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The Slice: Cross the line, and you’ll enter a world of pain

There is a chance peace talks will bog down.

Negotiations and diplomacy could fail.

And so, your neighborhood just might be the site of the Great Water Balloon War of 2013.

That leaves one question: If conflict breaks out, will you be ready?

You will if you follow The Slice’s 10 Simple Steps to Surviving a Water Balloon Battle this summer.

1. To avoid the dreaded self-dousing, do not overfill your balloons. Though it’s true that few things will amuse your fellow combatants more than having one go off, so to speak, while nestled against your chest.

2. Your throwing motion should be smooth and steady, not jerky. (See No. 1.)

3. Get close to your target. Hurling your balloon from long distance is a waste of ammo. Yes, this means you will put yourself in close proximity to enemy fire. But if that unnerves you, just remember: A coward dies a thousand times; a hero just gets soaked.

4. Those narrating the conflict in real time should use the word “carnage” and refer to the military strategy of Gen. Erwin Rommel and to the Battle of Culloden.

5. Don’t aim for the face. The idea is to have giddy fun, not demonstrate that you are a loathsome individual.

6. Remember it’s not a wet T-shirt contest, at least not that kind of wet T-shirt contest.

7. Don’t stand directly under second-story windows for extended periods.

8. Remember that hungry dinosaur that sneaks up behind the hunter in “Jurassic Park”? Be like that velociraptor. And if you find yourself on the wrong side of such an encounter, have the grace to say “clever girl” before getting ballooned.

9. Remember how Walter in “The Big Lebowski” compared the war in Vietnam to bowling? Feel free to improvise on that.

10. Use balloons that actually break. Otherwise, you might as well have a salami fight.

Warm-up question: Which would be the best name for a new ice cream flavor? A) Spoberry. B) Shards o’ Stuff. C) Fructose ’n’ Fun. D) Disability Scam. E) Huck You. F) Funky Cold Medina. G) Marmot Fruit. H) Other.

Today’s Slice question: How much do you spend on golf balls in a year?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut performed at Expo ’74 on this date.