Advice From Mercer Island Mimsy

Elizabeth "Mimsy" Snugbottom dispenses etiquette advice in a manner befitting the denizens of the Mercer Island.

Dear Mercer Island Mimsy,

I was riding the 550 bus home from Seattle last week and heard two other riders discussing how they drive over here from Bellevue every morning and park their cars at the Mercer Island Park & Ride. Is it OK to stab them on the bus, or do I need to wait until we’re in the parking lot?

— Save Our Spots

Dear Save Our Spots:

As those skilled in the epistolary arts know, when you address a letter to someone with whom you do not have a personal relationship, it is customary to end the salutation with a colon, not a comma. In the interest of addressing your question, I will overlook this faux pas, but I implore you not to repeat it with others. It reflects poorly on all of us.

To the matter at hand: Bodily assault by knife is an ugly practice not suitable for a resident of Mercer Island. Leave that to less refined places like Yarrow Point. Slow poisoning would be acceptable, but difficult to employ under these circumstances. If you are already in the habit of carrying a knife with you on your bus commute, then four sharp pokes to the tires of these off-island usurpers will deliver your message effectively.

Dear Mercer Island Mimsy:

My next-door neighbor owns two luxury cars, which he insists on washing every weekend. I’ve read that the run-off from residential car washing drains into streams and is harmful to local aquatic life. How can I tell my neighbor this without causing offense?

— Thinking of Fish

Dear Stinking of Fish:

I’m afraid you have failed to give me enough information to render judgment fully. Knowing the type of luxury car is significant to the matter at hand. If it is a genuine luxury vehicle, like a Bentley or Mercedes-Benz, or if it is a pretender, like a Buick or one of those dreadful Infiniti things.

Assuming that it is a proper luxury vehicle, then my guidance to you is: Back off. It will take many, many years before all the fish die off, but a filthy car is something that pollutes our local landscape today.

Confidential to Amorous on Avalon Drive: Under no circumstances may you bring your dog to the South Mercer Playfields during the winter. Your psychiatrist’s assessment of your need to satisfy your agoraphobic sexual fetishes is of no matter.

Seeking guidance on how to comport oneself appropriately on Mercer Island? Mercer Island Mimsy may be reached at