The Wrap by Ron Judd

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One of the reasons we’re so misunderstood up here in the lower ring of the Arctic Circle is that the rest of the nation only sees us occasionally playing ourselves on TV.

Thus, America has the mistaken impression that Seattle has weekly ferry crashes, building collapses and meteor strikes that ultimately lead us all to the lobby of Seattle Grace Hospital. And that local sports fans are passionate hooligans more concerned about what happens on the field than the point-of-origin of the arugula in their gourmet crepes.

So just to be clear: When fans in a stadium in Europe fire up highway flares in the bleachers, they’re trying to create a spectacle.

When fans do it in Safeco Field on Seattle Mariners’ opening weekend, they’re just trying to thaw their hands.

Other fiery objects:

As a Matter of Fact, it is Rocket Science: Somewhere at this moment in Pyongyang, dear leader Kim Jong Un is having serious second thoughts about last year’s decision to put his nation’s strategic missile program in the hands of the White Star Line.

On the Other Hand: All of you chortling about North Korea’s flaccid booster rocket might keep in mind that our own space program got off to an even worse start. At least the North Korean rocket cleared the tower.

Speaking of Which: Early indications are that the rocket failed under the immense weight of lead-painted leaders on the side of its rumored payload, the “Kwangmyongsong-3 Satellite.”

Rumor Has it: That satellite was equipped with a sophisticated point-and-shoot Polaroid spy camera capable of producing high-resolution images of the inside of its lens cap from stationary earth orbit.

Keeping and Bearing, Etc.: We have just learned through sources that an earlier version of a speech to National Rifle Association members by presidential (barely) hopeful Mitt Romney, R-Obamacare, called for him to hoist a shotgun over his head and growl: “From my cold, dead — but extremely well-manicured — hands!”

Speaking of Super Underwear: OK, this latest saving-neighbor-from-smoke-filled-house incident pretty much settles it: Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker is Batman.

Low-Class Action: Not sure it was such a great idea for attorneys for the National Football League, sued by an ever-growing line of ex-players claiming damages for head injuries, to put out a release saying the public should pay no heed to a small number of players who “just got their bell rung a little.”

Lost His Stroke: At least that third-grade hissy fit thrown by Tiger Woods at the Masters was in keeping with the grand event’s theme: A Conniption Like No Other.

Sad News from Detroit: Chevy is pulling the plug on the Avalanche, that half-pickup / half-canister-vacuum abomination, after a decade of production. Apparently the run-out-and-buy-an-insanely-ugly-vehicle-for-$45,000 craze simply didn’t sweep the nation as soon as senior GM executives expected.

Speaking of Bad Design: New high-resolution satellite imagery, not provided by North Korea, reveals that twice as many emperor penguins live in Antarctica than previously believed. This is good news primarily to people with no firsthand experience with the smell of emperor penguin poop.

And Finally: “Is there a question in there somewhere?” No, but sometimes, pure indignation is the perfect substitute. RIP, Mike Wallace.