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The Slice: In sirens’ defense, they were pretty distinctive

Those who grew up hearing weekly tests of Civil Defense sirens sometimes feel nostalgic about that sound.

Now nobody except defense contractors and a few people in towns where there used to be Air Force bases misses the Cold War, of course. But it was sort of reassuring to hear those noon sirens and silently register that, yes, we’re still here.

It’s always good to be reminded.

Etiquette Q and A: “Recently my 13-year-old son and I were trying to outdo each other, in very manly ways, and we came to a dilemma that we cannot figure an answer for,” wrote Mitch Jensen on behalf of himself and son Jack. “If you burp and, while burping, you burp the words ‘Excuse me,’ do you have to say the words again after the burp?”

Not unless you also say, “Get any on you?”

Don’t call us …: Mike Storms received an email from a national family-dining restaurant chain with several eateries in the Spokane area. It contained a link to an online survey. He decided to go ahead and take it.

“The first question was age group, so I clicked ‘65+’ and then ‘Next.’

“The next page thanked me for taking the survey and told me how much they valued my input.”

Done. Goodbye.

Storms laughed, but could not help but suspect that he must be too old to matter to that chain.

An offer that’s easy to refuse: Jeff Clausen drove past a panhandler in downtown Spokane. The guy had a sign that read “Got stress? Yell & scream at me — $1.”

That panhandler certainly didn’t invent that one. But it does make you wonder. If you were so inclined, which I suspect you are not, what would you shout at him?

“Your proposal does not move us toward a more civil society, you know!”

“The redistribution of wealth you advocate is tantamount to socialism!”

“Yelling seldom makes things better!”

You are not the only one who: Refers to his or her workplace as Cyberdyne or Initech.

Today’s Slice question: When you were a kid, what did you pack for yourself in preparation for a family road-trip vacation?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email At some point, people taking almost competitive pride in not getting pop culture references becomes a bit tedious.

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