Disappearing Christmas tree on the Nordstrom awning. The Stranger


We saw you, a tiny Christmas tree, on one of the beams of the new awning under construction outside Nordstrom the first day of December. A week later, you were gone, so we asked a Nordstrom spokesperson where you'd gone, and he told us he had no idea what we were talking about. When we sent him this picture, he explained that iron workers on construction sites have "a tradition that when they install the last beam or top off a project, they put a tree on the crane or on the actual beam. It's called 'topping out.'" Wikipedia traces the origins of "topping out" to "the ancient Scandinavian religious rite of placing a tree atop a new building to appease the tree-dwelling spirits displaced in its construction." Nordstrom's spokesperson says the store "is undergoing a significant, multi-floor, two-year remodel inside and out that's scheduled to be completed next spring. The exterior facade was one part of the project and included repair to some of the limestone, removal of the old dark canvas awning, and a new glass awning installed." The last time we walked by, there was no glass awning yet, and no tree, but tons of construction workers climbing around, and when we asked one of them what had happened to the tree, he said, "I don't know what happened to it."


You were reclining beneath the awnings of the old Value Village on Capitol Hill with some homeless people, surrounded by tattered piles of belongings. You appeared to have just woken up. "I've got my lighter stuck up my ass crack," you told your associates, grinning.


Around 4 p.m. on a Wednesday, you sat with a pen and a legal pad at a table in a Pioneer Square coffee shop. It's unclear if you realized it was quiet enough in there to overhear other tables' conversations. "That fucktard won't take a meeting with us," you said—emphatically and without the shame you should have felt using that word—to the woman across the table from you. "Yes, he's officially a fucktard."


Last Friday morning, you and your dog (a Westie, by the looks of him) stopped in for a coffee at the Bauhaus in Ballard. As you waited in line, one of the employees approached with a handful of treats, which he gave out quite liberally, along with head scratches and belly rubs, to your dog. Before you could place your order, the woman working the register asked simply, "Quad split shot?" Then another barista began making your drink. You said you were just stopping in for coffee and didn't have time to stay, but after all three employees asked you to stick around for a while, you relented. It was just two days before the cafe closed permanently and, like seemingly everyone else in there, you wanted to make the most of the time you had left.


You were the middle-aged guy with stringy blond hair busting very good Soul Train–like moves at the Blue Moon Tavern to Eugene Chadbourne's version of Roger Miller's 1965 country hit "King of the Road." It might have been the greatest musical non-sequitur/incongruity we've ever seen.


On a rainy Saturday night, we walked into Sole Repair, a private event space on Capitol Hill, where we encountered you, a group of roughly 10 dark-haired young ladies between the ages of 8 and 13, all wearing party dresses. Walking through the front door of Sole Repair deposited two of us—dripping in rain jackets and looking like wet shaggy dogs—straight into the middle of a dance floor, where you girls were moving freely, smiling wildly, and, from the looks of it, about to get turnt up with some hula-hoops. Our arrival was a classic "record scratch moment" (which perhaps none of you understand, since you're all too young to know what records are), with the action of the dance floor coming to an abrupt halt and a few of you throwing us some excellent facial expressions that unmistakably said, "WTF are you doing here?" It was then we realized that the bouncer outside had not been joking when he asked us if we were there for the bar mitzvah, and that the surprise birthday we thought we were arriving at was in a totally different venue. In any case, mazel tov! And sorry about momentarily crashing your dance party!


Last Saturday around 9 p.m., the city was crawling with Santas, including your group of seven Santas outside the Six Arms, five of you seeming to be women. One of you announced to your friends, "The lightbulbs are in my boobs." Indeed, you had Christmas lights snaking in and out of your clothes. Everyone was wearing red-and-white-striped socks, and one of you had red ornaments hanging from your beard. A young man walking by just then, wearing a black jacket and blue jeans, turned to the person he was walking with and said, "I feel like it's one week too early for Santa parties." recommended