The Wrap by Ron Judd

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At first, we thought the rapture had come.

Streets were empty. Buses sat at curbside, idling. The French fry alarm was going off at Dick’s on 45th, with nobody there to pull the baskets.

Then it became clear: Tickets for the new Dale Chihuly Museum of Self-Aggrandizement / Outlet Store, which opens in May, had just gone on sale online.

You can’t blame common people for bowing to the lure of the magnificent.

More ashtray idolatry:

Just Helping Out Here: Since times are tough, here’s how you can save the $19 Chihuly admission fee and still experience cultural enrichment through glass art: 1) Build big bonfire. 2) Throw in half-dozen green 7UP bottles. 3) Wait three days. 4) Retrieve glass art and place in key light-catching positions around yard. 5) Bask in wonderment.

License to Kill: Announcing two more no-jail-time, wrist-slap plea deals for lowlife wolf poachers from Twisp, Okanogan County, U.S. Attorney Michael Ormsby issued the following statement: “Criminal wildlife violations are serious Federal crimes that will be investigated and prosecuted vigorously in the Eastern District of Washington.” Really? Starting when?

Circular Logic Department: U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Huh?, sent the nation’s philosophers, physicists and other deep thinkers heading back to the drawing boards to start all over again when the Californian laid out the reasoning behind his belief that the Secret Service servicing has happened before: “Things like this don’t happen once if they didn’t happen before.”

Dye-ing on the Vine: Starbucks has vowed to stop using dyes that contain crushed bugs. They’ll replace it with even more sugar.

Happy Hookers: Mr. Wrap is happy to note that some of the finest prostitutes in Colombia agree with his long-standing contention that there are far better — or at least cheaper — ways to put a place of residence on the international-prestige map than building a never-ending series of sports arenas. As one of them told a reporter: “Now we are world-class, with the president’s bodyguards coming to try out Colombian girls.”

Rated “N” for Nutcase: Anyone else not surprised that confessed Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik spent formative years playing “World of Warcraft” for 16 hours a day?

Supply, Demand and Other Lies: Exactly on the schedule outlined here previously by the guy who sells meat pies to repair workers, BP’s Ferndale refinery in Whatcom County is expected to come back online within a couple weeks after a major fire in March. Raise your hand if you’re expecting to see prices plummet when the supply suddenly jumps.

That Yawning Gravitas Gap: With the GOP nomination all sewn up, candidate Mitt Romney, R-Obamacare, now faces the task of finding a running mate who won’t overshadow him on the campaign trail. Sources say the list has been narrowed to Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, a lump of beige clay and a half cup of white rice.

And Finally: With lowland fishing season opening Saturday and boating season waiting in the wings, a deadly serious reminder for everybody: Our cold local waters — even lakes, this time of year — can drown the strongest swimmer in minutes. Wear a life jacket!

Ron Judd’s column appears each Sunday. Reach him at rjudd@seattletimes.com

or 206-464-8280.