Seattle Blue Collar Stories

Last day of working with Seattle’s blue-collar ..Before returning to the land of remote administration Have to say it was an amusing mix of On The Buses, Mind Your Language and Tucker Carlson

These people, EVERY day, on EVERY break, would trash any left-leaning idea while showing they live in the land of total conspiracy-this is coming from someone who is critical of the modern “left”

I haven’t worked with “everyday people” for a while and to my horror found a number of white folk in the US now speak as if they are making Twatter updates- that’s to say a series of short rants in place of actual conversation.

One man, Mr Bombay was so anti-Muslim and Pro-Trump , every time he spoke I heard “ Thou doth Protest too much “

Another guy, Mr Hong Kong, was truly lost to the land of Youtube conspiracy theories. One day, swat team vans sped by, he said, more than once “ That’s the Democrats trying to take our guns away” – ie this is a pretend event to scare Americans to give up guns.

Then we had Mr Polish and his Tommy Robson rants – he ( like a number of Tommy’s lot) was deeply against homosexuality, which confirmed what I always thought when certain gays show “firm” support for Tommy, believe me if it was up to this lot the gays would be not too far under the Muslims on their “ Rid the country of… “ list.

Speaking of which there were one or two decent People I met, Mr BeardedQueen,. 26 and recently married. He had a fondness for mushrooms and was funny and Win, a 21-year-old student from Vietnam. Win, is 6ft and teenage thin, with flawless Asian skin and trendy jet black side-parted hair. His family owns three homes in SF and a nightclub in ‘Nam. He said, “ That is their money, I must make my own”. He also said, one day, he may create a site called “Winbay” ….. Which for some reason I found hilarious

In all, it was kinda scary to see, how far the tentacles of lies reach into the publics mindsI actually half-expected , one of the workers to come to work with a machine gun and spray bullets into our bodies

The Bridge to Magnolia

Yesterday, I had to brave the elements to go to the post office.
It was due to an ebay item I was meant to post. I had been putting this off, thinking I don’t want to risk my life for a mere $30 ..However, although the buyer was very nice about the situation, I did think 4 weeks is long enough and I didn’t want to smear my 100% ebay rating…

So, I set off to the Post Office in wealthy , healthy Magnolia.
As its a Peninsula, to get there I had to walk over a Bridge..
As I was doing this, I kept thinking a hateful village sherif was going to pull over with cruel sirens and angry tires to hassle me and ask me to turn back from the cozy village back to the wilderness of Upper Queen Anne. Just like what happened to John Rambo in First Blood- dear reader, I should stop to point out, before my wife tells me off, Upper Queen Anne, is actually rather upper middle class, thankyouverymuch.

Anyway, there was no sherif about to drive me out of town and put me in jail if I tried to return- this was lucky as I wasn’t a vietnam vet, so I probably wouldn’t have been able to escape like John Rambo did … That said I had watched Tenko a few times, so who knows

Once I got to Magnolia, I discovered the Post Office queuing system meant you had to wait until someone comes out of the Post Office, until you could go in…. The trouble is one gets bored so you read a book or go on your phone.. This means you can miss when sone one walks out.. Which I did yesterday..
The women behind me shouted “GO ON, YOUR TURN”
So, I said “Bloody Nora, keep your wig on”… Which in England can be amusing, in a retro saying kind of way.. However, it didn’t translate in America and I thought she may call the police.
The end

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Names of the days seem meaningless, now .

It’s getting to the time, where you start to forget just how long you’ve been in “Lockdown” …
The initial novelty value of being able to work from home in your pajamas and talk to your cat  has worn so thin it no longer exists.

No matter how much you love your partner, after so many days stuck together,  you can’t help but feel like the Paul Sheldon character in the film Misery .  If you live alone, there is no escape, you are both Paul Sheldon and Annie Wilkes.
Lots of us who were working from home, now find ourselves put on “furlough” ( another way of saying laid off, without pay, until, something like, normal  business resumes) . Just how do you pay your way, with no way to generate income?

As each day passes another, strand of “life” vanishes .  Seeing people fight over toilet roll, a reminder of how “flimsy” “Society” actually is .

Still, what is one person’s hell, is another person’s paradise.. If you are an adrenaline addict, you no longer have to go and climb a mountain freestyle, race a fast car or jump from an aeroplan… All you have to do, to get your weekly dose of danger, is walk to the local convenience store….If you see someone cough, it’s akin to seeing a Muslim suicide bomber approaching ….
If someone steps too close, you jump back as if a London midnight mugger is trying to stab you
In some ways a dash to the local shop resembles the scenes from The Walking Dead , when characters brave the zombie apocalypse, in order to get a case of  Oxo cubes, or whatever other items remain , in a pre looted, abandoned supermarket.

In a way, I would rather dodge the walking dead than avoid the Coronavirus,  at least you can see a Zombie..
If one comes towards you, you merely turn into Usain Bolt and  run away or do a nifty two step and hit it over the head with a spade, before taking a bow and carrying on your way.

If you are unlucky enough to get bitten, you know you are infected and you take yourself off to the general location of your least favorite family member, wait until you “turn” and eat them .

With Covid-19, things aren’t so defined. You can’t see it coming. It’s everywhere, it’s nowhere..You just don’t know.

You can return from the shop .. Start coughing, convinced you have the virus you draw up a will ..Say all your goodbyes to family and friends ..Only to feel better a few days later and have to ask for all the possessions, you gifted,, back….
Alternatively, you can return from the shop,  rose cheeked from fresh air , feeling fit and hearty, only to drop dead a week later .

If life was fair, God would let us return this year 2020 and swap it for another.
Ah well….

Billy Ray

It’s been an odd few weeks in Seattle, it seems I moved into the American epicenter of the Coronavirus pandemic – some guys have all the luck.

Today, Seattle is now in utter lock down, I can’t help but feel its all a bit over the top- I have a feeling lots of people are pretending to be more anxious than they actually are, in order to get their employers to furnish them with a laptop and let them do the nine to five, at home, in their favorite pajamas

Nevertheless, the highways are hideaways , the center of town now merely caters for bags that swirl in the wind and the shop shelves hang wistful like a mausoleum afternoon

It’s even been banded about on social media, news print media, as well as on World Wide television media… That, due to the, Billy Ray, virus, we should no longer partake in the age old custom of “shaking hands”.. Even though the custom has been around since medieval times.. Surviving civil unrest, wars, the great plague and the career of Bonnie Langford.
I think it would be a shame if the custom died out, if only through fear of it being replaced by the French habit “Faire la bise” or social hugs – I’m all for hugging a loved one, but have always failed to divine why ANYONE would want to hug a stranger.

I remember around 1981,
The council estate I grew up on had a number of people in rattle vans that they would plod around and push their product from .. There was a mobile library , a sweet van, a fish van (P U K E), a chip van and also a couple of soda pop pushers, who would sell their one liter delights, come pink skinned summer.
Whats curious to me in 2020 is the name of the pop being pushed was Corna.
Could it be, it was these sunny afternoon frizz pop slingers that were the real genesis of the modern day killer?

It’s worth maybe nothing, but I will note that one of the Corna delivery boys had three nipples.
The tough and tumble kids would play football on the grass, then stop their game and say “look its three nipples”
If I was nearby, I’d run home to the safety of my bedroom. I didn’t know if his spare nipple was a symbol of something more sinister.
More than that the thought of having three nipple made me anxious .. I didn’t know what to do with the two I had.

In spite of COVID-19 I have managed to scout around Seattle and have found another area I like….Magnolia.
It’s only a mile away from where I live – basically I walk out the front door and over a bridge (see picture)


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It’s, rather, expensive there but is one of those Whistle Stop Cafe type villages-Lewes, in the UK, kind of, has that kinda feel, also.
That is, if Whistle Stop Cafe was in the Northwest and populated by lots of Catholics and Jews-I’ve come to notice, nearly, all my fave parts of the world are Catholic and/or Jewish

In Magnolia, the views are fantastic and the houses range from bungalow to Parasite style modernism.
It manages to keep alive that sense of white picket fence 50s Americana- toy town style Fire stations, garden furniture and so on.

Magnolia, Is where my wife used to own a home , which is probably worth a million now…
I try to be supportive with a “well, money isn’t everything ..You like romance and adventure ”
However, I think if I was her I’d take out legal action against certain British pop stars and authors, for bending her mind enough to give all that up.

Speaking of The Wife, she said last night (after I explained why getting up early doesn’t agree with me)
“You people from working class stock are meant to be hardy but really you are wimps, you cant cope with anything”

I advised most are hardy.. Unfortunately, her Quality Street selection was one of the softer centers.

She didn’t laugh, I also got the distinct impression she would never buy Quality Streets again.

The end

Seasoning

Its a lovely sunny day here in the land of Frasier Crane.
It seems Seattle actually does have four distinct seasons- like Cornwall BUT unlike the rest of England which has one week of spring and two weeks of Autumn and 49 weeks of a frantic wrestling match between Summer and Winter, where Winter always wins..

Im gonna start walking into work, one can’t expect to keep their waist and cheekbones by eating cake and Ubering everywhere. Also I’m scared of
getting the Coronavirus virus if I venture onto public transport. Virus fear, is kinda making me racist.. Inasmuch as when I see someone from Easten Asia (or even anyone who works in The Shanghai Wall Chinese Restaurant in Bell Town )
I psychology put on a protective biological suit, before physically running down the street, muttering the Catholic Prayer Of Protection as I go

The end.

The Visitor- Raccoon About Town

The other evening, I was about to walk up the stairs to the garden.. When I saw movement..
The silhouette wasn’t human or cat, dog or any of the usual beings that sit or flit about the place.

Thus, I prepared myself to make a fast escape in case the being was either a bloodthirsty beast or a ghost from 1915 who had returned to complain about our choice of soft furnishings.

However, when the creature turned and the light lite up its face.. I saw that it was the famous masked fur ball, Rocky Racoon or at least one of his Zorro masked relatives.

I had never seen a raccoon in real life before.. This one wasn’t scared of me, at all.. We just stood looking at each other in a amused manner.

Two nights later, Mr Racoon decided to break into our trash and throw it around the garden.. I take it from this course of action either I offended Mr Racoon and this was his unruly form of protest.. Or he had found someones “stash” in the bushes, got high and partied.

The end

For Whom the Bellingham Tolls

EVEN though, some, natives call Thanksgiving “Turkey day” ( what charmers) I do enjoy the day .. I think its a wonderful thing to sit there and discuss what you are grateful for.

England could do with a bit of that, then it might start climbing itself out of this snide pit its become, where takers laugh as their quarry falter and fall- Even now with a very important election looming, where if the Tory party get in (again), the country will end up losing its NHS and having American companies being able to run rough shot over our legal system, some on, the so-called, left are still bitching at each other and playing the game of playground gangs. Imagine helping take votes from the one chance England has of ending Tory rule and the decimation that comes with it, just so you can get a some like me “likes” om Social Media… Pfft

For Thanksgiving Krissy and I went to her folks in Bellingham, a Disney film set where Deer and Squirrels play in gardens and Bald Eagles float the slipstream.

We took an Amtrak from Seattle to Bellingham. I’ve always liked American trains. At, thin as a twig, 21 I travelled From Boston to Florida ..Then on to St Louis, Chicago and back to NY on the train. They have much more room than British ones and have a dining car with stools – so you can pretend you are in rolling stock version of Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe.

Actually, I met some interesting people on there…A lady who liked Brits and was writing about small American towns, a gang of Flordia women on the hunt, for what they called “Mr rich wale” ..Although young, I had thought for some years that essentially, for people like these, their Ferrari red lipstick smiles, tanned limbs and blonde hair were nothing more than hunting weaponry… The Prey thinks it’s entering a theme park BUT really is sliding into a prison cell.
I also met a homosexual chef who loved films and dashed out Quaaludes.
I did consider serial killers often dish out such barbiturates before waiting for you to pass out and sticking an axe in your back, having sex with your dying body and finally cutting off your little finger to have as a keepsake (how sweet).
Still, I didn’t want to be rude… I was also aware that the carriages were going to break up at the next stop … So I accepted his gift, then pretended to go to the restroom and switched to one of the breakaway carriages …

I’m not very good at gatherings of more than 4 people…So when I got to Krissy’s parents I spent some time in the garden with Krissy’s brother’s dog which has only been on the planet for one year and is already 100 lbs … Because she a pup, she’s still not really aware of her huge size, thus when she goes to cuddle you it’s like being taken down by Giant Haystacks.

Anyway, popping back for Christmas.

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Hit The North

Thus, we left the lazy hazy LA dream world and headed North. In truth it wasn’t my idea to leave Los Angeles and move to Seattle. In fact, I was dead against it.
I liked the true blue skies, the romance of scenery used in films and the wild west aspect of LA. I liked the “anything goes” architecture- from Jetsons-like Googie designs to Flintstones like Spanish style bungalows. I liked the Americana shop signs and billboards. I liked bumping into people whos films, telly shows and music I, at one time, had used as a means to escape- after all even bad pop culture is often better than “real life”.

In contrast. I had not a slither nor a jot of romance for Seattle- I also thought, as I’m English, if I’m going to live in a climate which was like that of Britain and Ireland, then I may as well live in Britain or Ireland, spiritually I’d definitely be more at home, I miss the poetry of British conversation ….Not to mention the British and Irish dress better, Seattle seems to have a population who wouldn’t look out of place as castmembers in Ironside.

All that said, I can’t drive to Vancouver in 1hr or fly to LA in 2 and a half hours from the UK. Seattle also has some fantastic scenery and, generally speaking, is more civilised than Los Angeles. Its much cleaner, people tend to be more civically minded and most importantly the air quality is better.

You can never really breath in Los Angeles., it could be argued most people never actually live in Los Angeles either… Its a place where large swaths of people merely exist, fighting for every scrap, lots clinging to their pop culture heroes to try to make good of the bad. Obviously, there is intelligent life in LA, just as intelligent as anywhere else in the world, though these are mainly in West Hollywood, Echo Park, Silver Lake kind of areas…Beyond that, well….
For a major city that is home to the entertainment industry, it’s kind of amusing how backward it actually is there

LA is known to be a shallow place and this is true to a degree. It’s not that fakers, scene movers and life’s plastic people are exclusive to Los Angeles, it’s more that the city is Earth’s Mecca for this ilk of person. For these their design for living is simple, those that can do, those that can’t become “Influencers” and those who can’t manage anything become DJ’s or anything else that lets them grab at the slipstream of the popular.

Of course, there is more than one aspect to any city and I found some good friends in LA and still plan to be a frequent visitor, especially if I can get a credit card with frequent flyer miles.
Although my wife didn’t enjoy living in the city as much as me, she still likes the place, however, her family are getting on in years and she wanted to be closer to them..She had lived away from them for over 14 years, so that’s fair enough. Also, she never actually really wanted to move to Los Angeles, not really….Try as I might I can’t blame anyone for wanting, slightly, more out of life than having shopped in the same convenience store than someone who once made a fleeting appearance in St. Elsewhere. Although, that was enough for me, naturally.

On top of that, while I was working from home and Billy Liaring around town, she was the one commuting 4 hours a day and carrying most of the burden.
With all that in mind, it was only fair to give the North West a go, so on 10/12/2019 we boarded United Airlines and flew to a new adventure….