Arrow-right Camera


The Slice: Mysteries of extended families

Sun., Nov. 25, 2012, midnight

Hey, kids!

If you have spent the past few days in the company of your extended family, you probably have some questions. Let’s get right to them.

Q: Why do my older relatives yell when getting up out of a chair?

A: That’s not really yelling. Let’s call it sighing or gently exclaiming about the effort required to get moving. Once a person has reached a certain age, the body begins to favor inertia. Saying “ooof!” helps.

Q: This house smells weird. What is that?

A: That’s a mystery modern science has yet to unravel.

Q: My mother and her mother love each other more than any two people in the world. So why do they often look as if they want to pick up a carving knife and plunge it into the other?

A: Love can be complicated.

Q: Why does everyone call it “Grammy’s medicine” when we all know it is 100-proof booze?

A: That just sounds better than most of the reality-based alternatives.

Q: What does it mean when Grandma says she is getting one of her sick headaches?

A: It means Grandpa had best lay low for a while.

Q: When Grandma refers to her having “the misery,” what is she talking about?

A: Life with Grandpa.

Q: Why did we even bother coming to Spokane if all anyone is going to do is sit around and watch football on TV?

A: Why indeed.

Q: Whenever someone asks my dad what happened to him in the war, Uncle Delbert changes the subject. What gives?

A: Your uncle knows some things about your father that the others don’t, and that is his way of protecting his brother.

Q: How do those snarling tigers get in the house late at night?

A: Those aren’t tigers. That’s your aunt snoring.

Generation gap: “We were playing a 20 questions-like game with our 11-year-old niece, Angela,” wrote Barbara Graham.

Several times the adults asked, “Is it bigger than a bread box?”

But Angela did not hear that quite right, and she found herself wondering why the older folks kept comparing everything to a Redbox DVD rental kiosk.

“Gotta love family game night,” said Graham.

Today’s Slice question: What sort of office Christmas party can you have if you work from home?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email If Jim Clanton ran Spokane International Airport he would bring back the polar bear.

Tags: The Slice

Click here to comment on this story »