No April foolin’ ... I tweet

Mann Overboard By Bill Mann
Posted 3/27/18

Port Townsend resident Bill Mann has written humor columns for USA Today and CBS MarketWatch. He’s always on the lookout for funny items – and funny people. Contact him at …

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No April foolin’ ... I tweet


Port Townsend resident Bill Mann has written humor columns for USA Today and CBS MarketWatch. He’s always on the lookout for funny items – and funny people. Contact him at


When I tell people here in Port Townsend that I have a Twitter account and use it often, I sometimes get disapproving looks. I’m lumped in with noted Twitter addict Tweeto Von Cheeto at 1600 Pennsylvania. He’s given Twitter a bad, undeserved rep.

But Twitter is quite useful and worthwhile. Hear me out.

First, a quick explanation of what Twitter is, and isn’t.

My internet-technology engineer son up in Vancouver, who steered me to Twitter years ago, puts it succinctly:

“Facebook is for friends and family,” he explains. “Twitter is for broadcast.”

If you post something on Twitter – 280 characters or less – everyone can see it, and your identity isn’t hidden. (Plus, Facebook’s credibility is now in tatters.)

At around 1,200 people, I may have as many Twitter followers as anyone in PT, partly because I’ve been on Twitter for so long, partly because I’m a regular on a national radio show. (Jesus had only 12 “followers,” but, um, he heavily leveraged them.)

There are some worthwhile people who post regularly on Twitter. Some of the people I follow (no, I do not follow BLOTUS) include NBC’s estimable Andrea Mitchell, Richard Engel and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow; Sen. Kamala Harris; Washington Post Trump basher Jennifer Rubin; The Onion; MSNBC pundit David Frum; comic Dana Gould; The New York Times’ best pure writer, Seattle-based Timothy Egan; Gov. Jay Inslee; and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (in two languages).

Among the people who follow me is … Dear Abby (I’ve never figured that one out!).

Twitter can be quite useful as a local breaking-news source. If there’s, say, a street closure or a fire in Port Townsend or an accident on State Route 20, you’ll probably see it on Twitter first. Plus, our PUD has an excellent Twitter feed listing updated power outages and restorations.

Do a search on Twitter for Port Townsend, and you’ll get roughly 20 new posts each day. These are usually local Realtor listings; nice photography of local scenes; musicians plugging upcoming PT gigs; and a lot of impressed visitors (“We LOVE Port Townsend. We’re moving there!”)

And Janeen Thompson, @janeenlee, presumably a visitor from Florida, recently posted this oddball, knowing tweet: “The lizards in Tampa are as the Bambis in Port Townsend: only cute if you are a tourist.”


In its annual “Best and Worst New Cars” issue just out, Consumer Reports has added a category: Best New Cars for Seniors.

We’re on our game in senior-centric PT, it appears: The two cars that may well be the most common here, the Subaru Forester and Subaru Outback, are rated nos. 1 and 2. (The ratings are based on ease of access, easy-to-reach controls, good headlights and visibility.)

My trusty Prius didn’t make the top 25. Busted!


Borrego Springs, California, is emptying out, partly because of the annual return of numerous Port Townsend snowbirds.

The town abuts Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the largest state park in California.

In 20-plus years of living in California, I’d never heard of Anza-Borrego, which is located near Palm Springs. But people here certainly have, and we were amazed how many Port Townsend folks have property in Borrego Springs, a sleepy, pleasant, remote desert town.

This snowbird joined the local flock a few years back, and my wife and I enjoyed Borrego Springs.

Speaking of snowbirds, when we got outta Dodge (as locals say here) one January and went to Tucson, I was creeped out by a bumper sticker I spotted on the freeway: “So Many Snowbirds, So Little Freezer Space.”

We haven’t been back.


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