To everyone: we’re sorry. Signed, Spokane

For roughly a week now, the country has been able to come together and have a shared moment. This moment wasn’t related to sports or celebrity gossip. This moment wasn’t collective ‘aww’ over the latest cat video. This moment was a group “WTF” over discovering Rachel Dolezal and how far down the rabbit hole her whole deal goes. I’ll spare you the rehash – we all know the basics:


But there’s been another unification; another group who’s been able to join together thanks to Rachel, though our whole… thing… is a bit different.

That group would be “People Embarrassed and Apologetic on Behalf of Spokane, Washington”.

That group would be us. Hiiiii. This is uh. This is awkward.

I should explain. You see, I am from Spokane. As are a lot of my Facebook friends. There’s folks who have left and never looked back but also people who still reside there. Regardless of current affiliation, though, the reaction as I scrolled along my Facebook wall was universally the same. “Ughhhh. Of course. Sorry about this.”

The thing non-Spokanites won’t understand is that this is just business as usual for Spokane. It’s a weird town, plagued by weird things. I used to think it was just me. Maybe I happened to notice every episode of “Cops” and “Judge Judy” that had people from Spokane because I lived there.

But then there were other things and inevitably the punchline in my house would be, “And where did this bizarre thing happen?” The answer was always Spokane.

  • Where did a guy dressed as a StarCraft marine run for city council? Spokane.
  • Where was the guy from who was stabbed after saying, “What are you gunna do, stab me?” Spokane.
  • Where resides the men that have been playing a game of tag for the last 23+ years? Spokane.
  • The location of the tasteful bar that named a drink ‘Date Grape Koolaid’? Spokane!
  • Home to a neighborhood literally overrun with WILD TURKEYS? Spokane.
  • Place where a horse ended up in a swimming pool and the neighbors fought about it? Spokane – AND BONUS THIS WAS ON JUDGE JUDY TOO.

These are just the stories I could find off the top of my head. So when the story of a black lady with really white parents who just changed her race came out of ol’ Spokaloo, I wasn’t really surprised. Spokane is strange.

But why? What happened to Reader’s Digest’s 1997 #8 Best Place to Raise a Family? I don’t know that I can say. The Spokane Valley is geographically predisposed to trap in low quality air because of the fresh air rushing over the valley and science or something… maybe this has had a long term effect on the area? Here’s a scientific graphic I’ve made, based on knowledge I vaguely remember from childhood:


Maybe it’s the proximity to Hanford, the secret cold war nuclear site that has a slight leaking problem and at one point just sort of released toxic radiation in the air. Spokane also has a bit of a radon problem as well.

Whatever the reason, this kind of news just isn’t surprising for Spokane and, well…

Sorry about all that. But hey. At least we gave you Keyboard Cat.


Everyone from Spokane

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