Image via Ivar's.

 Last month it was little more than a joke. That's when Seattle Times columnist Ron Judd stirred up the idea of naming a new Washington State ferry after seafood showman Ivar Haglund. And now Bartell Drugs is joining up with what's proving to be an increasingly legitimate quest to pay marine tribute to the salty, stuntloving restaurateur. The drugstore chain is placing petitions supporting the name M/V Ivar Haglund in all of its stores.

Naming ferries after people generally isn't done 'round these parts; the Washington State Transportation Commission seems to prefer monikers that nod to our Native American culture. But, as Judd noted, naming guidelines technically allow these Soundfaring vessels to be named after a person, "providing they've been dead for 20 years, possess 'enduring fame,' and have played a 'significant historical role in the region.'" I mean...come on. That's Haglund, whose restaurants remain a Puget Sound staple, and whose antics still make headlines on occasion.

The petitions will circulate through this Sunday, September 23; all naming ideas are due to the commission by September 26 and a final selection happens November 13, after public comment, review, and all that civic jazz. Of course, Ivar's is in support of the measure and has a handy link for fans to email the transportation commission directly. Yes, fish puns are involved.