Ask an Uptight Seattleite

Save the placenta!

Dear Uptight Seattleite,

My friend just had a baby, and she saved the placenta! In the freezer! Right next to the bulk pine nuts! She says lots of her friends have done the same thing. For the love of God, what daft bit of hippie logic is behind this?


Dear Horrified,

Instead of being filled with horror, perhaps you should examine your own prejudices. Because I am certain that freezing a placenta is some kind of Native American tradition or something. The very fact that you are disgusted could be an excellent sign that you have come across a crucial contradiction in your thinking. After all, there are two things, or possibly more, that emerge in the birth process. Why should we value one over the other? The Native Americans understood this. It is only our Homo sapiens–centric viewpoint that makes us cherish the infant and discard the afterbirth, a term with prejudice built into it. We don't call the baby "prebirth."

Crazy? Maybe. Think of this, though: If you cut off your head, where would your "I" go? Would you say "me and my body" or "me and my head"? It's like that horror/respect conundrum. I'm not trying to force you to believe anything in particular, I'm just trying to make you think. The last time I checked, that was still in the Constitution.

Dear Uptight Seattleite,

Have motorists in Seattle not heard of Adam Smith's invisible hand? Do they not understand the concept of benefiting everyone by pursuing one's own self- interest? Why do they insist on stopping unnecessarily to allow pedestrians to cross the street? When I approach a busy thoroughfare, I do so with a plan. I time the cadence of my steps to coincide with a gap in traffic. When a too-courteous motorist decides to stop midblock to let me pass, it screws up my whole flow and requires me to hurry up and cross, lest I inconvenience this "helpful" prick. Now I'm forced to run across the street and the driver is delayed, and it all would have worked out perfectly if he had just kept driving like a normal person. What gives?

All Hustle, No Flow

Dear Hustle,

By stopping for you, even if there is approximately five miles of carless road behind them, Seattle drivers confer upon you not only the gift of the right of way but also an opportunity to reflect on the significance of your actions. "Congratulations on your innovative use of walking as a form of transportation," say their gracious smiles, half glimpsed behind the sky reflected on their windshields. "I'm right there walking with you, my little walking friend, if only in spirit. No need to thank me, just hurry along. My engine is burning giant holes in the ozone, and every moment you hesitate only makes it worse!" My advice is to take this gift in the spirit in which it is offered.

Dear Uptight Seattleite,

One (or maybe more) of my co-workers has a habit of taking the last cup of coffee in the communal pot without making more. It's frustrating, because it takes at least five minutes to brew a new pot, and when I need coffee, I need it now, you know? Plus I'm very busy, and I don't have time to stand around watching coffee trickle into a pot. What do you suggest?

Aggravated Coffee Pot Head

Dear Head,

Have you considered writing a note? A friendly note: "Hello, fellow coffee drinkers! How are you? That's great. I am also fine. Except for one small thing. I sometimes make coffee. This means I empty out the grounds, rinse out the plastic basket thing, put in a new filter, and put in the new coffee. Then, in conclusion, I push the button. All of this takes at least 25 seconds. But by the time I return to enjoy some freshly brewed coffee, you baboons have already sucked down every last fucking drop. I find this irksome. Have you considered that, like myself, you, too, have hands and therefore could also perform the actions that would result in coffee being brewed? And that then you would have done at least one nonselfish thing in your lives? Just a thought. Thanks!"

But you probably don't want to sign your note, as this could be construed as confrontational and could lead to direct communication with them.

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