Federal Way's hot parking lot fantasies | Andy Hobbs

Doctor: Please bring me up to speed on why you’re seeking therapy.

Patient: Well doctor, I have a fetish that dominates my thoughts 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I’m embarrassed to talk about it and was hoping you could help me cope with this obsession.

Doctor: Tell me about your fetish.

Patient: For the past several months, I’ve become quite attracted to the vacant parking lot in downtown Federal Way. It’s the former AMC Theatres site.

Doctor: Interesting. Why are you attracted to that vacant parking lot?

Patient: I should clarify. I’m not attracted to the parking lot itself. That crumbling concrete is downright ugly, if you ask me. But it could become a sexy place. When people share ideas for developing the site, I get really excited.

Doctor: Can you give an example?

Patient: Several city leaders talk about making the parking lot a ‘mixed use’ site with residential and retail development. That official lingo is so hot. The term ‘mixed use’ really jump-starts my libido.

Doctor: So what you’re telling me is that ideas for the parking lot make you feel aroused?

Patient: Yes. Just the ideas.

Doctor: What is another example?

Patient: Where do I start? I like the idea of a community garden that grows food for charity while also giving volunteers a social outlet. And what if there was a big park to supplement an adjacent civic center? Whew! That’s hot stuff. With all this talk about fantasies for the site, I’m going to start climbing the walls!

Doctor: Settle down, man.

Patient: Sorry about that. I’ll try to keep my urges under control. One idea that really gets me going is a veterans memorial. It has the potential to be a downtown centerpiece while drawing thousands of visitors from across the state and nation. The memorial must be big and bold. In fact, I’m thinking about something wet and wild.

Doctor: Wet and wild?

Patient: Yes! Here’s an idea. We build a giant statue of Uncle Sam with a fountain squirting water from the top of his red, white and blue hat. Uncle Sam’s arms are outstretched, and he’s holding Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden upside down by their ankles.

Doctor: Ah yes, that would be wet and wild. What else turns you on about the site?

Patient: My most twisted fantasy would combine all the elements I just mentioned. I envision a brick promenade down the middle of the site with shops, boutiques and restaurants lining the walkway. In the center is the veterans memorial. In a space between the buildings and civic center, there’s a simple park. On the other side of the buildings is a community garden. And throughout the site, visitors can gaze at breathtaking views of Mt. Rainier.

Doctor: That’s actually quite thoughtful. Why did you say this particular fantasy is twisted?

Patient: I’m afraid it will never come true. Also, in the fantasy, the city’s elected leaders skate around the site naked.

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