questionmarks(This is from the files: I wrote it in 2012.)


Lately, a lot of people have been coming up to me to ask me the same question:


“Mark, do a lot of people come up to you to ask you questions?”


The answer is yes. And that’s fine. Asking questions is the only way you’ll ever learn anything, other than perhaps reading a book, and let’s be frank:  who among us is likely to do that?


To save my readers the effort of seeking me out, coming up to me and asking me a question, I’ve provided a helpful sampling of recent questions I was able to ably answer. This should serve as a sort of reference guide for your own inquiries.


• For example, after parking behind the office this morning I was approached by someone who asked, “Hey, is this the Sequim Gazette?”


I told him, “No, and I’m rather surprised by your confusion. The Sequim Gazette is a flat rectangular thing, about 20 inches by 12, and constructed entirely of paper. You’ll recognize it immediately because it has ‘Sequim Gazette’ in very large letters across the top.”


• The other day a lovely woman, a coquettish blonde, stopped me as I was taking in the morning air on Washington Street. “Say, Mistuh” she asked, “do you know where a girl can get a drink in this burg? And by the way, my eyes are up here.”


“Why!” I cried. “This is a civilized community. We have no truck with gender discrimination. You are free to purchase an alcoholic beverage anywhere a man is welcome. And damned be he who says different!”


• An older man, too, recently came up to me, apparently a stranger in town. “How do I get to the Safeway?” he asked.


I pondered the question for a moment before answering. “Most people take a car,” I helpfully responded. “And because this is a small town, many also walk.”


“And,” I added, “a shockingly large number arrive and depart via personal mobility devices.”


“Any of these means of conveyance are acceptable.”


• And just last week a young woman pulled up to me in her car. She was in obvious distress. “My husband is bleeding profusely from a fly fishing wound he received to the neck,” she cried. “Where is the nearest hospital?”


“Well,” I responded. “it’s exactly where it has always been. That your husband is bleeding, no matter how profusely, is entirely unlikely to effect a change in the location of a structure as large and weighty as Olympic Memorial Hospital. If your husband survives, I certainly hope the two of you will further acquaint yourselves with certain basic facts of physical science.”


• And finally, my wife just this moment came up to me with a question. “Mark, don’t you think you’ve beaten this joke to a point well beyond a dignified death?”


To which I responded, “You’ll know when that has occurred when you see the appropriate sign, to wit”:



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