April 16, 2010 in Features

The Slice: Apparently, ethics code says ‘no hug’

By The Spokesman-Review

I ought to know better by now.

People gathering signatures for a petition either don’t understand or don’t believe me when I go into my spiel about not being able to sign because of a newsroom ethics-code policy.

It shouldn’t bother me. But when someone standing outside a store isn’t satisfied with a simple “No, thanks,” it’s tempting to offer an explanation.

This happened again last weekend. And let’s just say the woman with the clipboard appeared to have her doubts about my testimony. As if I would bother to make up a story like that.

I resisted the urge to demonstrate that I knew all about the ballot initiative in question and, in fact, am personally acquainted with some of those spearheading the drive.

But get this. As I’m walking out of that store a few minutes later, I see Ms. Clipboard zeroing in on another guy. He offers a different reason for not being able to sign.

“I’m a felon,” he says.

To this, Ms. Clipboard responds with a warm smile and all but pats him on the back.

A few minutes later, at another store, I see more signature-gatherers out front. It crosses my mind to falsely declare that I am a felon. Maybe I’d get a hug.

But on the off chance that someone would recognize me, that might not be a good idea.

So when Mr. Clipboard approaches, I just say, “I did this at the last store.”

Today’s Slice question: What’s the No. 1 reason so many women are dissatisfied with their natural hair color?

A) Boredom. B) Delusions about how life will be better with a different shade. C) Fear of being seen as old. D) American marketers have spent billions trying to make women feel insecure about their appearance. E) Because no one has had the guts to say, “You know, that dyed tint doesn’t look like a color that would occur in nature.” F) It’s a change that can be purchased for less than $100. G) Other.

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail pault@spokesman.com. Competitive advice-givers can ruin a baby shower.

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