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The Slice: Call them unofficial costume parties

Fri., Feb. 4, 2011

Does this count as baby-sitter snooping?

You make the call.

When Fran Menzel was a teenager, she did a lot of baby-sitting. One of her families included a mother who made costumes for local theater productions.

“Each time I sat for them, as soon as the boys were asleep, I made a beeline for her sewing room,” wrote Menzel.

She then proceeded to check out the costumes, including elegant Victorian outfits. “I tried on each one, parading myself in front of the mirror and pretending to be a great lady. Every clunk of the heating system sent me into a panic, thinking they had come home.”

As far as she knows, she was never found out.

Secret talent: Arloine Brown is able to write in a perfectly neat cursive script that just happens to be backward or upside down.

Slice answers: “I believe I know one field where being good-looking is not only not an asset but in all likelihood a probable liability,” wrote George X. Hale. “I speak, of course, of ‘blues musician.’

“If you have a chance to pick up this month’s copy of ‘Inside Blues’ published by the Inland Empire Blues Society, scan the photos throughout, particularly page 4 where I appear and am briefly mentioned. I rest my case.”

Walt Lindgren’s list of jobs where being good-looking doesn’t really help includes truck driver, plumber, roofer, miner, mechanic, machinist, carpenter, police officer, able seaman, letter carrier and print or radio journalist, among quite a few others.

Benefit for the Women’s and Children’s Free Restaurant: To find out about the upcoming fundraising festival of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at Mount Spokane on Sunday morning, check out

What a blue-chip high school athlete should look for in a scholarship-offering university: “A college town with the best tattoo parlors,” wrote John J. Weimer.

Today’s Slice question: Does anyone in Spokane crash Super Bowl parties?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail In a calendar-quirk nod to the disposition of real life, Valentine’s Day is on a Monday this year.

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