Eastside Commentor: Socializing in a small town

Eastside Commentor is the worst columnist in the state of Washington, complaining about the west side and other things that interest him.

By Brandon Hansen
Let’s talk a little about what its like socializing in town.

I’m sure you people in Seattle wouldn’t know how to relate, I mean you liberals think a small city is like Everett or something (oh look their port only has like four cranes and can unload just one supertanker, how quaint!), but here on the east side of Washington State we have quite a few small little towns. One issue in small little towns is socializing, and not in the way you would think.

It’s not hard to meet people in a small town like Chewelah. You run out of the “oh I don’t know who that person is” list really quick. It’s great. You’re not talking to a perfect stranger when you go to the store and asking questions about products. Paul of Paul’s Coffee has a steel-trap mind that can remember orders from months ago (Same with Dad’s Espresso!). Usually if you need to talk with somebody about something, just wander around Main Ave. (Yes, Chewelah doesn’t have a Main St., it has a Main Ave.) for a few moments and you’ll eventually bump into them.

One problem, however, is the fact that you know everybody. While there’s nothing wrong with this, it’s rather tough to go about one’s day if you stop and talk to everybody you know. The bleeding heart westside doesn’t understand this because they know like two people in their entire neighborhood. In Chewelah, you’re probably related to the whole neighborhood.

Chewelah has got the small-town protocol down, though. They know what is up. A small wave, a hello, and on with their day. Now if they actually have something to talk to you about, stopping and chatting for a bit it totally in the realm of possibility. Chewelah also has the “Well I really must be going” walk down as well.

Safeway, the one grocery store in town, is a fine ballet. It’s full of people that just want to go shopping and don’t really want to talk unless they’re in line. Why? Because it’s probably 7 p.m. and they want to get home and watch the Zags game. That’s why. So imagine a whole store of people trying to perform this ballet of being nice to people they know, but wanting to get their freakin’ shopping done. It’s a beauty.

Also have you ever walked down a long hallway or street, bearing down on somebody you don’t want to talk for one reason or another? The trying to avoid contact, looking at the ol’ cellphone, the crossing the street and walking down that way, the “running the other direction and crying”, the “putting on a DB Cooper outfit”, and “the pretending they’re a ghost and you can’t see them” are all acceptable strategies.

Time for the Stockton Meter

PORTLAND - DECEMBER 27: John Stockton #12 of the Utah Jazz catches a pass during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at The Rose Garden on December 27, 2002 in Portland, Oregon. The Blazers won 103-98. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice: 2002 NBAE. (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE/Getty Images)

Gonzaga – Oh they’re good. There’s no way around it. It’s not that they’re winning games. It looks like everybody is sleepwalking through things and they’re still winning by 20.

I mean the Zags are so good, Mark Few isn’t even doing sideline interviews at halftime to the home TV crew. Yep, the company that pays whatever serious amount of money to broadcast the games and keep Gonzaga a power player in the PNW TV market can’t even get Mark to answer two questions before heading into the locker room at halftime.

Welllp. Maybe that gives him extra time to plan on how he’s going to guard the 3 in the NCAA Tournament. Oh they’ll make the NCAA Tournament. Oh they’ll be really highly favored. And I’ll be the one troll screaming up and down and laughing when they lose in the Sweet 16 and Spokane implodes in the process. This happens every year. Every single year. Middling expectations. Far exceeding those expectations. Going into the tournament highly regarded. Not Making the Final Four. You can count on that in Spokane more than you can count on snow in Spokane.

The Stock Market – You see that thing? It is exploding. It’s like up to 20,000 or something. What does that mean? I don’t know I went into journalism so obviously I didn’t really intend on dealing with any money.

Everyday people do the same thing, they pick up the newspaper and say “oh my stocks are up!” like they know what that means. They don’t know what that means. They just see a pretty bar graph and go “OooOOoooOOOo pretty.”

When people say that, ask them “What does that mean? Do you invest in stocks? Are your stocks up? Oh you don’t own stocks? You’re single source of retirement investment is a collection of Beanie Babies? Then why the heck are you talking to me about the freakin’ stock market?”

This person from the bar – This has nothing to do with Chewelah. Or the eastern side of the state. This story is from Reddit’s thread on the coolest thing you’ve seen at a bar. I present:

“A group of guys were being loud and obnoxious gentlemen (in a very full bar) while playing pool and pumping tons of money into the touchtunes (jukebox) playing their Hoobastank or whatever the heck they were playing. Being completely disruptive and intimidating anyone trying to use the juke box.
This one random guy sits at the bar right in front of me with his girlfriend and says “want to see something funny?” Pulls up the touchtunes app, and starts playing a bunch of random songs and get queued to the front of the list. Almost everyone in the bar started laughing at the group when Mariah Carey’s Christmas album started playing while the bros were yelling at each other to figure out who played the song. Went on for about an hour until they left.
Oh random guy. I wish there were more people like you out there.”

Oh random guy. Some heroes don’t wear capes.

Shari’s – I don’t think Shari’s is talked about enough.


They have a pie club. A PIE CLUB. You know who likes pie? Everyone. Everyone likes pie. And if they don’t like pie, they probably aren’t a happy person. Sheri’s paid no money for me to rank them with two stars but I will still say anytime I need to go to lunch and there’s a Shari’s nearby, I go there. It’s like a fancier Denny’s, but without the hype. And don’t get me started on other breakfast places, nobody can hold a candle to Shari’s and you know it.

By the way, who is Shari?

The Super Bowl – Does anyone care about this game or know it’s going on? Usually previous big games have some hype building up about this or that. Instead we’ve had exactly one article talking about how Tom Brady is old and 2,461,290 articles written about the first five days of the Trump Presidency.

I turned on Seattle sports radio Wednesday and they were talking about the Mariners. THE MARINERS. It’s January right now. The only people that want to talk about the Mariners right now are like Macklemore trying to promote a single or Pete Rose trying to get a job in baseball again (Maybe the Mariners will hire lil’ oh MEEE, Peter).

This just proves my point that people don’t know the Atlanta Falcons are a NFL team. Judging by their uniforms, people probably assume they’re either a CFL squad or play in the Arena league.

That being said, who wants to see the Patriots win their umpteenth Super Bowl and everybody from Boston go “Everybady doubted us and we shawed them wrang!”

(I just realized translating a Boston accent into text is tough. Whatever. Boston fans – I am one – are insufferable)