September 25, 2011 in Features

The Slice: Forgettable faces sound familiar?

By The Spokesman-Review

You are not alone.

Many of us have a difficult time recognizing people we encounter outside their usual contexts. I consider myself something of an expert on this. That’s because I get a fair number of “That guy seems familiar” glances that, in turn, force me to wonder if I know the person looking my way.

So perhaps it would help all of us to review what I call the 5 Stages of Do I Know You?

1. Denial — Nah, that can’t be my dentist wearing a shirt that says “I’ve fallen and can’t reach my beer.”

2. Anger — Darn! Why can’t I ever be sure about faces? Grrrrr.

3. Bargaining — I’ll make a deal with the gods of facial recognition. If I smile and she smiles back, we can start inching toward one another and maybe eventually one of us will remember a name.

4. Depression — Something is wrong with me. Every time I go out to get some milk, I see people I think I might know. But not everyone likes to be approached and informed that they are not especially memorable. So the best thing is to just stay in bed.

5. Acceptance — Maybe I have prosopagnosia, that syndrome where you can’t recognize faces. Or maybe my memory is shot. Whatever.

Today’s Spokabulary comes from Slice reader Pamela Stark: Spokandyland: Where old families of the area live who have already made their fortune.

Spokant: An overall feeling of malaise and inferiority to Seattle or anywhere else with fluoridated water.

Spokantucky: Duct tape fenders and garbage bags where once there were car windows.

Slice answer: When Ray Blowers was a Spokane Valley high school teacher there was stealing from the staff refrigerator. So one victim made a special batch of chocolate chip cookies to put in the fridge. These tempting treats featured a few rabbit droppings in with the chips.

And, yes, the cookies were swiped.

Today’s Slice question: Aren’t you proud to know social service volunteers who seldom mention their volunteering?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email If you want nothing to do with computers of any kind, you don’t have to check out The Slice Blog at Others, however, might want to peruse the modest birthday salute to Cheryl Tiegs.

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