News Columns & Blogs

A closer look at sayings leads to even more tantalizing ideas

In my never-ending quest to make this column seem smarter and culturally relevant, I have decided to tackle some of the enduring questions that have tested the world's greatest philosophers.

What if two wrongs made a right? — Our jails would be less crowded. The release of two-time offenders would stimulate the housing crisis and restore property values to their rightfully high level. Joe Hyer might still be on City Council.

What if money grew on trees? — For a while, people with “green thumbs” would become rich and powerful, until the rest of us snuck onto their properties at night like packs of rabid raccoons. Money would eventually become worthless.

What if I really could drink like a fish? — This would not help me become an instant hit parties, as you might think. Fish don’t actually drink that much, but they do process oxygen from the water. This means I could plunge my head into a pitcher of beer and keep it there for hours. A fun party trick, but not really conducive to conversation.

What if someone actually went to hell and back, preferably in a hand basket? — Sounds like it would be kind of hot on the tush, but the person would make millions writing their memoirs. By analyzing the list of whom they saw in hell, the world’s religious leaders could more finely tune their suggestions for behavior in this life.

What if there was no rule of thumb? — The Rule of the Little Pinkie just doesn’t carry the same weight as a Rule of Thumb, and there are no rules for the third finger. This means people would have to rely on the Rule of the Index Finger, which seems a little too pointed, or the Rule of the Middle Finger, which would just plain get us into a lot of trouble.

What if you could take it with you? — Unless you knew exactly where it was you were going, this would lead to troublesome packing problems.

What if there were no rhetorical questions? — This would presuppose that mankind had answers to all of its important questions, making this particular column trivial or, at least, unnecessary. Hey, wait a minute ...


The Parking and Business Improvement Area of Olympia is the originator of “The Parking’s On Us” marketing strategy that some downtown businesses are using to communicate the positive aspects of the new pay boxes to their customers. PBIA marketing chair, Janis Dean, of The Popinjay, says the campaign is designed to help “citizens understand that all PBIA member businesses are committed to reaching out to ensure that their downtown shopping experience is convenient and enjoyable.” Seems they are achieving that goal. ... The Olympia Historical Society has added links on its own website to online and other resources, including the Works Projects Administration (WPA) with specific references to Thurston County and Olympia pioneers and a Thurston County history in photographs. .... The Olympia Fire Department will soon break ground at its new training center on Fones Road S.E., part of the new facility built after the 2008 vote to build the center, a fourth fire station and add fire fighting equipment. Voters will decided on Aug. 17 whether to raise property taxes to staff the new station. ... Still time to hit the Pacific Northwest Mushroom Festival today near Lacey at the Regional Athletic Complex. ... Wednesday’s “Music in the Park” features the jazz group called 7 on 7. ... The Northeast Neighborhood Association and the city of Olympia joined in partnership to create a neighborhood welcome sign. It features a series of steel “reeds” of grass, each etched with verbs that convey the neighborhood’s vibrancy and diversity. It is being designed and built by local architect Katie Cox and artist Rus Geh, who both live in the NENA. ... The Olympia Downtown Rotary Club is in the final stages of its mega-garage sale scheduled for Saturday at Madison Elementary School. You can still donate items by calling 360-357-6335.

George Le Masurier, publisher of The Olympian, can be reached at 360-357 0206 or