May 5, 2009 in Features

The Slice: Landing in unfamiliar territory

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Let’s get right to it.

Agree or disagree: This area might be one of the few places outside the South where Air Force retirees are often less conservative than much of the civilian population.

•Have you noticed: That coveted reporter’s notebooks have been getting a lot of screen time in recent movies?

•Spokane and Seattle: “Having lived in both places for about equal amounts of time (nine years here, about 10 there) and being theoretically neutral (grew up in Oregon, lived overseas in the meantime), I’m surprised to find that I hear many more disparaging comments about ‘those people on the coast’ from Inland Northwesterners than I ever heard about Spokane from Seattleites,” wrote Rick Upp, who works for a high-tech company.

“Certainly there’s a lot of misinformation about Spokane circulating around the West side (WSU is not next door, we don’t all have moose in our yard – well, I did that once…, et cetera), but most of it isn’t malicious.

“When I did hear uncomplimentary remarks by a few, it was usually about the limited cultural activities or shopping available or about a perceived colloquial quality to the area. Ironically, those are the same comments I’ve heard from co-workers in LA about Seattle. And they sound a lot like the comments I’ve heard from Spokanites about Moses Lake, Colville or Rathdrum. In fact, they sound like the same comments I heard from people in Eugene about Springfield or Junction City (while complaining about the attitude of the snobbish folks in Portland).

“I guess we can always seek to identify our community in comparison to those snobbish people in the next large city over who think they’re better than us and to the hickish small towns around us. Or we can just learn to love our community for all of its qualities and not worry about what other people think (which usually isn’t half as bad as we imagine it is).”

•Slice answer: Here’s what Karmen Isitt thinks about while walking the dog.

“You have got to be kidding! You need to poop again?”

She refers to clean-up duty as her ab workout. (No, she didn’t mean to say “Lab” workout. Her dog is a bichon frise.)

•Overheard: Guys around here often begin statements about friends with the clunky, “I got a buddy of mine who …”

That could be improved with a little rewording. But maybe it’s more important to have comrades than to speak in an elegant manner.

•Today’s Slice question: How often do you hear parents of large families pre-emptively volunteer that they are not practitioners of certain religions?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509)459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail pault@spokesman.com. For previous Slice columns, see www.spokesman.com/columnists. Who said to John Lennon, “You’re a swine”?

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