Why stop with a state frog? We need many more Official Objects

The list of needed designations is long, starting with Official State Excuse.
Crosscut archive image.

The Pacific chorus frog, Washington's official amphibian. (State of Washington)

The list of needed designations is long, starting with Official State Excuse.

I note in an Associated Press report that "Washington lawmakers set aside weightier matters to approve a new state vegetable, amphibian, and ship in the recently completed 2007 legislative session." I applaud this agenda. When the Legislature considers "weightier matters," they are rarely thinking of how to make my life more enjoyable. Washington's new official state amphibian is the Pacific chorus frog (Pseudacris regilla). I was pulling for a species of salamander, the Southern Crested Newt (Triturus karelinii), found only between Serbia east to the Caspian Sea. They are adorable. Frog aside, I am happy to learn that Washington now has an official state tree, bird, flower, color, song, motto, fish, gem, folk song, fruit, grass, insect, fossil, marine mammal, vegetable, and dance. Our official state dance is The Square Dance. We are one hip State. We need more Official State Objects, but objects that are more relevant to our daily lives. I myself devote little time to fossils, marine mammals, and insects; I spend my time worrying, rationalizing, and daydreaming. I could label daydreaming a civic duty if our Official State Daydream were: What if I had bought Microsoft stock in 1986? Similarly, my rationalizations would be more comforting if "Everybody Does It" were the Official State Rationalization. In this spirit, I will petition the Legislature to adopt the following Official State Objects:

  • Official State Excuse: I can't. I hurt my shoulder rock climbing.
  • Official State Insult: Do you ever wonder what life would be like if you'd had enough oxygen at birth?
  • Official State Phobias: Heliophobia (fear of sunlight), doxophobia (fear of expressing opinions), and arachibutyrophobia (fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of one's mouth).
  • Official State Joke: Jeff Weaver, pitcher for the Mariners.
  • Official State Punchline: "And then the plumber said, 'I can save your wife, Mr. Goldfarb, but it's too late for the rabbi.'"
  • Official State Practical Joke: The whoopee cushion.
  • Official State Defense Mechanism: Projection (attributing to others one's own unacceptable or unwanted thoughts and/or emotions).
  • Official State Objects of Projection: Mail carriers, Seahawks fans, hip-hop artists.
  • Official State Gripe: "My dentist doesn't like me."
  • Official State Comforting Thought: "It makes no difference to me if my dentist doesn't like me."
  • Official State Vices: Lust, gluttony, sloth, wrath.
  • Official State Virtues: Greed, envy, pride.
  • Official State Embarrassment: The election of Dixy Lee Ray as governor in 1976.
  • Official State Forecast: Rain, followed by showers.
  • Official State Topics: Serious: traffic on 520. Humorous: traffic on I-5. Boring: traffic on the Montlake Bridge.
  • Official State Psychological Disorder: Dependent personality disorder.
  • Official State Euphemisms: "Deceased," "at-risk children," "senior citizen."
  • Official State Greeting: "Hi. How are you?"
  • Official State Reply: "Great! Great! How are you?"
  • Official State Boasts: "We're number 34!" (State rank in per-student spending, K-12.) "We're number 158!" (University of Washington rank in faculty resources among 228 American universities.)

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