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The Slice: Some newspaper traditions are best left undisturbed

Tue., March 9, 2010

Every year at about this time, a few Slice readers of a certain age suggest that I steal an old idea.

Long ago, Spokane newspaper columnist Myrtle Gaylord gave a dollar each spring to the first kid who brought a buttercup to her desk. And there are those who think I should pick up the torch, so to speak.

Slice reader Robert Brown wrote me just the other day and suggested I update that tradition by giving out a coveted reporter’s notebook.

As always, I appreciate the thought. It’s a sweet notion. But here are just a few reasons why that buttercup deal might not work in 2010.

For one thing, the kid would have to get past security to come anywhere near my desk. And that’s not going to happen.

Even if the guard called me and I went down to meet the flower-toting child in the Review Tower lobby, the whole happy buttercup vibe is apt to be lost.

Then there’s the simple fact that yours truly wouldn’t know a buttercup from a daffodil. People are just now forgetting about the time The Slice ran a picture of a prairie dog and called it a marmot. I don’t need another scandal, especially if I can’t blame the page designer.

And let’s not ignore the sad truth that some parents in this day and age don’t hesitate to give their kids a bit too much help with various projects. How could I have any confidence that little Duhkotah actually tracked down the buttercup himself?

Moreover, I suspect modern kids wouldn’t bestir themselves in order to win either a dollar or a reporter’s notebook.

Sure, I could offer a bigger prize. But then the child who came in second would cry foul. Soon I would find myself giving depositions in a lawsuit.

No, thanks.

As we say here in Sliceland, let’s move on.

Today’s Slice question: Will the person running your office NCAA pool next week be drunk with power?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail We spring ahead this coming weekend.

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