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The Slice: All you need is love … and Rich Landers

Fri., April 6, 2012

My colleague Rich Landers was on the phone, talking outdoors stuff with a fisherman.

As they were hanging up, the caller surprised Rich with his sign-off.

“Love you,” said the angler.

Not “Love your stuff” or “Love what you do.” No. The guy said “Love you.”

Rich found this mildly amusing, as anyone would. But he realized what had happened.

The fisherman, no doubt accustomed to spending a fair amount of time on the phone with family members, simply lost track of who he had called. So instead of offering the sort of goodbye one might ordinarily utter after speaking to an outdoors editor about lunkers or walleyes, the guy slipped into talking-to-family afterthought mode.

“Love you.”

It isn’t the first time this has happened, of course. A few years ago, S-R reporter Tom Clouse was on the phone with a female colleague who worked in a different office. Let’s call her Nina.

When they were hanging up, Tom momentarily spaced out the fact that he had not been chatting with his wife.

“Love you,” he said to the other reporter.

Hey, talk about excellent newsroom morale.

Not long after hanging up, Tom realized what he had said. So he called Nina back to qualify his admiration for her. But not before several of their colleagues had heard about his moment of misspeaking. All looked forward to robustly giving Mr. Love a hard time.

Have you ever had a mental lapse and tacked a personal goodbye onto a strictly business call?

The Slice’s annual Earth Day ranking of the planets: OK, I realize I am a few weeks early. But I don’t want to wait until everybody and his brother is ranking the planets.

9. Pluto: Still in denial about having been relegated to a lower league. 8. Mercury: But it’s a dry heat. 7. Jupiter: The size is there, but there are doubts about its mobility. 6. Neptune: Zero bike lanes. 5. Uranus: Wants to change name to Shakira. 4. Venus: Quiet neighbor. “Kept to herself.” 3. Mars: The original “Back east.” 2. Saturn: Looking good, as always, 1. Earth: Still the best place to find bargains.

Today’s Slice question: What is your favorite movie that deals with religion?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email The first story I wrote for the S-R was about Easter and several readers were upset that I included a quote from a Mormon.

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