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OFF THE RECORD: Im suffering from several syndromes
Syndromes are serious stuff, not a laughing matter. Simply put, a syndrome is a group of symptoms that characterize a disease, psychological disorder or other abnormal condition. I didnt make that up Websters did.
The more common syndromes are Down Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the grandmommy of all Premenstrual Syndrome, simply known as PMS.
Then there are the more obscure syndromes such as Aspergers Syndrome, Restless Legs Syndrome, Guillain-Barre Syndrome and Rett Syndrome. Very serious stuff.
During the past week, I developed a number of strange syndromes. Blame it on the Mariners. Blame it on the Internet. Blame it on Jim Larsen. Blame it on the world. Maybe youve been experiencing some of these, too.
PMS POST-MARINERS SYNDROME: Not to be confused with PMS, the condition that affects 100 percent of women at any given time. My personal PMS began with that sinking feeling that set in moments after the Mariners lost to the Yankees in Game 5 of the ALCS. There would be no World Series for Seattle, and those Damn Yankees did it again for the fourth season in a row.
As one friend wrote in an e-mail, I still cant find enough room in my heart to root for the Yankees, tragedy or not. I heartily concur, and will be cheering for Randy Johnson and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Do you think those East Coast talk jocks have ever heard of them?
ULWS UNCONTROLLABLE LETTER WRITING SYNDROME: To paraphrase that infamous line delivered by Peter Finch in Network, Im ticked off and Im not gonna put up with it for one more minute! Most of this is directly related to PMS-Post Mariners Syndrome. The afternoon before what was to become the final Mariners game, I couldnt take it any more. So I fired off the following e-mail to FOX Sports, broadcasters of the playoff series on TV.
Dear FOX Sports Feedback Folks: Whats with your obviously biased announcers doing the Yankees-Mariners games? They are so pro-pinstripes its downright laughable. I keep waiting for the camera to cut away to the boys in the booth undoubtedly, theyre decked out in full Yankee regalia. Were not a bunch of mossyback slugs out here in Seattle; we actually get it. And that includes the fact that FOX is so locked into New York winning the World Series that no other team merits a raindrop of respect. I love New York, now more than ever. But I will continue to hate the Yankees. Thanks to your talking bobbleheads, youre making it that much easier.
I havent heard back from them. I wont hold my breath.
TMEMS TOO MUCH E-MAIL SYNDROME: Is your e-mail in-box starting to look like a paperless recycling center? Heres an e-mail I received from a friend in Seattle who is fed up with all the junk folks send him. There are certain things I hate getting in my in box besides spam, so as a small favor, please dont send the following pernicious items: petitions about the environment, petitions about taxes, petitions about freeing unjustly imprisoned activists, warnings about computer viruses, warnings about telephone scams, warnings about losing my civil liberties, large attachments, small attachments, medium size attachments, .EX files, lists of humorous neologisms, epithets to make my day sunshinier, philosophical treatises that start with Chicken Soup for the (insert saccharine subject here), chain letters, stock recommendations, opportunities to make money off Microsoft.
Hear, hear! If you want to check the validity of a virus, petition or any other urban legend, log onto http://hoaxbusters.ciac.org/ or http:// www.snopes2.com.
PLS POST-LARSEN SYNDROME: Youve probably heard or read that Jim Larsen has vacated the big chair at The Record. As somebody who has worked with Jim since the last millennium, this is tougher to take than the above-mentioned PMS, ULWS or TMEMS combined. Who woulda thunk that Lars Larsen, that Danish dude from Snohomish, would ever leave South Whidbey? Not me.
Jim Larsen is one of the funniest people I know; his wit is beyond compare. Over the years, folks would often ask me what he was really like was he as weird as he came across in print? I would always tell them he was a good husband, a great dad and a person who really cared. That he was a throwback to the old newspaper guys, minus the bottle of bourbon in his bottom drawer. That he was the best darn editor Ive ever had. On Nov. 1 Ill begin my 13th year as a columnist for The South Whidbey Record. Thanks to Jim Larsen, its been one helluva ride. Were gonna miss that guy.
Sue Frause can be reached by e-mail at