In an unanticipated turn of events this week, the entire city of Tashkent, Uzbekistan rose up with one voice and vehemently renounced their sister city status with Seattle.
The upheaval came as all of Tashkent was watching a recent speech by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels (a regular city-wide activity). Details are sketchy, but it seems that Nickels’ comments on his proposed green-building program just happen to sound exactly like the most insulting curse in the Uzbek language.
“Iz big disrespect,” said Tashkent mayor Abdukahhar Tukhtayev. “Tashkent peoples iz not having these relations with the goats. Seattle iz immoral one. Starbucks lady picture iz naked!”
In an attempt to reconcile the differences between the two cities, Tashkent officials sent a diplomatic envoy to Seattle, with gifts of goat cheese, grain, and head scarves. This plan was not successful. The diplomats were mistaken for tourists upon arriving at Seattle City Hall, and sent on their way with a complimentary gift bag that included smoked salmon, polar fleece, and copies of Windows Vista. Unfortunately, the Uzbek people are deathly allergic to fish and the climate of Uzbekistan is roughly comparable to Southern California, so the diplomats interpreted the gifts to be a triple insult.
Seattle city council members were shocked to learn that Seattle even had a sister city in Uzbekistan. “Tashkent,” repeated councilmember Richard McIver, “are you sure that’s not some sort of suburb down near Tacoma?”
“I think he’s right,” said councilmember Jan Drago, “I’m fairly certain that we don’t have any cute little sister cities in backward, rural countries like Uzbekistan.”
Tashkent is in fact the capital of Uzbekistan, as well as its largest city. With a population of over 3 million, Tashkent is over five times as large as Seattle.
Tashkent’s 35-year sister city partnership with Seattle had been an important part of their culture, with thousands of symbols of Seattle prominently displayed throughout the city. However, upon their disownment of the “coffee-brained satans,” the citizens of Tashkent feverishly took to the streets and tore down the statues of Greg Nickels and all of Seattle’s prior mayors, the International Fountain replicas, the Space Needle posters, and the neon “Public Market” signs that could be found on every city block.
“I kanot believez dat meestir Neekoals vood dizrespect us in dat vey,” said one Tashkent resident, through tears of anger and lost purpose. He and all neighbors were in the midst of throwing their Seattle icons into a huge bonfire, which they built upon their cherished woven goat hair reproduction of the Seattle skyline.
When asked if there would be any chance for reconciliation between the two cities, Mayor Tukhtayev said that it was doubtful. “I tink not even single persons in Seattle can find Uzbekistan on map,” he said. “Lets them have naked fish-womanz and computer weendows—we have enough of dat nonzense.”
Mayor Nickels’ response to the question of reconciliation was no more optimistic. “I’ve never been to Tashkent,” said Nickels. “Are we sure it’s even a real city?”
Seattle residents were completely indifferent to the news, which utterly failed to impact their lives in any way whatsoever.