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The Slice: Arrrr you ready for the big day?

Sun., Sept. 9, 2012

‘Talk Like a Pirate Day” is coming up.

Arrrrrrrr your head off, if that amuses you.

But if you are among those who think that particular occasion has played itself out, I have a suggestion.

How about “Talk Like Walter Neff Day”?

Neff, of course, is the insurance salesman who gets lured into a murder plot in the 1944 film noir classic, “Double Indemnity.”

He has a briefcase full of memorable lines. And it might be entertaining to recycle these Neffisms in everyday life.

I’ll show you how.

If, on a hot weekend afternoon, someone asks if you would like a glass of water or tea: “Yeah, unless you got a bottle of beer that’s not working.”

If someone is taking forever to tell a story or suggesting that you need to address an unpleasant task: “Do I laugh now or wait ’til it gets funny?”

If you are in the kitchen and have just handed someone a beverage: “See if you can carry this as far as the living room.”

If a question of spelling arises: “Yeah. Two ‘F’s, like in Philadelphia.”

If someone has suggested you should leave or that you are going to be late: “You bet I’ll get out of here, baby. I’ll get out of here but quick.”

If a situation dissolves into some sort of a last-straw scenario: “That tears it.”

If you want to amuse a loved one who is totally familiar with “Double Indemnity”: “Shut up, baby.”

Slice answer: In the matter of competing in high school against future professional athletes, Marvin Armstrong noted that quite a few Eastern Washington boys did just that when lining up against LaCrosse’s LaVern Torgeson.

Torgeson played for the Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins in the 1950s.

Today’s Slice question: Those Slice readers who volunteer that they dislike me and my work often enjoy suggesting that the only possible explanation for me keeping my job is that I must have some dirt on the family that owns this newspaper. That sometimes makes me wonder. What do they imagine those skeletons in the closet might be?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email You don’t really know someone until you have a clear idea of what his or her hair looked like as an 18-year-old.

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