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The Slice

The Wednesday Slice

The Spokane River has its Big River pants on right now.

If you have an opportunity to check out the falls downtown, it might be worth your while.

Let's move on. 

 

Uh yeah, I'm gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Saturday: Is it a little creepy to live with someone who does a dead-on Bill “Office Space” Lumbergh impression?

 

Feedback on Tuesday's Slice about keeping your spouse or significant other happy: “You have a flawed premise (ouch!),” wrote Sue and Will Hille. “One member of any marriage or partnership cannot make the other happy. The assumption that this is possible, and expectation it will happen, has often precipitated a rocky road in long-term commitments and may lead to painful separations.

“We can, and I believe should, provide delight in many of the courtesies and kindnesses suggested in your list of responses. However, the rock solid base of the relationship is aptly stated in the certainty (multiple choice option Y) that we will be there for each other through 'hell or high water.'

“We say this from the personal experience of being polar opposites married to each other nearly 56 years, and from decades of providing professional counsel to people involved in troubled relationships.

“Thanks for being part of our daily breakfast conversation and the delight your writing brings to our lives.”

I took the liberty of including that last bit so you could see how kind many Slice readers are and so you wouldn't react to the next item by wondering if you need to feel sorry for me. You don't.

 

Fan mail from some flounder: I got smiles from a couple of colleagues with this story, so I decided to share.

One of the emails waiting for me Tuesday morning when I got to my desk was a forwarded yet-to-be-published letter to the editor. The subject field just said “A fan.” That's often newsroom code for someone who is quite the opposite. It comes with the territory. And the way I see it, if a person is willing to sign his or her name to the letter, that individual has a right to say whatever he or she wants.

But for some reason Tuesday, I didn't have my guard up right away. So my reaction to that subject line was an unspoken “That's nice.”

Of course, the letter wasn't all that nice. The reader in question quivers with contempt for my column but cannot seem to avert his or her eyes. (Don't know the writer's gender because he or she apparently goes by initials.) Anyway, the experience of expecting one thing and getting quite another made me laugh at myself.

I imagined I could hear Bugs Bunny saying, “What a maroon.”

To me, not to the reluctant reader. (But hey, if the shoe fits.)

Sometimes it's good to have that sort of moment happen first thing. That way, if anything nice occurs later in the day it can almost feel like an unexpected present.

 

What he says/what she hears: “Matt Damon is in it and it is directed by Cameron Crowe.”

(He wants to see Scarlett Johansson.) 

 

Slice answer: I have changed the names in the following note from a Slice reader.

“The other day you asked who the loudest snorer in Spokane is,” wrote Jane. “I'm married to him.”

She continued.

“About 25-30 years ago, when we were still military and our children were quite young, John would come home after two days and nights of duty. He was exhausted. He'd eat dinner, shower and go to bed for much needed sleep.

“John would start vibrating away like a chain saw in the bedroom with the door shut. I'd have to turn up the TV volume in the living roor which was down the hall and around the corner from our room. (The kids' bedrooms were at the same end of the hall as our room.)

“One night the snoring was really bad. Our 3-year-old son, who didn't really know his dad well because of (his father's) so many long deployments, came screaming into the living room — 'There's a monster in there!' he said between the sobs.

“I asked him to repeat that and I asked him to show me where the monster was. He pointed to our bedroom door. 'It's in there!'

“II told him it was just daddy. He wouldn't believe me until I opened the door and showed him John snorting away in his sleep. Once he realized that daddy was creating the monster sounds, he was OK.”  

 

Something that looks like playing a game but isn't actually much fun: Marking your lawn's underground sprinkler heads with little flags in advance of aeration. 

 

Today's Slice question: How can a person tell when he or she has gotten just a wee bit obsessive about keeping a food consumption diary? 

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. When you hear someone say “In the parlance of our times,” you can assume that he or she is quoting a certain 1998 movie.


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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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