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The Slice: Keep the ‘yabbos’ to yourself

Thu., Oct. 6, 2011

Here are the do’s and don’ts of reacting to decades-old photos of a friend, co-worker or relative.

Do: Say “What a nice smile.”

Don’t: Use the expression “Major league yabbos.”

Do: Remember that fashions change.

Don’t: Say to a brother in-law or sister in-law, “Oh, I definitely would have done you.”

Do: Venture that any cat or dog in the picture obviously likes the person.

Don’t: Be the first to ask if the individual in the picture was stoned.

Do: Remember, when complimenting the person’s appearance in the picture, to add that the individual remains quite becoming to this day.

Don’t: Belabor the fact that someone went bald since the picture was taken.

Do: Ask, “What do you wish you knew then that you know now?”

Don’t: Comment on weight change unless you’re certain that the person in the photo would be disappointed if you didn’t.

Do: Feel free to use words such as “dignified” or “intelligence.”

Don’t: Say out loud, at least not in a mocking way, that the person obviously took fashion cues from Madonna or “Miami Vice.”

Do: Note resemblance to the person’s children, if applicable.

Don’t: Say “Was that the shortest skirt in the history of Spokane?” or “Were you doing time?”

Do: Talk about the person’s appealing eyes.

Don’t: Say “Good grief, what happened?” or speculate about plastic surgery that might have taken place in the intervening years.

Slice answer: In the matter of this area’s most popular contributions to potluck suppers, Jerry McConnell noted that it seems like organizers always request that you bring a hot dish.

So he said that, for 42 years, he has been bringing his wife, Pauline, to potlucks.

Today’s Slice question: Who in the Inland Northwest is most like the Wicked Witch of the West when it comes to reacting poorly to getting doused with some water or, as the case may be, having to endure a little rain?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email That’s the signpost up ahead — your next stop, The Slice Blog at We have place names based on Upriver and Downriver, but what about the part in between?

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