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The Slice

Posts tagged: Slice column

Things That Made Readers Mad Dept.

Ages ago, I asked which Spokane area high school was home to the most current or future criminals.

The morning that this question appeared in the paper, more than a few readers phoned to yell at me. Which was sort of interesting, as they apparently were already angry about what they assumed the answers would be.

I think the only answer I actually printed was from a guy who said that, before answering, people needed to factor in the potential for white-collar crime.

 

How to explain The Slice to visitors

“Well, it's sort of bit of this and a bit of that. Sometimes it's, well, I don't know. Been in the paper for a long time. Once in a while it's, well, you know, and then, other times it's not. Readers contribute and he types it in or something like that. Pat's sister has been in there a couple of times.”

How to alienate Slice column contributors

I have discovered quite a few ways over the years. I'll tell you about it sometime.

But perhaps the best tactic is to simply not use answers readers send me.

So I will be alienating a whole bunch of those kind enough to respond to the “Where were you on Nov. 22, 1963?” question.

Sure, I could put the spillover answers here on The Slice Blog. But experience suggests many of my print readers are not impressed by that.

Rest of the story

The item in today's Slice column featuring Cheryl Mitchem's recollection of taking pre-fair Season Pass photos for Expo '74 left out a few details.

She had told me she moved to Spokane from Los Angeles in 1973, with a plan to get a job with Expo. I asked her to elaborate.

“After graduating from UCLA and meeting someone in an insurance company (what else do you do with a sociology major), my then boyfriend (later husband) convinced me to get out of LA and move to Spokane (where's that?), because his dad was the president of Whitworth College (Ed Lindaman), and we could live with them in the president's house until we got jobs at the fair.”

Her first Expo assignment had her in Spokane stores taking pictures for fair passes purchased by people ahead of the event.  

“I got the job and wrote home, 'Dear Dad, Thanks for sending me to UCLA — I'm taking pictures in a photo booth in grocery stores!'

“Forty years later I am living in a condo next door to the Lilac Butterfly. I have come full circle.”

Something left out of today’s column

Tim Wink noted that I overlooked one big difference between summer vacation road trips of yesteryear and the modern versions.

“Air-conditioning.” 

This date in Slice history (1997)

Just wondering: What percentage of local residents would rather die than pay for parking at the airport?

“Same old cornball”

On occasion, I am asked “What's in your column tomorrow?”

And “Same old cornball” is one of my favorite answers.

Refreshing modesty? Nah. It's a line from an old movie partly set at a newspaper.

Can you name that film? 

This date in Slice history (1995)

Note to Lucille Leonard of Moses Lake: Our legal department is reviewing your claim that we owe you a new bra. (She disassembled one of hers so she could send us the underwire, demonstrating that some are, in fact, made of plastic.)

Coming in Tuesday’s Slice column

An invitation to go off about people not understanding your allergies to pets.

This date in Slice history (1997)

Today's Slice question: To get along in Spokane, it is necessary to at least pretend that you know what?

This date in Slice history (1998)

If you have no interest in basketball, now would be a good time to leave the country.

This date in Slice history (1996)

After 17 years of marriage, it's not news to Maureen Shogan that her husband, Joe, likes sports.

“However, it wasn't until we returned from seeing 'Phantom of the Opera' (in Seattle) that I knew how much he really enjoyed athletic events,” she wrote, “When asked about the show, he related to friends that he got sleepy before 'the end of the first half' and that they 'didn't use all the starters.'”

Coming in Thursday’s Slice column

A mixed bag including some stuff in categories a letter-to-the-editor writer recently specified that he can't stand.

Don't know if the letter will run. But, of course, I hope it will.

This date in Slice history (1995)

Spring is exactly a month away.

Commence swimsuit anxiety now.

This date in Slice history (1998)

Stop thinking about speed-skaters' legs.

Coming in Thursday’s Slice column

“Slice bag” defined.

But why wait? Here's one I didn't use in print.

“A Slice Bag is someone who drones on endlessly without saying a thing,” wrote Ron Knapp, who added “Laughing with you.”

Coming in Thursday’s Slice

The last list of collective nouns for multiple Subaru Outbacks. 

www.autos.msn.com.

New Year’s Eve in The Slice (1996) Edit

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) Edit

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.)

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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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