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I’ve got the Go 2 Guy on the run
Richard Linde, 2 June 2007

Certainly you remember the bully who chased you around the school yard when you were a kid. But what are bullies like when they grow up? UW fans will tell you they turn into nettling columnists like Jim Moore of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. In the last 15 years, the Huskies have gone from a dynasty to mediocre to a laughing stock, Moore will happily say, with a wide smile on his ruddy face.

As a WSU grad, the bucolic Moore has about as much sophistication about him as Gomer Pyle. You don’t laugh at your superior as he tells you about his latest operation. I mean, put a sock in it, Jim.  

After months of trying, I have come up with a plan to quiet the guffawing Moore. The essence of being a Cougar is what my plan is about.

I coaxed him into adding a “Soundoff” link to his columns. What is a “Soundoff” link, you might ask?

“Soundoff” gives fans a way to express their opinions about a column in a public forum, which is unedited unless a fan’s comments are out of line. Normally, Moore responds to fans by including their e-mails in his column, which, of course, he can edit, choose and pick from.

After cleverly luring him into “Soundoff,” I posted a message on dawgman’s message board titled, “I have Jim Moore on the run.”

Business manager Kim Grinolds of dawgman.com replied to my post as follows:

“You have him (Jim Moore) running alright, all the way to the bank laughing.

“When somebody pokes fun at you, the worst thing you can do is react, you react, they keep doing it. If you ignore it, they find another victim.

“Don't expect him to find another victim anytime soon. Too many easy Husky fans to torment.

“Trust me, he's not on the run. By adding the sound off to his page, you just gave him more attention. Which is what it's all about.”

I replied to Kim as follows.

Kim thanks for the advice. But that is my whole plan, the whole enchilada – a way of ending Moore’s reign of terror in Seattle. As we all know, Cougs can’t handle success.

Right now Jim can’t afford to buy that new crimson-and-gray hummer, roasting the Huskies is his only claim to fame, he feels like that slob out of American Beauty, he is having a midlife crisis; women aren’t giving him the double take anymore. His creativity is on the wane, UW athletes are staying out of trouble, and his shtick is growing old.

And then, Kim, I saw an opening and e-mailed Jim, suggesting he add a "Soundoff" link to his column. He fell for my trap, the trusting yokel he is, e-mailing me back in his humble lowercase mode:

"richard, i'm not sure how that works. they seem to put soundoffs at the end of some columns and stories and not others. i'll check into that. thanks, jim.  but feel free to rip anytime you want, however you want."

And then he found someone at the P-I who knew how the new-fangled mechanism worked. Poor Jim is so ingenious, so likeable, never before encountering perfidy -- except, maybe, on one of his BETAMAX taped Soaps. Oh, the tear stained hankies hidden under his bed, a man of palpability and understanding.

With “Soundoff” his career changes overnight. His popularity explodes, as more and more people respond to his articles through "Soundoff." The bigwigs at the P-I take note. Listen to my scenario, Kim.

All of a sudden he has a secretary and a corner office. His editor calls him Jim, instead of by a throaty “hey, Coug.” Art Thiel gives him a big hug…Well once…Ted Miller buys lunch…Well once…Molly Yanity corrects his English instead of turning away in disgust. A green-eyed John Levesque eavesdrops on his cell-phone conversations.

He shows up at an office party wearing a wrinkled tweed suit -- his crimson-and-gray tie wrapped around his neck like a boa – and does a riotous imitation of Husky honk Dick Baird while wearing a lampshade full of ancient cigarette holes, reminding people that he was never more than an ashtray sitting on a roll-top desk until success almost ran him over, coming out of nowhere like a raging bull on the north 40.

His confidence grows, but some bad luck follows:

A block “W” burns into the screen of his new HDTV. His new crimson-and-gray hummer is keyed over at Montlake. The BIOS of his new laptop is flashed by an e-mail attachment and he’s given the bird at boot.

There are missteps along the way:

Seemingly the technophile now, he boldly rips off the tape masking the flashing clock on his VCR. He tries to set the clock…Well…

Len Goodman kicks him off Dancing with the Stars for “being as heavy footed as a sloth sinking in a tar pit.”

On a trip to Miami, groupies rip his shirt off exposing some tattoos that are even saltier than those on display at Stevedore’s dock.

He survives the bad luck and missteps:

Thousands of “Soundoffs” accompany his latest columns; he’s the most popular celebrity in town; the paparazzi catch Moore signing an autograph for our AD Todd Turner; once more his wife is checking his ring figure for a tan line. As his business manager, I should be getting 10%.

They’re talking syndication in Spokane.

Evermore his popularity grows, in fact, he's about to win a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism for his hit piece on Gil Dobie, and then...you got it, Kim...

Jim Moore Cougs-it…like, say…

He runs his new crimson-and-gray hummer into a police station captained by a Husky grad.

His new-fangled hummer, his badge of success, was just too complicated for a Coug to drive. 

Malamute can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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