Somebody's Idea of Fun -- Anyone else notice the Keystone Light billboard up near the Amtrak station in downtown Spokane? The ad features a sweaty can of the noxious macro-brew, a Yellow Pages book flipped open to an ad that reads "Free Clinic," and the tagline: Parties happen. Wha? It's probably safe to assume that we're not talking about a juggling clinic, or, say, a dyslexia clinic. We just wish Keystone and its parent company, Coors, would be more forthright with their ads. How about: At $3.59 a six-pack, it's worth every genital wart. Or: Keystone Light: the world's worst birth control. The billboard spent some time on North Division last year before being taken down. It now maintains an iron grip on Spokane's escapist drunken train visitor market.
Yea, We're Average! -- Reinforcing Spokane county residents' feelings of mediocrity and self-doubt, an msn.com analysis of first-quarter employment numbers for 2004 finds the county right smack in the middle. The county-by-county analysis, working off of Bureau of Labor Statistics crib notes, ranks Spokane county as No. 154 out of 318 counties examined. The report says that over the first three months of the year, the county experienced a 0.9 percent increase in job growth compared to the same period last year. And the average weekly wage popped up 2.6 percent, to $598. In celebration, county residents are allowed 0.9 percent of a glass of champagne, and 2.6 pats on the back. Feel better?
Whoa, Canada... -- If you've been ogling the Canadian border after the recent election, in jest or not, you're not alone. Reports confirm that Canada's immigration Web site received a record 179,000 hits within hours of Bush's acceptance speech Wednesday. Sixty-four percent of those hits came from Americans -- that's more than six times the usual number of American visits to the site, and it more than doubles the previous record (set last year) for hits in a day. Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin welcomed the thought Thursday, saying, "The fact is we are a country of immigrants and we're prepared to receive immigrants from anywhere." That Canada, known for its bleak winters and liberal politics -- gay marriage is legal in six provinces there -- should become the sudden darling of frustrated American lefties is an idea supported by many happy American righties.
"Sounds like an idea whose time has come," wrote one gleeful online poster. "Maybe we could do an exchange program. We'll take their Western conservatives and they can have our liberal whackos."