Features

The Slice: To fall fans, it’s too early to let weather guard down

Sure, next week’s Labor Day holiday and the start of school are the classic signs of seasonal transition.

But autumnal equinox buffs would remind you that, officially speaking, there are almost four weeks left in summer. Still time to, well, that’s up to you.

Anyone who remembers how hot it got here in early September 1988 can tell you there’s no need to haul out the jackets just yet.

What if it were called …: Barn Owl Out in the Park, Emu Out in the Park, Hyena Out in the Park, Lemming Out in the Park, Meerkat Out in the Park, Shark Out in the Park, Dormouse Out in the Park …

OK, your turn.

Fresh from the verb garden: Mike Storms noted that younger servers at restaurants now say “grab” instead of “get.”

That made me wonder how certain book or movie titles would sound if “Grab” replaced “Get.”

I’ll open the bidding with “Grab Shorty.”

Today’s Slice question: A friend was walking his dogs last week when an older woman approaching from the other direction stopped and asked, “Are they tame?”

How would you have answered? A) “No. They are barely evolved from prehistoric wolves.” B) “I understand what you are asking, lady. So I can tell you that they have never bitten anyone. Still, it’s wise to remember that all animals are unpredictable. Of course, unlike people, there’s virtually no chance that they would ever inflict emotional injury.” C) “Aren’t you really asking if I am one of those clueless dog owners in deep denial about the temperament of their irascible animals? Aren’t you really asking if I am one of those nitwits who, after my dogs lunge and snarl at you, will fix you with a hostile, mystified gaze and accusatorily ask, ‘What did you do?’ ” D) “Well, they aren’t really circus performers. But they have a long record of peacefully sharing the sidewalk.” E) “Define ‘tame.’ ” F) “Not really.” G) “Are you?” H) “Well, they have bold spirits and an unbridled zest for life, but they usually tolerate petting from strangers.” I) “Yes.” J) “So far.” K) Other.

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. Spirit Lake’s Phyllis Berry goes by “Chickie,” a nickname that honors her grandfather known as “Chick.”


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