Posts tagged: Wednesday Slice question
How do you decide when to first use your fireplace?
A) When it gets cold. B) We don't have a fireplace. C) Frost on the pumpkin. D) When my fingers feel like knotty pine. E) When I can see my breath. F) Halloween night. G) When my spouse/significant other says “Say, wouldn't it be nice to have a fire.” H) I wait for the first air-quality burning ban. I) We usually wait for Thanksgiving, and because we always forget to open the flue the turkey isn't the only thing that gets smoked. J) The first day I go skiing. K) After I remember to buy a petro-log. L) When I'm finally ready to admit that summer is over. M) Other.
About which of the following do you wish you had better knowledge?
A) Trees. B) Old movies. C) Northwest history. D) Jazz. E) The economic and social forces that led to the 1950 list of America's 20 largest metropolitan areas being radically changed by 2000. F) Math. G) Car engines. H) Abnormal psychology. I) The secrets of selling that do not involve being a total phony. J) Childhood diseases. K) The night sky. L) Using power tools. M) World War II. N) The New Testament. O) Baseball between 1946 and 1964. P) Birds. Q) Cooking. R) Plumbing. S) Computers. T) Gardening. U) Wine. V) A second language. W) Opera. X) Sailing.Y) Investing. Z) Other.
There's something to be said for the stability and familiarity of staying in one home or one part of town. But what do you learn about the Spokane area from living in several different neighborhoods over the years?
A) This Part of Town vs. That Part of Town rivalries and resentments are not really a big deal. B) For all their apparent sameness, grocery stores have interesting little quirks. C) You see magpies in some corners of the Spokane area but not in others. D) With the exception of a few pockets here and there, the politics tend to be similar to what you might find in Oklahoma or Alabama. E) House-value homogeneity varies wildly from neighborhood to neighborhood. F) No one neighborhood has a monopoly on people who mostly want to be left alone. G) Attitudes about the usefulness of Interstate 90 vary. H) You find out if your allegiance to certain restaurants and stores had more to do with proximity than anything else. I) Spokane is 5% more diverse than many imagine. J) There are people originally from Butte, Montana, everywhere. K) Spokane is 5% less diverse than many imagine. L) You will always encounter people from the office if you call in sick and then go out to pick up some ice cream. M) Other.
Here's an end-of-summer rerun. (Actually, I have asked this many times. So it's really more of a re-rerun. But it could be argued that it is the essential Spokane question.)
Is Spokane big enough to offer the attractions and benefits of a city without being dragged down by the drawbacks of the urban experience … or is it not really large enough to generate the upside of city life but is still home to the hassles and social ills often associated with metropolitan America?
A) The former. Most of the people who complain about the lack of culture here never leave home. B) The latter. Places like Portland or Minneapolis — or, for that matter, Bozeman, Bend, Logan or Flagstaff – would be a better bet. C) Neither. D) Depends on how much money you have. E) Not that simple. Are you more interested in kayaking or in foreign films? F) Your health, family happiness and income security are all that matter regardless of where you live. G) Does medical specialists and college basketball count as culture? H) It's the former. I can show you the ticket stubs. And I don't think our crime situation is “Let's move to a gated community” bad. I) It's the latter. People here talk about diversity as if it's just a race thing. But its real magic is holding open the possibility that, on any given day, you will meet someone whose life experiences and perspectives are altogether unlike your own. I don't find that here. J) It's a little of both. K) Spokane would be fine if people just realized that nothing here — good, bad or in between — is unique. L) Spokane would be fine if people really understood why family members who moved to the West Side are not dying to come back. M) Other.
I read somewhere that not long ago a chain of apparel stores came out with a sports sweatshirt that included an astonishing number of mistakes.
Reportedly, in saluting some long-ago football championship, it confused the American Football Conference with the old American Football League. And it referred to the Houston Texans in a context in which either the Dallas Texans (old AFL) or Houston Oilers (AFL then NFL and now in Tennessee as the Titans) would have been closer to correct. I think there were other errors, too.
But if you aren't obligated to get things right, coming up with text for commemorative sports sweathsirts could be sort of fun.
“Spokane Canaries: 1916 Stanley Cup Champions”
“4ever Zags: 2002 NCAA Final Four”
“Cougs Threepeat: WSU Rose Bowl Wins — 1997-1998-1999”
“Spokane Indians: AAA Champs 2005”
And so on.
So here's the question.
If you were not bound by the restrictions of reality, what would like to see on a sports shirt?
If your neighborhood is infested with campaign signs for political candidates you sincerely believe to be repugnant, what goes through your mind as you survey this thicket of baffling (or not so baffling) front-yard endorsements on your way to and from home?
A) “I need to get my own signs.” B) “I am a stranger in a strange land.” C) “Democracy is swell.” D) “Why did we pick this area?” E) “Don't really care. Politics wouldn't even make my Top 20 when it comes to things I actually care about.” F) “I like being a nonconformist.” G) “Is there something in the water here?” H) “Thank God I live in an era when people don't actually know their neighbors.” I) “I need to remind my kids that moving away is a time-honored American tradition.” J) “To each his own.” K) “Maybe I need to go door-to-door around here and offer these benighted saps the benefit of my wisdom.” L) Other.
Today's Slice question: I don't know how it started. It was some sort of inside joke, but the origins elude me now. Must have been our shared mocking of some insanely angry behavior we had witnessed or heard about.
Anyway, years ago, I used to be able to make a former colleague laugh by giving her the finger from a block away when I caught sight of her downtown.
Of course, those who weren't in our little joke might have misunderstood. They could have wondered just what I had against that nice Kristina Johnson, the colleague in question.
This came to mind recently because of another humor styling.
When I'm slowly riding my bike up the South Hill after work, a friend who is an STA driver often pretends for a few seconds as if he is going to run into me head-on.
I get a kick out of this. And sometimes he manages to surprise me. (From a distance, I cannot tell that he is behind the wheel.)
But lately I have found myself wondering. What would this make-believe collision course look like to an onlooker?
“Did you see what that bus driver did? I'll bet he's drunk. That old guy on the bike is lucky to be alive.”
So here's the question.
Are you now or have you ever been part of an acted-out inside joke that almost certainly would be misinterpreted by the uninitiated?