The Wrap by Ron Judd

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As has been well established here over the years, we hate to be pushy. But somebody has to say it.

Just a small suggestion to all you local drivers who, feeling an urge to get from the Eastside to downtown or vice versa, make the reasoned, logical decision that it would be much better to drive around, going 10 miles out of your way, burning a quarter-tank of gas, pumping out enough pollutants to make Bothell smell like Gary, Ind., and turning Interstate 5 from Lake City Way south into a WallyPark annex — just to save a whopping two or three bucks:

Suck it up and pay the lousy 520 toll, already.

More helpful hints:

Sno-Balling Debts: Hostess, maker of the Twinkie, the Ding Dong and Wonder Bread, has declared bankruptcy (insert your own existing-stock shelf-life joke here). The company listed debts of almost $1 billion and assets consisting of thousands of vats of festering whipped lard / sugar goop.

Cake Walk: The ugliness of the Hostess bankruptcy — and the staggering American economy in general — struck home near corporate headquarters when a county sheriff came to an Irving, Texas, retirement home with eviction papers for three of the company’s most-renowned retirees: former company spokescakes Twinkie the Kid, Captain Cupcake, and Fruit Pie the Magician.

Thrifty Nickels: After uncareful consideration, Mr. Wrap has decided not to oppose former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels’ rumored candidacy for Washington secretary of state. Reasons: 1) The guy has to make a living; 2) apparently, no snow plows are involved in any way, and 3) perhaps he could re-establish diplomatic relations between Olympia so ably severed by his bungling successor at City Hall.

A Little Gas Turbo-Tax: Oil refiners reacted in abject horror to Gov. Chris Gregoire’s call for a $1.50-a-barrel “fee” on state-produced petroleum products. Reason: They’re unfairly targeted, tiny-profit-margin middlemen. Just like every other last soul involved in the oil-production chain, from drillers to station owners to CEOs and stockholders. Further evidence that all those hundreds of billions in oil-company profits are simply being dumped into a big hole somewhere.

It’s Midnight Again in America: In a campaign speech, presidential unhopeful Newt Gingrich, R-Marriage Encounter, warned of “more years of decay, more years of inadequacy, more years of falling behind, more years of growing weakness.” It was not immediately clear whether he was referring to future years under the leadership of President Obama, or warmly reminiscing about his own reign as speaker of the House.

Bad News for Broncos Fans: In a terse, single-line written statement, God clarified that Tim Tebow is completely on his own.

It’s Mullah Time: Angrily responding to crippling economic sanctions spurred by its belligerent nuclear program, Iran threatened to retaliate by embargoing exports of something it has that the rest of the world really, really wants — as soon as it can figure out what that might be.

And Finally: Angry would-be iPhone customers in Beijing pelted an Apple store with eggs when it failed to open as scheduled. Just wait ’til they finally get one and find out you can’t change the battery.

Ron Judd’s column appears each Sunday. Reach him at

or 206-464-8280.