Features


The Slice: We already know where to find baloney

FRIDAY, FEB. 3, 2012

You might have heard the old saw about men not being willing to ask for help finding things in stores.

Well, that’s baloney.

Perhaps it’s true in certain cases. But other men actively enjoy asking.

Yes, it can save time and reduce wandering. That’s not the only reason, though.

There is something satisfying about giving a truly on-the-ball store clerk a chance to show his or her stuff.

“Shower curtains?”

“Aisle 11. On the B side.”

This is especially entertaining when in a big store and the employee you approach is nowhere near the department that is the likely home of the item in question.

You get to watch the clerk scrunch up his face and cogitate until arriving at the answer: “Aisle 6, near the coffee. Be happy to show you.”

Not every store clerk is a ball of fire, of course. A few are walking reasons to shop elsewhere.

But there are a lot of good ones in Spokane. They know their stores and are not afraid of a challenge.

No, this is not life or death. Still, there’s something about encountering excellence that brightens your day and gives you hope that competence hasn’t lost the battle with “Whatever.”

There can be a gamelike aspect to it, too. You see, some clerks can’t be stumped. And they project a friendly version of “bring it on.”

“Kale?”

“Fresh, frozen or in the can?”

Slice answers (remembering to turn off your car lights before dark): “Many years ago I took a hint from Paul Harvey, a longtime national newscaster,” wrote Mary Jo Sattler. “He said under the conditions that you described, put a clothespin on your vehicle key. That way, when you go to turn off your engine, you will see the clothespin and know what it is for.”

Joan Nolan told about being pulled over for speeding by a female officer. “She asked why I had a clothespin attached to my key ring. I explained that it was to remind me to turn the lights off when I parked.”

The officer responded, “That’s something my mother would do” and let Nolan off with a warning.

Today’s Slice question: Where were you surprised to discover a Lego piece?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. The password is “dry fingertips.”

 
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