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The Slice: Good time to propose a few counteroffers

Fri., April 5, 2013

There is a chance that someone you know in another part of the country is about to float a proposal.

“Hey, we’re going to be in Seattle in June. Why don’t you come over and meet us for dinner?”

Or, “I’ve got a conference in Portland this summer, why don’t you head over and hang out?”

Let’s assume that these nice people understand that Spokane isn’t really right next to either of those cities. Still, from the perspective of someone in Pennsylvania or Georgia, the cities all being in the Northwest constitutes reasonable proximity.

And as it happens, you might well want to take them up on the offer. Seattle and Portland can be interesting places to visit, after all.

But what if you would really like to see these folks but don’t especially feel like making that trip anytime soon?

You could come up with a counteroffer.

Here are half a dozen possibilities.

1. “Hey, I know. Why don’t you use some of your frequent-flyer miles and stop in Spokane on your way back East? We can zip over to Glacier National Park. I’ll show you how to pick up a grizzly bear cub.”

2. “You need to rent a car and come here. It’s just 300 miles. I’ve already signed you up for my Hoopfest team.”

3. “If we get together here instead, we can jaunt over to the Custer battlefield and you can purchase a T-shirt.”

4. “Why not come over here after you are done with gray skies? There’s a supposedly great new restaurant I want to try before it closes.”

5. “Let’s get together here in Spokane and I’ll give you the unauthorized Bing Crosby misspent youth tour.”

6. “If you were a real friend, you would come here and pump some money into our economy.”

No? OK, I’ll send a coveted reporter’s notebook to a reader or two coming up with better ideas.

Warm-up question: How did growing up where you did inform your perspective on what constitutes a “long” car trip?

Today’s Slice question: When you park your vehicle near a trailhead, to what extent do you expect to find that it has been broken into when you return?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email A sophisticated Inland Northwesterner could be said to have not just fallen off a (     ) truck.

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