The Wrap by Ron Judd

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A little journalism lesson learned: Sometimes, the best way to find out about something is to stop talking to spokespeople — and start listening to their stomachs.

With spiking local gas prices being partially blamed on the Feb. 17 fire that swept through the BP Cherry Point refinery, reporters have been hounding company officials about how long the plant will limp along at partial production.

Answers have been vague. But a story in The Western Front, the campus paper at nearby Western Washington University, accidentally revealed what’s probably close to the truth.

In a story, a local vendor who’s about to abandon sales of his hearty “Man Pies” on campus due to slow sales also mentions that he’s about to launch a meat-pie vending service from a food truck. At the Cherry Point Refinery. Serving up Man Pies to “a couple thousand” repair workers. For about two months.

So there you go. You heard it here second.

More steamin’ crustiness:

Speaking of Chicken-Pot: Now that news of this fluctuation in the supply lines has gone public, brace yourself for a massive regional meat-pie price spike.

They Won’t Be Under-Screwed!: Bellevue officials, responding to a Seattle proposal to reopen the public funds rat hole known as NBA basketball underwriting, announced that they, too, will seek investors for a fantasy NBA / NHL arena. Proof positive that not even a bridge with a pricey toll can keep stupid from crossing Lake Washington.

Steaming Off Into Pork-tirement: U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Loud, will finally fall silent by retiring after 36 years in Congress. Representatives of military-industrial gravy-train corporations seeking to offer him a lucrative employment contract should use the special shuttle-parking lot near his home, take a number, and wait. You’ll all get your chance.

On the Other Hand: Dicks has been a good friend to Washington’s environment, and its workers. And at age 71, you can’t blame him for bailing. Congress is debating stuff — contraception and the like — that was long settled when he got there 18 terms ago.

Trick’s Deluxe: A laptop stolen from NASA last year contained command and control codes for the international space station. That explains why we saw it parked on top of the Dick’s Drive-In in Lake City. Darn kids these days.

Hemmed-In: Sport officials have backed off a rumored plan to require female boxers to wear skirts when they fight at the London Olympics, saying shorts will be acceptable. It’s a major blow to fans who thought female athletes should be able to maintain an air of dignified femininity as they bash the snot out of each other.

For Those Keeping Track at Home: Washington state’s population last year was 6.72 million. And that’s not even counting the 1.2 million rude Canadians hogging your parking spots at Costco.

A Whole New Level of Self-Serve: A former Seattle Public Utilities employee has been fined $1,500 for accessing her own account and making 71 adjustments to her utility bill. She reportedly plans to employ the famed George Costanza defense: “Was that wrong?”

And Finally: An intercepted note to Tiger Woods, from the U.S. Navy Seals: Read that you once considered dropping golf to join us. Flattered. But stick to your little country club game, Romeo.

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

or 206-464-8280.