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The Slice: They may bug, but they don’t bite

Not everyone in our area welcomes newcomers with open arms.

But it’s good to remember that transplants from other parts of the country serve an important function in Inland Northwest life.

It’s their job to remind natives and those who have lived in these parts for a long time that the bugs really aren’t bad here.

They are all but required to say, “This is nothing compared to Minnesota.”

Or, “If you think it’s buggy here, I guess you’ve never been hiking in the Adirondacks in August.”

This matters because the relative survivability of our summers – insectswise – is one of the things that make this a good place to live.

OK, it’s not like we don’t have any bugs here. As those who regularly go camping could tell you, there are plenty of little creatures out there more than willing to sting you, fly into your mouth, invade your picnic lunch or conduct an unauthorized blood-draw.

But it’s not as if we can’t step outside after sunset without wearing a Kevlar body suit.

Our dry climate might be hard on skin and hair. But it helps keep this area from being a jungle of buzzing biters.

So if newcomers want to brag about how ferocious the bugs were back in Wisconsin or Ohio, let them.

Losing that competition makes us the winners.

What they say vs. what you hear: Last week a friend noted that he was going to see “Wicked” with his wife. He was honest enough to acknowledge that he wasn’t really looking forward to it.

That made sense to me because, in my half-listening state, I thought he said they were going to “Wiccan.”

But, you know, I have never been to a Wiccan gathering. Maybe they are a lot of fun.

Warm-up question: Should Inland Northwest men be encouraged to wear kilts occasionally?

Today’s Slice question: Anyone who ever read Mad magazine is no doubt familiar with that publication’s writing and illustrations being credited to “The usual gang of idiots.”

Well, what local group would you describe that way?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; email If you moved to Seattle, you might not wind up with a place like the apartment with the mythical cityscape view in “Frasier.”

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