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Posts tagged: Wednesday Slice column

The Wednesday Slice

With Father's Day on the horizon, here's a baker's dozen of questions.

1. Do dads still teach sons to box (or fight in some other manner)?

2. Do they teach their daughters?

3. What if the kids are being brought up by a single mom?

4. Does the “This is just so you can defend yourself if all alternatives have been exhausted” talk still sound about the same as it did years ago?

5. Do 2012 dads teach kids how to simply repel aggression or do they show them how to render the attacker incapable of continuing the fight?

6. What can dads say to emphasize that movie/TV/video-game fights are not realistic?

7. How do you address the possibility of weapons being part of the picture?

8. Is there an approach to saying “The way to win fights is to be able to take a hard first punch and not fold up” without sounding like you secretly hope the kid will be slugging it out right and left?

9. At what age does a child need to hear “There will always be those you simply cannot defeat”? or “Losing, assuming you don't get maimed or mangled, can be better than some of the alternatives.”

10. At what age does your son need to hear “Any girl who wants you to get in fights over her is bad news”?

11. At what age does your daughter need to hear “A boy who likes to start fights is bad news”?

12. How do you feel about teaching a child tactics that aren't exactly Marquess of Queensberry approved?

13. How many times should you say “Look, you're smart. Use your head. Walk away from that nonsense. Tough guys at your age are on the road to lousy lives.”


Today's Slice question: Assuming you don't work a 9-to-5 schedule, have you ever watched the cable TV Department of Transportation street/highway cameras during rush hour just for entertainment?

The Wednesday Slice

Several years ago, I made a pact with my Spokane-loving sister-in-law in Michigan.

We would improve our eating habits during the time it took for hockey's Stanley Cup playoffs to run their course.

We didn't really stick with it.

This year's playoffs start tonight. They usually wrap up early in June.

I haven't spoken to my sister-in-law about trying again this spring. But perhaps I'll send her an email before the first face-off.

I might not even mention anything about dietary regimens. Maybe I'll just remind her of the time wheelchair-bound Vladimir Konstantinov — a guy whose name is engraved on the Stanley Cup — gave her a friendly but enthusiastic kiss.


Just wondering: If the series lasted long enough, most old TV Westerns eventually had a mountain lion episode. You know, the big cat was feeding on livestock, terrorizing a farm family, had a particular grudge against Nick Barkley or whatever. Well, many of those shows ended with the demise of the stealthy predator. Which brings us to my question.

Were these “We've gotta get that cougar!” episodes troubling for members of the Washington State University community to watch?


Maybe the caller could count the ways: A reader who wishes to remain anonymous saw Friday's print column about mistakenly saying “Love you” to a co-worker or casual acquaintance. “About 10 years ago, I answered a call at work: 'This is (name deleted). How may I love you?'”  


For the record: S-R reporter Jody Lawrence-Turner is not my daughter. If she were my daughter, she would be named Cookie or Elizabeth Bennet.  


Speaking of family connections: As I have mentioned a time or two, I am distantly related to the man who drilled the first oil well. Nevertheless, I choose not to believe that my extended family is personally responsible for Global Warming. I prefer, instead, to think about how old Edwin Drake stuck a spear in the domestic whaling industry.

What's your familial link to history?


Favorite movies dealing with religion: “Nothing beats 'Saved!',” wrote Donna August. “Funniest strike at religion in a long while.” She bought a copy for a relative she suspected might resent the depiction of life at a church-sponsored high school. Her forecast proved to be accurate.

Wayne Pomerleau mentioned “A Man for All Seasons” from 1966. “For its compelling representation of the view that one's duty to God and conscience can take precedence over civil law and loyalty to political authority, friendship and human relationships.”


One excellent way to set the stage for slapstick comedy: Fiddle with a sprinkler head while the underground watering system is on and the head in question is part of a line currently activated. One moment the head seems clogged and refusing to allow even a dribble. And then, in the next, it pops off and a geyser finds your face.


How to feel old yet flattered: Learn that someone you have known since she was a preschooler has written a piece for publication that mentions you in passing.


Warm-up questions: Do you know anyone whose email personality is extremely off-putting but who is actually a pretty decent sort in person? How much time do you spend deleting junk phonemail at home? Has a mail carrier ever complimented your landscaping? Who holds the record for asking you the most times if you watch a certain show that you have never seen?  


Today's Slice question: What do your co-workers wish you would stop talking about? 

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email On this day in 1963, an episode of “The Twilight Zone” called “Of Late I Think of Cliffordville” first aired. It featured the late Albert Salmi, who lived in Spokane at the time of his death.

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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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