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The Slice

It’s not your little shredder’s fault

That you did not stay on top of the situation and wound up with bags of hundreds of to-be-shredded items that, using your little shredder, would take 37 hours to process.

True or false

The episode of “The Andy Griffith Show” in which Spokane is mentioned is the one in which a businessman from Charlotte has car trouble while passing by Mayberry on a Sunday and discovers that the town is all but shut down.  

Waffle maker territoriality

Do you experience that?

I'm guessing you do if you answer these questions “Yes.”

Do you get a little uneasy when someone else wants to use the waffle maker?

Does it annoy you when someone says it is “just” a waffle maker?

Would you rather be accused of being uptight and anal retentive than have some sloppy houseguest make an unholy mess of your appliance by slopping batter all over it? 

Two key questions

Do you mentally rehearse material before attending a party?

Have the circumstances you had visualized (that would allow you to seamlessly say what you planned to say) ever actually materialized once you got to the party?

Great moments in package mailing

It was a few years ago, at right about this part of December.

I was in line at the post office on South Grand. I was close enough to the service counter to hear the postal clerks talking with customers.

One of the clerks at the counter was pointing out to someone mailing a package that in the process of taping up the package with dark brown tape the customer had managed to cover up part of the recipient's address.

But the really mind blowing thing was that, for a moment, the customer seemed to be thinking “That would be a problem?”

Yes, that would be a problem.

Recalling a test-drive highlight

I suspect that most of the time people about to buy a new car have made up their minds before the test drive.

But I wonder. Can you recall a moment from a test drive that made your decision easy?

I can. It happened in Spokane Valley in September of 2000. Still have that car.

Still remember how it smoothly accelerated with authority. 

The Wednesday Slice question

What's a subject people you know repeatedly bring up in conversations with you even though you have demonstrated many times that you do not care about it?

Just wondering

Ever been in a library that offered a better view than the river panorama available at the downtown Spokane Public Library?

The Slice Blog recommends

If you have any interest in your family history, these folks can help you do some online research.

Because of holiday shedules, you would want to confirm volunteer availability before heading off to the library to meet them.

Spirit of the season

I wonder how many families in the Spokane area decide against placing decorative Christmas stuff in the front yard because they figure there's a good chance it would be stolen.

What employer gave you the best Christmas bonus?

I once worked at a newspaper in the Southwest that made a practice — at least back then — of giving everyone on the staff the equivalent of two weeks pay as a Christmas bonus.

How about you?

What would you have done?

I keep thinking about something that happened Friday night.

It was a little before 6 o'clock. It was dark and raining downtown. Lots and lots of people were out and about.

I stopped our car across from Europa on Wall to let my wife out. I was then going to try to find a place to park and go meet some co-workers at the Steam Plant for a quick beer. Then I would go back to Europa and join my wife. She was going to read while she waited.

As I watched my wife walk to the restaurant, I heard a soft knocking on the passenger's side window. I saw a girl peering in at me. She might have been 17. She could have been 20. As I said, it was dark.

I rolled down the window a few inches.

“Can you give me a ride home?”

She didn't seem distressed. There was no hint of panic in her voice.

I told her the truth. I was on my way to meet some people and was already late.

She nodded in acceptance and backed away. That was that.

Only I keep replaying it.

What if she needed help?

Yes, I am aware of the reasons that letting her in the car could have proven to be a mistake. I live in 2014, too, you know.

But I hate to think I might have turned my back on someone who could have needed assistance, though she did not ask for it.

Maybe she was just wanting to be out of the rain. Perhaps she gets rides that way all the time.

Or, of course, she was planning to say that I assaulted her if I didn't give her a hundred dollars. 

Later, when I told my wife about it, she suggested that I could have asked, “Do you need me to call the police for you?”

I wish that's what I had said.

What would you have done?

Ever been in a church choir?

How would you characterize the experience?

A) Joyful and uplifting. B) One of the happiest times of my life. C) Nest of backbiting vipers. D) Let's just say the choir director had his favorites. E) Other.

Worst meteor-watching conditions ever

Because of the fog, I can barely see the house across the street.

Maybe you noticed this

I know I am not the first to point this out.

But if you wrote any checks this morning, did you notice the “12/13/14” thing?

Things that always impress me (No. 19)

First-rate auto body shop work. 

Were you downtown tonight?

Would you call that buzz?

I got a good look at the crowds and traffic conga lines because it took forever to find a place to park. And I didn't really mind.

I kept wishing I was escorting a job candidate from out of town that my company really wanted to hire.

Sure, there's a lot going on at this time of year. But still.

If only the rain had been snow. 

Re: “Twas the Night Before Christmas”

Is that seasonal song implying that your home is infested?

“Hey, get me — I'm stirring.”

Following up on gender test many years later

Back on Feb. 7, 1997, The Slice led with a blurb about a Spokane nurse conducting a clinical trial designed to determine if mixing a pregnant woman's urine into some Drano predicted the gender of the baby.

Apparently some believed that the resulting color told the tale.

Anyway, that nurse sent me an email yesterday. She shared something that I am using at the top of an upcoming column.

But in the course of exchanging emails with her, I asked about that 1997 study.

Here's her reply.

“As predicted, some of the women had girls and some had boys. No correlation. But it amazed me that several participants were ready to head out and paint their worlds pink or blue. One of the most memorable moments was when a UPS truck pulled up to my house to deliver a urine sample from the Tri-Cities. Gosh, thanks for reminding me of that.”

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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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