The PNW — Pacific Northwest, for those of you not familiar with the upper left corner of the United States — is an awesome place for many reasons. Here are two of them, from the recent news.
1. Oregon: A 69-year-old grandmother, serving her shift as night manager of a restaurant, fought off a would-be robber by scaring the crap out of him.
The intruder leapt over the counter, breaking part of the wood, and fell to the floor.
“I just automatically grabbed my chair,” the feisty, gray-haired grandmother said. “I was going to hit him with it.”
The stranger got up, scooted backward, and yelled at Lane, “Get away lady!”
“No, you get away!” Lane shouted back. She reached for a butcher knife she keeps beneath the cash register for just such eventualities.
“I said, ‘No, you back up. Back, back out,” she ordered, holding the butcher knife up. […]
When the robber showed up, she said she was tired and grew disgusted.
“You don’t want to get the old lady mad,” Lane said. “I’m in the process of moving and I’ve been a bit crabby lately. He picked the wrong day.”
It turns out this was not Ms. Lane’s first adventure with frightening off robbers. The last time was five years ago, with a man who claimed he had a gun.
“No, you don’t,” she said bluntly, grabbing the butcher knife. “Your sweatsuit is so tight, you couldn’t even fit a toothpick in there.” The robber turned and ran out.
Do not mess with Oregon women.
2) Washington: The state’s Democratic Central Committee has endorsed an initiative to legalize and tax marijuana, with distribution handled by the state’s Liquor Control Board. This is a Very Big Deal, transforming a fringe political issue into one with powerful mainstream backing. Washington Democrats are defying the federal government’s “War on Drugs” (which has been about as successful as its War on Terror) and baldly stating that instead of spending vast amounts of money to criminalize marijuana and its users, they want to treat it like alcohol: control it, regulate it, tax it, and enjoy the revenue. If that law actually passes, I may have to smoke a joint in solidarity and celebration.
I’ve never figured out why my national government spends billions subsidizing and protecting the growth and sale of one smokable leaf, while simultaneously spending billions more suppressing and prosecuting the growth and sale of another smokable leaf. But a deep recession has a way of casting old regimes in a new light, especially where there’s a revenue stream involved. Or at least, it does in the Pacific Northwest.
Kick-ass grandmothers and a possible state repeal of Prohibition — the PNW rocks.