On Wednesday one of Crosscut's elderly editors asked me the distance between Everett and Spada Lake, the source of most of Snohomish County's water. "It's about 50 miles," I said.
The editor paused, fixed in either deep thought or a nano nap. "So, pretty far from all of those pulp mills," he said.
Please forgive Crosscut's well-meaning, albeit senescent, nonagenarian editors. They're still stuck back in college, when they donned raccoon coats and straw boaters and played "Yes, We Have no Bananas" on the ukulele. They recall hopping the Interurban up to Everett for speakeasy gin. Now Everett is simply that blue-collar speck "up there," drive-through country on the way to the Vancouver Four Seasons. Sigh.
Among Seattle plutocrats, Everett remains a "hey, my contractor lives there!" place. The inference is clear: Some of my best roofers are Everettites, I just don't want my daughter to marry one.
My Spada Lake exchange was in response to Peter Miller's entertaining Crosscut blog. Miller, a renowned Seattle bookseller, links his stomach discomfort with drinking purified Everett tap water from Spada Lake.
Alas, the otherwise brilliant Miller lost me with his pusillanimous first sentence: "There is a bravery to eating and drinking what is put in front of you, a thankfulness and can-do spirit." Hmmm. A bravery and can-do spirit to eating and drinking what's put in front of you? Pray tell who is providing said food and drink, and where do I sign up? Not since Marie Antoinette's "let them eat cake" have such un-Everett sentiments been expressed.
Make no mistake: No one in Everett has ever had a problem eating what's put in front of them and, just as relevant, no one has ever experienced a stomach ache. I repeat: Never. Whether drinking Spada Lake water or, more commonly, Jack Daniels, discomfort is not an option.
Miller's dyspeptic message is best captured in the hypothetical headline: "Seattle Bookseller Gets a Tummy Ache from Drinking God-purified Water." Instead an unnamed editor (let's assign him/her a random pseudonym, "David Brewster") titled it "Think Before you Drink." Oh the humanity.
Can a clash of perspectives be reduced to a brand catchphrase? No, but let's do it anyway: Per Olympia beer, "It's the Water."