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Am I ready for some football? Uh, no

September 8, 2007

It’s a sunny, clear, not-quite fall day. If you’re a football fan in Seattle, you get to see the Huskies, the Cougars and the Seahawks this weekend. I’m not a football fan.

In fact, a TV reporter stopped me downtown several years ago to ask what I thought about some “crucial” game. My reply was, “I’m sorry, but my I.Q. isn’t low enough to care about football.” The reporter responded with a miffed look, but her producer and camera guy just about fell over laughing. The answer just popped out; I have often wished I would be as quick-witted as I was at that moment.

With the Huskies walking all over Boise State as I write this, and the Cougars vs. San Diego State starting in less than 45 minutes, the term “perfect storm” has been repeated endlessly regarding traffic. Yeah, the traffic around Husky Stadium is usually awful on game days, and the traffic around Qwest Field, ditto. Today, venturing anywhere south of the Ship Canal is a fool’s errand.

No rally this weekend. I’m bored. I’m so bored, I decide to go hang out at a mall. Have I mentioned that I hate malls? Well, I do, but lacking anything else to do, I do it occasionally. If nothing else, it satisfies my morbid curiosity. But which mall?

Gee, I was at Northgate the other day (I needed something, and that’s where the store that sold it was). I know! Everett Mall.

I lived in Everett for a few years, and found it necessary to go there fairly often. It’d be nice to ride on that wonderful new pavement again. And unlike, say, University Village, it seems to have avoided the “lifestyle center” fad.

So, northward I ride. SR 99 is called Aurora Avenue until you reach the Snohomish County line. When I first got the ET, I was scared to ride on this street. Now, it doesn’t bother me. Traffic slows way down once you get north of 85th, the most serious hazard being the large vehicle that might not see you (but that’s why you have a horn).

I’ve been here long enough to remember when the area now called the city of Shoreline was unicorporated King County, the businesses saying they were in Seattle. So what’s Shoreline famous for now? Casinos, strip clubs and businesses with signs in Korean. Road construction was another notable feature, but the most recent project was finished a while ago.

Cross the Snohomish County line, and you’re in Edmonds. Or Lynnwood. It’s not like there’s any difference, it’s your basic car-centric strip mall development. A thought pops into my head: stop at Bent Bike!

Snohomish County still has lots of auto wrecking yards (or if you prefer, automobile recyclers); Bent Bike has been here forever, and is still the only motorcycle wrecking yard in the area. They have new stuff in addition to parts stripped off wrecked motorcycles, and a decent selection of helmets and clothing, at better than decent prices. And there are marked motorcycle parking spaces in front of the building.

There’s nothing specific for Vespa PX 150s, however. They have some Honda Cubs hanging from the ceiling, but I don’t know if they’re for sale or for decoration.

Having checked out the store, my attention turns to the group of bikes for sale. Yes, some of them are “bent.” Not too badly, though. A while back, they had a plum-color Vespa LX 150 that its rider had dumped hard enough to seriously tweak the legshield. It only had 50 miles on it, it looked fine otherwise, and they only wanted $1,295. Even taking into account a body shop’s charge for fixing it, it still would’ve been a bargain. Shoulda bought it, but I didn’t.

I continue toward Everett. There are probably more used car lots on this stretch of 99 than just about anywhere. Hmm, it’s interesting how cheap 10-year-old Volvos are… about five grand will get you into an 850 or S70 sedan, and there’s even a clean XC 70 going for slightly over 10 thou. Oooh, there’s a nice looking red Miata, and it says $3,999 on the windshield. If it’s got less than 100k on the odometer, and shows no evidence of being hit, it’s a bargain.

Finally, I arrive at Everett Mall. Hmm, the middle entrance now has an official street name, Central Mall Drive. Whatever.

The PX at Everett Mall

Where am I going to park? Not near the Pontiac G6 that’s missing most of its rear bodywork due to a wreck. There are mall nazis who’d probably tow the PX if I put it on the sidewalk, so I go all the way to the back of the parking lot. The straight-in spaces are mostly empty, and much more visible to the pimped out SUV-driving, cell phone-jabbering idiots who circulate through places like this, and who’d cream the PX if it were in one of the diagonal spaces.

There’s a Macy’s and a Borders, and a Radio Shack. And a food court. Hmm, what’s Steve & Barry’s? It appears to be a slightly less wholesome version of Old Navy, catering to girls who want to look slutty and boys who want to look like gangbangers.

In fact, the mall seems to be full of clothing stores aiming for the slutty/gangbanger demographic. Once again, I’m reminded how glad I am that I don’t have kids.

A 6″ Subway turkey on white with diet Pepsi later, I’m on the road again. I decide to make a loop of it and head back on SR 527.

This road is also known as Bothell-Everett Highway, and once it loops past Silver Lake you’re in the anonymous beige suburban sprawl of south Snohomish and north King counties.

The pavement is nice and smooth, and the speed limit a comfortable 35 mph. The monotony of the scenery is thus easier to take.

Once you cross I-405, you’ll find yourself in downtown Bothell in fairly short order. As the signs leading into town say, “Bothell… for a day, or a lifetime.” Favicon

  1. September 8, 2007 3:57 pm

    Loved reading this entry very much; but why no kids, Orin? With a perfectly witty father like you, no kids would turn out to be sluts/gangbangers. Not a chance! Could I be wrong?

  2. bob permalink
    September 10, 2007 9:09 pm

    Hi Orin!

    I agree with Lawrence; this is one of your better postings (they’re all quite good, just some are ‘gooder’ than others). Wry social commentary is definitely one of your strong suits! More, please!

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