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The Slice

Archive for July 2, 2012

Recalling a lesser road-trip horror

If you are a male of a certain age, you might remember those cloth hand-drying towels in public men's rooms.

Hung from a wall mount in a loose spool, they could get so hideously grimy that one question had to be asked: If you are going to bother to wash your hands, why would you even consider touching that foul rag?

Even those laughably ineffective air-dryers were 100 times better. They didn't actually do much to dry your hands but at least you weren't apt to wind up on a CDC report. 

Don't know if women's restrooms also had the cloth o' doom. Maybe they had paper towels. But if they did have the share-cloth, I suspect their communal towel looked less like it had been used during an oil change. Or worse.

Shop at the Al’s at 37th and Grand?

If so, you might want to know that the 4th of July is Darlene the checker's last day.

She will be missed.

A car full of felines

Ellen Sherriffs read Mike Prager's story in the Sunday paper about local animal control officials not having to snuff out quite so many unwanted cats and dogs. And SCRAPS director Nancy Hill's anecdote about transporting felines to the West Side had her wondering.

“The news from our local animal shelters is fantastic, but I've been chortling all afternoon about 48 cats heading to Seattle in a Subaru Forester.  Which cat gets to drive? The one with a license? Are there enough seat belts for everyone? Do they stop at Ivar's or The Crab Shack first? What would make the driver threaten 'Don't make me stop this car!' Do they have fights in the back seat too? 'He's breathing on me and it smells like tuna!' 'His tail's on my side!' 'Fluffy's gonna have a hair ball!'” 

Tour de France vs. bicycle commuting

Judging from what I have seen on TV, there appear to be two basic differences.

1. Bike commuters are not followed by a support team.

2. Tour riders are allowed to take a “natural break” when the need arises.

Recalling the Think system

The movie version of “The Music Man” came out 50 summers ago.

Multiple choice

When you are purchasing a newspaper or magazine and the cashier holds it up and makes some comment about one of the stories that reflects an opinion/attitude you do not share, what do you do?

A) Say nothing. Don't care what cashier thinks. Just want to get out of there. B) I say “I disagree” but pursue it no further. C) Ask the cashier how he or she arrived at the apparent conclusion that everyone thinks the same way. D) Usually ignore it, but if it pertains to, say, some household-level environmental policy, I might say: “I don't think it's silly at all. If everyone cleaned up his act just a little bit, it would have a big impact. Does it bother you to confront the fact that other people are capable of challenging themselves to be better and you are not?” E) “First time seeing a newspaper?” F) Other. 

This date in Slice history (1999)

Sayings that should be on buttons or bumper stickers:

“Don't flatter yourself — I was staring at your dog.”

“Ex-Californians aren't the problem — you are.”

“I live in North Idaho and acknowledge the federal government.”

“My other car is a heap so I legally registered it in Washington.”

“Nobody on my Hoopfest team was a jerk.”

“Refusing to let Spokane news media shape my reality.”

“Decode fictions that shape Spokane's image.”

“Get that zucchini away from me.”

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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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