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The Slice: Time to negotiate the great divide

It’s not really a prisoner exchange.

But this is the week when members of Washington families divided by the Cascades cross the mountains to celebrate Thanksgiving with relatives on the opposite side of the state.

Some in our area head west and descend on relatives living near Puget Sound. Others, West Side residents, travel in our direction.

To help everyone get along, The Slice has six tips on harmoniously conversing with family members (including in-laws) from the other side of the mountains.

1. When a West Sider expresses surprise that Spokane residents wear shoes, folks from hereabouts should not be offended. It could be a simple misunderstanding prompted by that “Near nature” slogan.

2. When a Spokane area resident refers to Seattle as “the most self-impressed place on God’s green earth,” visiting wine-snob West Siders should not take umbrage. Sometimes the truth hurts. Ouch. Sorry!

3. When someone who lives near Puget Sound smiles and observes that Eastern Washington reminds him of “Deliverance,” there’s no need for anyone to get upset. Any Spokane area resident in the room should just politely say, “But I thought you Seattle guys were really into that whole ‘Squeal like a pig for me’ thing.”

4. When an Inland Northwesterner says it must be depressing for West Siders to realize that they have virtually no chance of a white Christmas, that should not be heard by Seattle folks as a put-down. The West Siders in the conversation should simply show everyone the price tags on their expensive new sweaters.

5. West Siders can contribute to everyone getting along by not bringing up fluoride, mullets, all-you-can-eat buffets, rusted trucks on lawns or the impotence of the Eastern Washington vote in statewide elections.

6. Spokane area residents can do the right thing by admitting that our mountains are less majestic and by choosing a word other than “dank” to characterize the West Side’s moldy climate.


Today’s Slice question: How hard have you and your spouse accidentally bonked your heads together in bed?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Still time to enter to win two tickets to next Saturday’s GU basketball game. Check The Slice Blog at for details.

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