eggs, and the Egg Hunt. I look forward to it every year and you should too. Even if you’re not religious or don’t have children, I’ll show you how to get the most out of this wonderful holiday.
Easter is the number three candy holiday behind Halloween and Valentine’s Day, but personally I think it has the best candy. My favorites are Peeps, Cadbury Cream Eggs, and those big hollow chocolate Easter bunnies. By themselves, each of these products are good, but together they can become something great. Start by removing the head of the chocolate bunny. Then, very carefully, jam several Peeps into the hollow interior. Once full, seal the head back on with some goop from the Cadbury cream egg. Now you have a delicious little treat I like to call the Trojan Rabbit.
I like a snack that makes you work for it. Peeling off the shell is half the fun. I remember dying Easter eggs with my mom as a kid. I was never too crazy about the dying part (the dye stained my fingers and I hated the vinegar smell) but I loved eating the eggs. I quickly learned that if I was to “accidentally” damage one of the hardboiled eggs while dying it, I’d just have to eat that one and start over. I damage a lot of eggs. I loved hardboiled eggs so much, when I was tall enough to reach the microwave I decided to make some for myself. When my mom came home and found the exploded eggs, I managed to unsuccessfully blamed it on the cat. What I had done was so cute/stupid, my mom took pity and showed me the correct way to make them. I’ve been enjoying hardboiled eggs ever since and you should too.
The Egg Hunt
Kids go nuts for the egg hunt. Even if you don’t have children of your own, I recommend volunteering somewhere this Sunday where an egg hunt is taking place. You will not regret it. A child’s love for the egg hunt goes beyond the motivation of candy and money. I believe there is something deeper at work; something more primal. Kids love hunting for eggs because of residual sperm instinct. Think about it. They wouldn’t even be here if they weren’t the best egg-finding sperm in their “class”. I mean really, a group of kids having an egg hunt is like an egg-hunting all-star team. Get out there this Sunday and watch for yourself.
Easter has a lot to offer, so make yourself a Trojan Rabbit this Sunday and sneak it into your stomach. Load up on some protein-packed hardboiled eggs (but don’t use the microwave). And most of all, if nothing else, get out there and watch an egg hunt because those little sperm alumni grow up fat. Happy Easter, everyone.
I enjoy people watching. As a writer, it’s my job to observe people (or at least that’s what I say when I get caught looking), and one of my favorite places to “observe” is in Downtown Seattle on the corner of 3rd & Pike. This place is not only an intersection, but a nexus of all walks of life. From there I can see ridiculously dressed tourist on their way to Pike Place Market to have their minds blown by a guy throwing a fish; or frustrated commuters impatiently refreshing their phones in hopes that the bus won’t be 25 minutes late (it will be); or a schizophrenic homeless man yelling at the pigeons because he’s the only one who can hear the song they’re all bobbing their heads to – you know, all types of folks.
While watching these people I generally make it a point to not actually interact with any of them. The biggest obstacles are panhandlers, lonely old people, and those awful people holding clipboards. I don’t care if you have a petition to send me on a date with Scarlett Johansson, if you are standing outside of a store holding a clipboard you are a ghost to me. But the other day something happened that caught me completely off guard. Something I couldn’t ignore. An old man walked up to me, looked me right in the eyes and said, “Jesus loves you”.
Now, I’m an atheist, but I have no hate in my heart for Jesus. He seemed like a pretty solid dude. He was friendly, helpful, he made his own wine; what’s not to like? So why did what this old man said to me make me so uncomfortable? My first reaction, and go to defense mechanism when someone makes me uncomfortable, is sarcasm. “Wait, what do you mean Jesus loves me? Did he say something to you? OMG I’m freaking out right now tell me his exact words.”
Of course, I didn’t say a word of that. I couldn’t. This sweet old man just said “Jesus loves you” with a sincerity that shook the very foundation of my atheist beliefs. A foundation 10 grueling years of catholic school had hardened into a surface I could walk confidently upon, until that moment. I spent the rest of the day thinking about that old man, and eventually, I figured out what was bugging me.
I spend a lot of time on that corner watching people, but when I do, I observe with a certain cynicism and over all contempt for human beings. I don’t hate these people, but I look for flaws in them that can be spun into jokes. It’s pretty much how I’ve lived my whole life. So when this old man said “Jesus loves you”, it was like he was calling me out in the nicest possible way. Like he was saying, “Hey, you’re being the opposite of Jesus right now.” I was bothered by what he said because he made me turn that cynicism and contempt onto myself, and I was less than thrilled with what I saw.
I still don’t believe in a higher power. I believe we are all responsible for our own destiny, but I also believe that is no excuse to be a jerk. Sure, in my mind there’s no magical man in the clouds holding me responsible for the things I say and do, but that’s all the more reason for me to police myself. I still watch people on the corner of 3rd & Pike, but now I try and do so with a more optimistic outlook. I don’t just look for the bad, but also the good, and do you know what I’ve noticed? I haven’t seen one good thing happen on that corner. It’s a bad place and those people are awful. I should find an easier intersection to be optimistic on and work my way up. Baby steps.
Michael Primavera is a Seattle based humorist whose collection of comic musings can be found at twitter.com/primawesome
Amplifying the Authentic Narratives of South Seattle