April 2018

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Fish Tacos and Chichis

This is a g-rated blog, so if you speak Spanish and are worried that this entry won't be appropriate, fear not. I am writing about the tasty meal we had in Hawaii in December and the dinner party for church auction folk we had at our home last night.

The fish tacos were made with true cod, jalepenos, garlic, cole slow, tomatoes, mango salsa, and melted cheddar on a soft taco shell; and the chichis are a blended drink made with pineapple juice, coconut cream, vodka, and macademia nut liquer. Those chichis might be the only thing in the world that's tastier than a milkshake. In fact, they're a lot like a milkshake with vodka, so you see what I mean.

Eleven people who signed up at the church auction came to this dinner. It was a fun night with people from lots of different pews. We believe in diversity.

Michael recounted some of his favorite marquee signs on the now closed, peep show establishment, "Lusty Lady." On the inauguration on the Seattle Art Museum's "Hammering Man," the Lusty Lady sign read, "Hammer away, big guy" and during the Mariners' winning streak in 2001 - "Randy Johnson?". Then the Lusty Lady had a respectfully  blank marquee for about two weeks after 9/11.

I remember the Lusty Lady signs, so I did a little historical research into previous signs. There are several top ten lists. I like the Seattle Weekly's favorites:
An hour after the Ash Wednesday quake...
We're Still Shaking -- Come Feel the Earth Move
During the W.T.O. riots...
W. T. Oohhhhhhhh! -- The Nude World Order
On Oscar Sunday...
We'd Like To Spank The Academy
On St. Patrick's Day...
No Body's Wearing Green and Erin Go Braugh-less
We're here for yule and Dancers, Prancers and Vixens
And Thanksgiving...
Happy Spanksgiving!
When SAM first moved in across the street...
Welcome SAM! Once you've seen their nudes, come in and see ours.
When Hammering Man was first installed...
Hammer Away Big Guy.
When SAM reopened after an expansion...
We Made Sam Grow
And when Chuck Close came to town...
Chuck Clothes
And finally, in 2006, after the Lusty refused to sell to ex-Mayor Paul Schell and the other investors trying to tear it down and build a Four Seasons...
We're Open, Not Clothed.
Just not for long.*
*All marquee titles come from memory, History Link, Rick Anderson's story on the failed Four Seasons sale and Robert Jamieson's 2001 column in the P-I.

Pat, a Metro bus driver, recalled seeing one of those "Jesus is _______." billboard signs on her route one day. The blank had been filled, in excellent billboard scrift, with "a taco." On the return trip, the sign had already been cleaned of its humor.

Pat also recalled a large man, not fat but barrel-shaped, who collected cans and crushed them in his hands. She referred to him as the "Can Man." One day, a lady with some sort of disabilities who talked very loudly got on the bus and announced that there are three ways to get into heaven, so the bus did not need to pray for her. Pat described  her this way: "She was very special.....really, I knew she was very special. She had these kind but very intense blue a wizard would have, or the sage lady living in the hollow of a tree in the fairy tale....and her mission was to tell people how to get to heaven. There are three ways: ONE: You give birth. TWO: You save someone's life, and THREE: You give blood. Notably all are about sustaining life. She was precious beyond precious. I knew God was present when she was." As the Can Man got off the bus at a later stop, he said plaintively to Pat, "You can pray for me."

Another day, a different woman who voiced her thoughts was sitting towards the front of the bus when two perfumed women boarded. "I smell a candle," the woman at the front of the bus said. Then she pointed to the two women making their way down the aisle and said, "It went that way."

Yet another time, this same woman sat near two women on break from their jobs at Nordstrom's Department store. When they departed, the woman said, "They have man problems."

The conversation was at times hilarious and at times serious. Pat recounted a day when a man, apparently homeless, got on the bus. He was whistiling beautifully, and as he boarded he whistled the tune to Ella Fitzgerald's "Someone to Watch Over Me."

There's a saying old
Says that love is blind -
Still we're often told,
"Seek and ye shalI find."
So I'm going to seek
A certain lad I've had in mind.
Looking everywhere,
Haven't found him yet;
He's the big affair
I cannot forget.
Only man I ever
Think of with regret.
I'd like to add his initials to my monogram.
Tell me, where is the shepherd for this lost
There's a somebody I'm longing to see
I hope that he
Turns out to be
Someone who'll watch over me.
I'm a little lamb who's lost in the wood.
I know I could
Always be good
To one who'll watch over me.
Although he may not be the man some
Girls think of as handsome
To my heart he carries the key.
Won't you telI him please to put on some
speed -
Follow my lead -
Oh! How I need
Someone to watch over me.
Someone to watch over me.

The raucous bus quieted to his song, and our conversation took a more serious tone. "What is our responsibility to those who are in pain, to those who are homeless?"

Individuals shared how they respond to homeless people. Whenever Doug and Mary get in their car, they take Power Bars to share with anyone they see who is hungry. Ann buys the homeless newspaper "Real Change." Others shared their strategies.

Terry takes $1 bills when he drives, but he takes the bus to work, and talks with people on the bus who seek his company. One Sunday, when the church was having a brunch, he invited a homeless man he met on the way, and the man came to church for a couple of months and sat on a back pew. We wondered together how open and affirming we as a congregation are to those who are homeless. Terry shared the disturbing statistic from a Food Bank study that showed that over 60 percent of the women who use Seattle's Food Banks are women with small children whose husbands have abandoned the family.

It might sound like the party ended on a downer, but it was a communal celebration where we shared moral struggles and left feel connected and reflective.

Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something. " -- Henry David Thoreau

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