Has anyone else noticed that the so-called Holiday Tree in the middle of Pioneer Square is listing seriously to the northwest? To use the words of Willie Nelson Ñ who, let us not forget, got his show business start right here in P-town: Just a little old-fashioned karma coming down. É Let's just hope they can keep it up till Holiday Man and his eight reindeer make their annual visit. É Of course, it's not official Blazer policy or anything like that Ñ but I've got a friend who, one day last week, got the following phone call: 'Hello, Mr. X, now that Bonzi's gone, would you like to reinstate your season tickets?' É Local PR guy and food writer Robert Volz was in Buenos Aires, Argentina, last week for a Vespa convention Ñ and guess what he and his friend did as soon as they checked into their hotel? 'We filled up the bathtub, then pulled the plug so we could watch the water go out backward.' Told you he was a sophisticate, didn't I?

• • •

Last Friday morning about 8, Jim Metzler was walking down Broadway when a panhandler approached and asked for 79 cents. It was all he needed, he said, to buy a ticket for the train to Seattle, which was leaving in an hour. É Jim gave him a buck and wished him good luck. É About 2 that afternoon, Jim happened to be walking by the library, when he spied the same gentleman out front. Naturally, Jim confronted him about his train trip to Seattle. 'Oh, that,' said the guy without missing a beat. 'I just got back 25 minutes ago.'

• • •

Not suggesting that there's a conspiracy afoot or anything, but Randy Leonard, who's been a city commissioner for more than a year now, does not appear with all the other commissioners in the blue pages of the new Qwest phone book. É 'I wouldn't be too sure there isn't something going on,' says Ty Kovatch, Leonard's chief of staff. Kovatch says their office is currently having it out with everyone's favorite telephone company over the issue of cable franchising fees. É In the spirit of the season, wrestling promoter Ivan Kafoury informs me that tomorrow night he'll be hosting a Holiday Lucha Libre Ñ which, roughly translated, means 'free-for-all' Ñ at Mt. Hood Community College, featuring two of Mexico's top stars, Rey Misterio Sr. and Psicosis. É Ivan, who I'm sure would never lie about such a thing, assures me that all bouts are totally unscripted and on the up-and-up.

• • •

If you don't think my proposal, 'Dream On,' is an improvement on the dippy new state slogan, then how about this one, currently circulating around P-town: 'Wake me up when it's over.' É But 'We love dreamers'? Puh-leez. É Boats Johnson thinks it's probably something that Wieden & Kennedy had left over from a campaign for a mattress company. É And by the way, those much-awaited martini-tasting results from the Red Star are in Ñ and the winner is something called 'Call the Kettle Blue,' made with Ketel One vodka and two green olives stuffed with blue cheese. É Mark Akers recalls the time several Christmases ago when he and Bill Fields were regulars on the martini circuit in La-La Land. É One night, after downing one of their favorites Ñ a triple martini with, heaven help us, a shot of absinthe Ñ Bill offered a toast: 'Here's wishing you a meretricious and a happy new year.' É Couldn't have said it better myself.

Contact Phil Stanford by telephone at 503-546-5166 or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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