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The Slice: It’s your reality

Readers help make 2008 a year worth reviewing

Sure, the election and the economy came up a time or two in 2008.

You might have heard those themes mentioned.

But it’s a funny thing. A lot of real life doesn’t get reflected in the typical year-in-review summary. Those big-picture recaps tend to overlook the little things we actually think about and discuss in the course of a normal day.

Well, that stuff is The Slice’s bread and butter. So what if, just for a change, we look back on the year from the perspective of the reality not reflected on the front page or nightly news?

Let’s speed-scan almost a year’s worth of columns and recall just a little of what was on the minds of Slice readers.

OK, here we go:

In early January, Bob Strong told about his tactic for dealing with oncoming sidewalk hogs who show no signs of intending the share the space. (He signals with body language and facial expression that he has no intention of stepping aside. People get the message and move over.)

A couple of days later, Slice readers listed local public figures whose names sound like those of porn actors. You know, Randy Mann, Steve Corker, Annette Plese …

In mid-January, the subject of ballcaps came up. Will guys in Spokane wear them to a funeral? Pat O’Neal described this casual look as part of the “stupid Northwest fashion sense.”

A few days later, readers nominated people deserving of the title “Best Parallel Parker in the Inland Northwest.” Dave Holtzheimer of Colfax endorsed his wife, Sandy.

Sue Robinson told about how she uses those “Hello! My name is ___” stickers to label leftovers in her fridge.

Then Betty Hanson said she has no use for people who want you to remove your shoes before entering their home.

And in the matter of Spokane’s best buildings, Molly Spencer was kind enough to say the Review Tower was her favorite.

Early in February, Walt Jakubowski shared an idea for a T-shirt slogan: “I got plowed in Spokane.”

On Feb. 7, Cindy Magi was one of the winners of The Slice’s Snowman contest.

Then readers discussed who gets priority in their households when it comes to favorite chairs – the pets or the humans. In Kathy Morse’s home, the people move if Becky the dog wants their spot.

In March, Cheney’s Kelly Reinlasoder shared a Spokane-ized threat: “Don’t make me go marmot on your (fill in the blank).”

Then, in April, we learned that friends of Kate Brooks think her throat-clearing sounds like a mountain lion’s roar. They have been known to say “Go, Cougs!” after hearing her.

Ira W. Gardner went on record as saying he will always say “Inland Empire,” never “Inland Northwest.”

Then a parent who shall remain anonymous volunteered that not all young boys intuitively understand how to wear a jockstrap and protective cup.

On April 24, readers shared thoughts about what a potential product named “Spokane” might be. Doug Durham suggested it could be an affordable bicycle.

In early May, Slice correspondents took turns defining “marmot” when used as a verb.

Dave Wolfe said an old-timey Spokane travel pennant could say “Almost Idaho.”

There was some confusion about whether a kid in Betsy Weigle’s fourth-grade class had seen some Mormons at Riverfront Park. Turned out to be marmots.

Mary Alyce Konesky said Fish Lake is either the dullest or most inspired lake name.

Deborah Chan said it’s no fun when a flying bug sticks to your lipstick.

In June, Gary Wisben wondered which of the Seven Dwarfs Spokane residents relate to most.

Then Karen Mobley guessed that Lincoln County might be the most tattoo-free local county.

Lynn Knight thought she heard KREM’s Tom Sherry refer to “nipple-sized” hail. (He had said “nickel.”)

Connie Jensen wondered if others take it personally when people boarding a crowded STA bus choose not to sit next to them.

In July, Kay Stoltz told about a robust tomato plant sprouted from a crack in a downtown gutter.

Then, in August, Deer Park’s Jane Swett shared a longstanding disagreement she has had with her husband, Dave. It seems he thinks that when making a sandwich, the order in which you stack on ingredients makes a big difference. She doesn’t. (Readers agreed with Dave.)

Rick O’Conner told of feeling weird about driving his mom’s car, which was adorned with a sticker that said “Foxy Grandma.”

Kelli Davis said Spokane’s hidden talent is the ability to make strangers feel welcome.

Early in September, readers took turns suggesting actresses who could play Mayor Mary Verner in a set-in-Spokane disaster flick.

The hardest time to maintain friendships? Middle-schooler Lauren Allen said “middle school.”

Steve Trapp said he gets tired of hearing Spokane described as a small town: “I have lived in small towns, and know that Spokane is not.”

Janessa Todd reported that she enjoys watching a decent demolition derby but doesn’t care for 99 percent of the others who do.

When the subject of the Inland Northwest accent came up, Bev Hatch noted that when she was visiting Australia everyone thought she was Canadian.

Stacy Vickers-Johnson told about rescuing a meowing cat named Poundcake that had been trapped beneath an old house during a renovation.

On Sept. 29, Dana Eberly outlined the no-kill spider-relocation program at her house.

Several readers said buying too-small clothes is not an effective method of inspiring weight loss.

In October, Lisa Thompson won a coveted reporter’s notebook for knowing that the former Spokane TV weather person who went by the name Laura Ashley was once Miss Alaska.

It was still autumn back when Charlie Greenwood predicted that winter would not make him stop riding his bicycle. Karen Buck said it would not make her stop wearing her Birkenstocks without socks.

In the matter of naming pets after area towns, Bob Curry said Endicott would be a good name for a basset hound.

Maia Newell-Large listed some of the assumptions she encounters because of her hyphenated last name.

A Ferris High freshman wanted help choosing a “croissant” for his homecoming-dance date. He then learned the word “corsage.”

Jerry Sheehan described his family’s practice of naming pets after towns in Montana.

In November, James Dodds recalled how a young, timid family dog stood up to some larger canines to defend a little boy.

Denise Chamberlain found a yellow “Thank you” sticker in her birdbath.

We heard about how a 3-year-old son of vegetarians thought croissants were this “turkey” he had been hearing so much about.

Earlier this month, Slice readers learned about a 3-year-old named Ainsley who was explaining a tabletop Nativity display to her dad. She referred to the star of the show as “the baby genius.”

Then Jim Clanton recalled trying to start a car on frigid mornings back before auto engines took their cues from computer chips. You had to give it enough gas but not too much.

Oh, wait. That item doesn’t appear until tomorrow.

So enough looking back already. Let’s move on.

But don’t forget to keep in touch.

Today’s Slice question: Will 2009 be your year to show up in The Slice?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail Another successful year for the Marmot Lodge – zero meetings.

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