"DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING!" is all I remember hearing as we came down the alley. It's not an unusual sentiment coming from someone who would consider herself a bit of an overprotective mother, but Lori usually manages to keep her concerns bottled up inside. The Gum Wall in Seattle was too much for her though. It didn't matter how many little bottles of hand sanitizer she had in her purse (and it's usually quite a few), she wanted nothing to do with this so-called tourist attraction.
Of course, that just served as motivation for the rest of us to get a little closer.
Located in Post Alley underneath Pike Place Market, the Gum Wall was named the the #2 germiest attraction in the world in 2009 - ranking only behind the Blarney Stone (and surprisingly just ahead of my teenage daughter's bedroom). Now people come from all over to add a little wad of their own to the wall, necessitating efforts to contain it's growth to just one side of the alley.
Originally started by people waiting to get in to the Market Theater whose box office window is part of the wall, the theater staff used to try and clean the Gum Wall off, but back in 1999 the city decided that the wall had become enough of a tourist draw that it should just be allowed to exist. I wonder just how long some of these people had to wait outside the theater to get in? They obviously had a little bit of time on their hands...
...and some of them....well some of them could really use a couple of lessons as to what constitutes romance in the 21st century.
Still, I hope she said yes and I hope they're very happy. I also hope they didn't plan their own reception dinner.
Written by Steve Pratt