The 1992 Louie Awards -- Sex, Sewage And Mr. Lifto Win Our Louies

Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah,

Lou-aye Lou-eye, Oh Yeah, I say, Me gotta go now

Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah . . .

Yeah we all oughta go now.

Call it a year and be done with 1992, but there's one last chorus - the 1992 Seattle Times Louie Awards - to be sung.

This rarely coveted award derives its name from the rock 'n' roll tune "Louie, Louie."

Immortalized three decades ago by the Northwest-based Kingsmen, "Louie, Louie" once was semi-seriously suggested as a replacement for our official state song.

But no one could remember the rest of the lyrics, which drag on incomprehensibly, like this year's political campaigns and spotted-owl court fights.

Bestowed only to outstanding dubious achievers, Louies are given to those who - through conscious act, rotten luck or slip of the tongue - stretch the limits of imagination or tolerance or taste in the Great Northwest.

This year's honorary presenter is . . .

Mr. Lifto! - performer extraordinaire with the traveling Jim Rose Circus Sideshow.

On stage in Silverdale last summer, Mr. Lifto hefted heavy objects suspended from his nipples, his ears and . . . and an intimate body part from which virtually no man (but the good Mr. Lifto) would choose to swing a cinder block.

And now, the envelopes please . . .


To former state Sen. Stan Johnson of Tacoma who, in a year that also gave us Brock Adams and Bob Packwood, receives a class-action Louie for alleged sexual misconduct and shameless manipulation of logic unbecoming even to a politician.

Sued for sexually harassing a former legislative aide, Johnson denied guilt but resigned his seat last January.

A short time later, he went before the Public Disclosure Commission requesting he be allowed to use leftover campaign funds to pay off a $70,000 settlement reached in the sexual-harrassment case.

Since the allegations involved his actions as a state senator, Johnson (and his attorneys) argued the cost of his defense should be considered just another expense of public office.

The commission turned Johnson down 3-1.


To the citizens of Victoria, B.C. for continued dumping of raw sewage into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Demonstrating utter indifference to public health and an uncommon disregard for the environment, Victoria residents in November rejected a plan to build a sewage-treatment facility.

Despite daily flushing an estimated 20 million gallons of untreated sewage into the strait, Victorians accuse Washingtonians of making a big stink.

If only the winds would shift . . .


To United Airlines for letting fly frozen toilet waste. A huge blue chunk of the foul-smelling stuff fell from a DC-10 onto a Woodinville home, smashing through the roof and wrecking the living room.

No one was hurt, but the shaken homeowners were forced to evacuate. Uncertain what the strange glowing chunk was, emergency workers quarantined the house for several hours. Finding no luggage tags, hazardous-material experts finally determined it was an airline toilet bomb.


To Husky Billy Joe Hobert, who went 17-0 as a starting quarterback for the University of Washington, but wound up on the defense. Hobert was drop-kicked from the team after it was revealed he violated NCAA rules by accepting a total of $50,000 in payable-on-demand loans from an Idaho businessman. Hobert asked for money not once but three times and then squandered what he received.


To Tobias Allen for exhibiting criminally bad taste. This 25-year-old Seattle resident is the developer the board game "Serial Killer," which awards points to players each time they get away with "murder."

The game features a giant board with map of the United States crisscrossed by highways. Players travel from one part of the country to the other, attempting to commit "murder" as they go. Players collect plastic tokens shaped like babies each time they are successful. Not only is Allen's game crass (it comes packaged in a "body bag"), it's also expensive: $49.95.


To the Des Moines Police Department for hiring a convicted rapist to participate in an undercover prostitution sting.

Not only did police pay the convicted rapist - or, "informant" - to solicit sex for money, they also authorized him to engage in sexual acts (which he did). Des Moines police said requiring the informant to stop short of consummating his meetings with suspects "wouldn't have been appropriate."

The undercover sting led to the arrest of several women for prostitution, but charges were ultimately dropped against all but one woman (who didn't have an attorney).

The Des Moines police chief said he never considered whether the informant might assault or rape a suspect.


To the Seattle Police Department for raiding the wrong houses. In June, police used a battering ram to force their way into a home shortly after midnight, terrifying a 50-year-old woman and her 90-year-old mother, who were at home alone.

After handcuffing the women, emptying drawers in two bedrooms and searching the house for marijuana plants, officers concluded they must have been given "bad information" by an informant and left.

Then last month, police surrounded and entered another home, where they interrogated a woman and four teenagers at gunpoint before realizing they were at the wrong house. Police blame an unnamed alarm company, saying it gave them an incorrect address.


To The Seattle Times for being duped by a phony art critic.

A lengthy article, accompanied by a large color photograph, in the Arts and Entertainment section gave substantial publicity to a smooth 24-year-old man with an impressive pony-tail and apocryphal story of having discovered an original Raphael painting worth $20 million.

He hadn't, a fact we reported a week later on the front page.


To FAFCO Gold Card, the Texas credit-card company that offered charge privileges to Nathan Jones, an 8-year-old cat residing in West Seattle.


And finally, in the spirit of the shopping season, to the Bellevue woman who ran down a Mercer Island woman in a fight over a parking space at the mall.

Police arrested her and she eventually was charged with reckless endangerment by the Bellevue city prosecutor. Too bad Mr. Lifto wasn't there to remove the offending automobile . . .

To this year's Louie losers, our heartiest congratulations.

To the winners, better luck next time.