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Ja Yule

December 15, 2014
Outside the Hurricane Cafe

After breakfast, a pre-ride meeting before heading off to buy toys (Orin O’Neill photos)

I was looking forward to having a scooter to ride in Seattle’s annual Yule Scoot ride, hosted by the Metro Betties SC. The scooter, however, was not.

As you’ll recall, my friend’s ItalJet Torpedo 50 is temperamental. I’m sure it would have preferred Saturday’s balmy sunshine to the 36°F temperature of Sunday morning. Try as I might, the engine just wouldn’t fire up. At least not before the battery went flat. Guess I’m caging it.

We met up at the Hurricane Café, a popular place that nonetheless would be closing at the end of December to make way for yet another Amazon highrise. Well, it is tough to keep a business in a one-story building afloat when the real estate is so valuable.

Dog House sign

The Hurricane followed a famous (or infamous) old-skool Seattle diner called The Dog House. My father took me there regularly and often. The walls were tan from layers of cigarette and cigar smoke, the gruff waitresses were veterans of at least 20 years (and along with the cooks, dishwashers and bussers, members of a union), and most importantly, the rib eye steaks’ “tenderness (was) not guaranteed.” I understand this disclaimer was made necessary by drunk patrons’ attempts to slice through the bones with their steak knives.

From the perspective of a grade-schooler, the best thing about the place was the milkshakes served in gigantic stainless-steel containers, which contained enough milkshake for a complete refill. I also liked the menus’ scratchy illustrations of the idea that “all roads lead to The Dog House,” even though I didn’t really understand the signs around the dogs’ necks.

Toward the end, The Dog House attracted many a famous musician, not mention Hollywood types in town to be in movies (before that all moved to Vancouver because of the tax credits).

Red scooters

Having a red scooter was not a requirement, but there were lots of them nonetheless.

Justin as Santa

Participants were encouraged to decorate their bikes and dress in costume. While there were lots of folks in Santa hats, Justin went for the full Santa monty, winning the prize for best costume. I think Brenda got the nod for best-decorated scooter, her Fly 150 sporting garland and blinky lights. Seahawks wear was abundant, the game with the 49ers happening on this day as well (the ‘Hawks beat San Fran rather handily, eliminating the 49ers from playoff contention).

Breakfast eaten, it was time for the ride. I managed to get separated from the group almost immediately, so I went straight to Fred Meyer in Ballard, which is where everyone would be headed to buy stuff for the kids at Mary’s Place in Belltown.

The sun was shining brightly on Fred Meyer, and I was a bit surprised how early I wasn’t, having procured my gift immediately on arriving.

Doc loads his trailer

Doc had brought his P200 and matching trailer, which got filled to bungee-net overflowing with gifts.

The group

Given the difficulty of parking a car in Belltown, I bid the group adieu and Happy Holidays. Happy Holidays to you, too. Favicon


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