In Which I Am Entertained By A Day Laborer.

Wait. That title doesn’t sound right. Let me explain.

Right off my exit from the Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle is an area where migrant workers gather in hopes of being picked up for day jobs. It must be a pretty good gig, because in the mornings the area’s always packed with day laborers.

This morning I saw something new. The Art of Getting Your Attention has grown over the last few years to include having people stand outside your place of business with a sign and wave it around with varying degrees of enthusiasm. It may be a good idea when your furniture store is really going out of business this time, but I still question the effectiveness of having someone stand out in front of your tax filing office in April dressed as the Statue of Liberty.

But I digress.

This morning, as I was coming off the exit ramp, I noticed a man standing off to the left, wearing a flannel shirt, a tool belt, jeans, and a baseball cap. As I sat waiting for the light ahead to change, he extended his tape measure about six feet, then kind of waved it half-heartedly, kicked one leg up to about waist level, and then turned himself around (that’s what it’s all about. dun. dun.), his tape measure hanging flaccid and dragging on the ground following his movement. The Rockettes it was not.

It was an odd sight, but at least he’s trying a little bit harder than many of the guys there. If I had the cruelty to actually follow through with some of the disturbing thoughts my little brain comes up with, I suppose it would be interesting to slow down a little and see how many people come running toward your car. On those occasions when you do see someone pull over, you’d swear it was either a)the ice cream man; or b)Paris Hilton and that wrinkly white-haired guy in the same car, and these guys were the cameraless paparazzi.

My friend Chad Canipe (. . . moment of silence . . .) used to pretend he was yelling out his window as we drove through, “Anyone here type 70 words a minute?”


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Filed under meanderings, pop culture, seattle

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