Beyond Locals Only, Volume I: The Slap

Dateline: Gitche Gumee (now Ocean Shores Inn & Suites), downtown O.S.
Atmospheric introduction: The deck overlooks the O.S. Golf Course, a swamp before sunset, now a black watery mass. Are waves playing through the back nine?
The busy wind is torturing some unseen banner, or flag, or coat trapped in tree. (“Strong winds may be causing power outages,” says for O.S.; winds gusting to 46 mph at 9:13 p.m.)

How do you do it, Shoresians?
To live in Ocean Shores is to fight an absurd battle, somewhere between the Mardi Gras sword jousts of Ignatius Reilly (the sneering “Confederacy of Dunces” philosopher) and the quixotic windmill battles of Cervantes’ don.
(Sans Pancho, rest in peace.)

You who continue to live here are better humans than I.
This is written with no condescension, but admiration – pure respect.
To the elderly women who bend themselves against the wind, fighting their way just to reach the parked car to drive to the post office . . .
To the grizzled men who put on a slicker and shrug off “a little rain” as they chop wood . . .
My hat is off to you; literally, my hat is off and blowing far, far away from me.

To live in Ocean Shores is to be slapped in the face every day for six months by a cold, sharp, wet wind, which roars in off the Pacific with evil snickering every Oct. 15. The wind is like that unwanted guest who not only long overstays his welcome but also refuses to clean up after himself and never lets the remote control out of his greasy grasp; it would be inaccurate to say that either the slovenly guest or the wicked wind “don’t know when to leave.”
Each knows exactly when to leave: When he’s good and ready.
Mix that roaring, boring wind with a little chilled rain, serve sideways and you have the Ocean Shores Highball. (Make sure to coat the rim of the glass with blowing sand; garnish with crab leg.)

Of course, to live in Ocean Shores is to endure as many if not more metaphoric slaps as physical ones.

Herb Welch and county company decide to tax city dwellers more, because they can. Slap!

City of O.S. keeps its head above water not by taking a hard look at what actually needs to be done and by process of elimination what doesn’t need to be done, but by “interfund loans” and other fiscal slick tricks to keep the wheels going round and round. Slap slap!

The Lanfearites run the Street LID bill so far over budget you think it’s beyond the horizon, then say, “Too bad, just pay more.” Slap slap slap!

And the Army Corps of Engineers not only says “sorry, not our problem” and refuses to dredge (slap!) the Ocean Shores/Quinault Marina, they actually may make the problem worse (slap and double-slap!) by removing part of the “relic jetty” in the Damon Point area, and moving the big rocks to help their dear friends over in Westport.
The Port of Grays Harbor looks on, smiles stupidly, gives a “what can we do about it all?” shrug as it cashes those big fat checks (slap ca-ching slap!) from Ocean Shores taxpayers.
With no political muscle from our elected leaders to defend our ruddy, swollen cheeks, it is no wonder that the county made a mockery of the “public input process” and included Ocean Shores (Three Stooges-like slap with a razor clam!) in its Selfish Protection District — sorry, make that Shellfish Protection District.
One can only ponder, about this week-old babe called 2013: What slaps lay in store, for Ocean Shores?

About Tom Scanlon

Tom Scanlon started his journalism career as a sports stringer with the Pittsburgh Press (RIP) and Post-Gazette, then moved on to the Seattle Times, Mesa Tribune etc. He is the author of plays including "The Superhumans" and novels including "Ocean Shores Tourist Killer," "Atlantis City," and, now, "The Immaculate Jagoffs of Pittsburgh."
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4 Responses to Beyond Locals Only, Volume I: The Slap

  1. Anonymous says:

    Noooooooo!!!!! Just say it is an early April Fool’s joke!

    Carol Schultz

  2. Anonymous says:

    Oh how the scheme when the winds of winter come. All major decisions and votes are now planned when those with means leave the town to those that either don’t care to venture forth into the whirlwind of selfish decisions based upon contrived facts without any relevance to the realities on the ground. Forget the future because once they are done pillaging the city they will ride the winds out of town with a sneer and a laugh!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Dude, some of us moved here because we actually like this winter weather. Such folk are called native Northwesters. 😉

    Tom, we really miss you, glad to see you can still hang out with us online. 🙂

    • sheltered2 says:

      So, explain why the permanent population, as a whole, drops to almost half and the post office is forwarding tons of mail to AZ, NM, CA, FL, TX, and points south? The point was that they always wait until the odds are in their favor of no one being able to protest their actions.

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