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Posts tagged: New Year’s Eve

Who else says this?

The truth is, I say it all year long. Though, it doesn't really make much sense in, say, May or September.

But on New Year's Eve night, if we're not going out again, I have been known to come through the door at home and declare “I'm in for the year.” 

New Year’s Eve in The Slice (1998)

Here's an outline for the first half of a children's story.

Your challenge is to come up with the second half. Good luck.


A dwindling band of squirrels in the Palouse believe their small cluster of trees is the only island in an endless, rolling ocean.

Then, one day, a vegetarian hawk tells the furry rodents the truth. “There are other trees beyond the horizon,” he informs them.

So an intrepid young squirrel named Thornton sets out to find others of his kind. (A wise old squirrel sends him off with advice Thornton doesn't immediately understand — Bushy tail, true heart.”)

At that moment, several miles away, a fetching yet willful young squirrel named Steptoe is wondering if she'll ever meet a boy squirrel who isn't afraid of his own shadow.

But everything in the Palouse is about to change. A streetwise gang of Spokane squirrels intent on expanding their territory start hopping into the back of pickups and heading south on highway 195.

The urban toughs capture Thornton and detain him. They don't buy his story that he's lost and far from home.

But Steptoe manages to free him while the guards are on a cigarette break. And as the two of them scamper to safety, Thornton notices that Steptoe's tail is especially bushy.

She sees him looking at her. So she stops and stares at him. In that instant, she realizes there's something special in Thornton's big eyes. “We don't have time for this,” she snaps.

And off they scurry toward a lone tree, unaware that a hungry owl is watching them…

New Year’s Eve in The Slice (1996)

The fact that they weren't invited anywhere isn't the only reason a lot of people don't go to New Year's Eve parties.

No, more than a few folks stay home because they are afraid they won't have anything to say to strangers. This is called minglephobia. Fortunately, it's treatable. All you need is a good opening line.

So, as a public service, we present 20 guaranteed conversation-starters for use at Spokane area New Year's Eve parties.

1. “Hardly anyone knows this, because I was just a kid at the time, but I'm the one who talked Bing into recording ''White Christmas.'”

2. “Hey, I got your Growth Management Act right here.”

3. “I'm hoping my lifestyle will become a new Spokane stereotype.”

4. “If I ever have children, I'm thinking of naming them Moose and Squirrel.”

5. “I've done some research, and it turns out that kids who are forced to write thank-you notes almost never wind up in jail.”

6. “I'm not sentimental about the Cold War, but I miss seeing the B-52s overhead.”

7. “Didn't I see you at the Lilac Parade?”

8. “Ever have the urge to drive a pickup on thin ice?”

9. “Next year, I'm either going to single-handedly save downtown or shave 15 strokes off my golf game. I can't decide which.”

10. “Don't you just love maps?”

11. “My new CD is nothing but songs about wheat.”

12. “The statement I'm going for with this outfit is 'East Valley happy hour.'”

13. “You might already be a winner.”

14. “My script is called '101 Marmots and a Baby.'”

15. “Get that dress at the Ernst close-out?”

16. “Ever have one of those dreams where everyone at NorthTown is speaking German?”

17. “I blame the staring-without-compunction way people watch TV for the fact that ogling in real life has lost all its subtlety.”

18. “If you had five seconds of airtime for your own public-service announcement during the Super Bowl broadcast, what message would you share with America?”

19. “Want to see the North Idaho variation on that under-the-mistletoe tradition?”

20. “I once called something in to The Slice but they were too chicken to use it.” 

New Year’s Eve in The Slice (1994)

Today's Slice question: What will be the hottest Inland Northwest lifestyle trend of 1995?

(Readers took that question about as seriously as it deserved. One respondent suggested the hot trend would be scraping mud off boots before coming inside.)

What happens next?

If you know your movies, you know a happy ending is right around the corner.

New Year’s midnight kisses

Of course, circumstances vary. But it seems as if these smooches should be three things.

1. Firm.

2. Close-mouthed.

3. Not a five-minute performance.

What should Spokane drop?

In Flagstaff, Ariz., they drop a giant pine cone to mark the start of the new year.

When New Year’s Eve parties go wrong

About the time my wife was born in St. Louis, her parents lived next door to a young mother named Stella Stevens. She had yet to become a national sex symbol.

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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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