The Wrap by Ron Judd

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It’s tough out there. Over-microwavedSalisbury-steak tough. And without even running for public office, Mr. Wrap feels your pain.

In recent travels around the great Pacific Northwest, Mr. Wrap has looked into the eyes of hundreds — OK, a good six or seven — ordinary Americans, whose stories of hardship and strife have left an indelible mark on his very soul. People like:

Jim from Sequim, a retired comptroller and boutique farmer whose sales of lavender douche products plummeted so sharply after the Wall Street crash that he can no longer afford to spin up the mini-sub on his 112-foot yacht parked at John Wayne Marina.

Or hardworking Microsofties Martin and Miranda from Medina, whose daughter, Regina, is living the nightmare of a year without valet parking at her high-rise L.A. condo as she completes her degree in Advanced YouTube Theatrical Production at USC.

And finally Chris, visiting from the Bay Area, a salt-of-the-earth hedge-fund manager so stung by the recession that he had to beg for corporate welfare to help realize his dream of erecting a show palace for another struggling group of great Americans — selfless professional athletes who have worked every day of their lives to be tall.

Please join Mr. Wrap in keeping each and every one of them in your hearts, and your prayers, on Election Day. Remember: No great nation allows deep cracks in its bedrock.

More spit-takes:

Great Debate: The VP candidates reaffirmed faith that American pols can swap the bull with the best of them. Unfortunately, debate host Martha Raddatz of ABC News, who stunned event organizers by asking actual spontaneous, probing questions, was stuffed in a gunnysack, hustled offstage, and permanently “reassigned” by the Committee on Presidential Debates.

Just Putting it Out There: For the final presidential debate, how about two hours with guest moderator Lewis Black?

Meanwhile, in Michigan: A guy reportedly set off a large apartment-complex fire by attempting to prep a squirrel for dinner with a propane torch. If you’re listening, Chef Squirrel: Your second cousin in Thurston County, convalescing from a gunshot wound to the head after rifle fishing for salmon, sends his best wishes.

Maybe it was Hydro Season: After years of speculation, anthropologists announced that studies of the skeleton of 9,500-year-old Kennewick Man, discovered in a bank along the Columbia River, reveal that he died attempting to get the hell out of Kennewick.

High Times: In a provocative, gutsy column, Seattle Times editorial-board member Bruce Ramsey wrote about smoking marijuana for the first time in two decades, concluding that a ballot measure to decriminalize the drug should be approved. So that explains those piles of Cheetos wrappers over by our editorial-department offices.

Ducking the Issue: Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian said this about the latest 30-point drubbing of his squad at the hands of the Nike / Oregon Ducks: “I don’t think the score is indicative of their football team compared to ours.” Then there’s the slightly different view held by the entire rest of the world: Sure it is.

And Finally: Our long regional nightmare finally ended with the overdue return of Seattle rain. Welcome back, old friend.

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

or 206-464-8280.