Editor's column

"State should celebrate slownessWith most of our big trees gone, it's time to change the Evergreen State's motto to something like, Washington: the Slow State. This could be appealing in these harried times and prompt more tourists to mosey out here some day.Washington is now the slowest state in the union when it comes to counting election ballots. This is Wednesday, and we're far from done counting the votes from yesterday's election. Thousands are still coming in, and county auditors are awaiting their arrival with a yawn. If this election goes as the pundits say, the presidential race could be decided by Washington's late absentee ballots. It could all come down to my daughter, who mailed in her ballot from Pullman, Wash., on Monday. If I got the Slow State's itinerary right, her ballot goes by stagecoach to Vantage, then waits for the ferry across the Columbia, hops a Trailways bus to Roslyn where a mountaineer sticks it in his backpack and climbs over the pass with it. After that it's all downhill to Puget Sound, where the Mosquito Fleet brings the ballot to the Island County Courthouse. It should arrive next Thursday. Al Gore and George Bush will be waiting in the courthouse hallway, begging our auditor to count the darned thing so they can get on with their lives. When told that they'll have to wait until Monday, both candidates will resign in frustration and flee to Canada.Washington's slow ballot counting has already achieved national notoriety. TV pundits are shocked that in the information age, they might have to wait two weeks to know the outcome of an election. Word is the Legislature may change to the Oregon absentee system, where ballots must arrive by election day to be counted. But that would be a mistake. We are unofficially the slowest state in the union, but we should make it official. Washington: The Slow State, might show everyone else how to live, thereby creating a healthier, less stressful society. There's no sense being in such a hurry, all you stressed-out Americans. Do everything the way we do it in the Slow State and watch your blood pressure drop.The Slow State should not only keep its tedious voting system, but adopt other items that celebrate slowness. Such as:The State Oven:he Macrowave, whose long waves of radiation can warm up a Pop Tart in the time it takes to roast a turkey in a wood stove.The State Automobile The Dave Anderson, a hybrid with no engine that is pushed along by your environmentally sensitive state representative.The State Computer: The abacus, located at the post office where you can also get your mail.The State Sport: Baseball, as played by the incredibly slow Seattle Mariners who have been known to win 2-1 in four hours.The State Traffic Solution: Be patient.The State Motto: Manana.The State Bumper Sticker: Do It Slow in Washington.In this state, we're slow and we should be proud. Anyone who doesn't like it can go back east on the first stage out of Pullman. "

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