TACOMA, Wash. — There is something screwy happening in front of a big blue house in Tacoma.
And if you're on their side of the street you might find yourself coerced by some young girls chanting “Silly walk, silly walk, silly walk” into doing something ...silly.
“I think we've probably built a reputation,” laughs Rachel Waldman who moved into the home with her husband Yeti Sfreddo two years ago. Both are dedicated Monty Python fans, so they built signs marking the portion in front of their home as the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Silly Walks.
“Everyone is out taking walks every day all the time,” says Waldman. “There's just not much else that we can do, so we might as well make it more fun.”
The inspiration may be a classic Monty Python sketch, but the purpose is to entertain two little girls stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They are getting a kick out of it,” says Waldman. “They sit in the living room window and watch people come by and hope that they are going to do it.”
“I like seeing how people do silly walks and how they do different ones like they do different things,” says six year old Cora Sfreddo, who isn’t just a spectator. She likes to take monster-sized steps, grunting with each one.
It might seem like a silly way to connect with neighbors but it works.
“Everybody is stuck at home,” says Yeti Sfreddo, “and everybody needs their community and misses their friends and their family. So when you can get a laugh on your walk, even if you're just alone, we might be able to communicate something with them and they communicate back with us and they feel some sort of connection."
Walking by the big blue house just might be the highlight of your day, and a fun way to make new friends and, these days, there's nothing silly about that.
The Jurisdiction of Silly Walks is located on N 26th Street between The Rosewood Cafe and Brewers Row.