This is a sad story, involving balls.
You heard me.
When I first moved to Seattle many years ago, Nordic Boy had a job out in the boonies. On the weekends, I would get my ass on a bus and travel out to suburbia to visit him. I know that bus route like the back of my hand. Being in suburbia was like a whole new world to me, and we had a blast discovering things like breakfast at Shari’s (where we once saw Ruthanne from Northern Exposure right at the next table) and shopping at a football-field sized Albertson’s and going to this winery and pretending like we knew anything about wine.
Since those days, that particular part of our state (Woodinville, Washington) has boomed. Whereas before it was a sort of wannabe suburb, now it’s gone full tilt, with its own Target and everything. So if we ever make the drive up there now, it all looks different.
Except for the Balls.
On the way out to Woodinville from Seattle, you pass through a bunch of suburbs. There’s Lake Forest Park, and Kenmore, and Bothell, and then Woodinville. I know the succession well, as that dang bus ride I used to take has pounded each of them into my skull.
During this drive, there was one highlight. A place that I would crane my neck to see. As you round the bend and enter the hamlet of Bothell, there is a house, right on the bend. And in front of this house is a quaint little sign. A wooden sign with gold curly lettering.
The sign announces:
“THE BALLS OF BOTHELL”
What the heck does THAT mean, you are probably wondering. Yes, indeed it is a fine question. If you look at the sign, underneath its proclamation it says in smaller letters two names…I can’t remember what they are. “John and Mary,” let’s say. So, there is a family that lives there, and their last name is Balls. And they want to have a quaint sign at the end of their driveway. So what? Why is that funny?
Because I’m me, that’s why.
The balls! Of Bothell! What I love so much about it is that geographically, it’s actually true. Because Bothell has a main street north of there, which would clearly be the heart of Bothell. And what would be south of the heart of Bothell? The balls! Of course. It’s like geographic poetry, really. It’s just so fitting that as you drive in from the south, you would have to pass the balls of Bothell to get to the heart of Bothell.
I can’t tell you how much I adored that sign. Loved it like an old friend. Looked forward to seeing it any time I had cause to drive by there. There have been many times in the past few years where I thought that I needed to take a photo of that sign, just so I could share the joy with you, my blog friends.
A couple of weekends ago, Nordic Boy and I were meeting friends in Bothell for dinner. We hadn’t been by the Balls of Bothell for a while. I was prepared to give it a hearty wave.
Except, sweet friends, the sign. It was GONE.
The Balls! They up and moved! The house is empty, the sign is gone. My sign! My favorite sign! Like Benjy in The Sound and the Fury, I blinked, turned a page, and the balls were missing!
So I thought I would post in honor of the Balls. Wherever they went, they will be missed. Bothell won’t be the same without you.