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The Slice: Cheeto fingerprints on the furniture? Sorry …

When I was in high school back around the time of the Missoula Floods, you were supposed to get to school on time.

But it was understood that occasionally there would be legitimate reasons for being tardy. That’s why there was a late arrivals sign-in sheet in the school office.

One morning when I was late for a reason I cannot recall, I picked up the pen next to that sign-in sheet. I saw the name of a colorful classmate on the last filled-in line.

In the space allotted for students to explain why they were late getting to school, my fellow scholar had written something that I still remember: “Was stoned.”

I suspect that earned him an invitation to come back to the office and have a little chat.

But as Washington tries to figure out how to manage legal marijuana, I found myself thinking about that kid. Maybe he was simply ahead of his time.

Just imagine. He might have come up with the perfect, all-purpose Evergreen State excuse.

Fail to complete a work project on time?

“Sorry. I was stoned.”

Show up in the express-checkout lane with 74 items in your shopping cart?

“Pardon me. I was stoned.”

Turn in a column that is especially jejune – knowing that the first editor to read it is apt to be a resident of sober-minded Idaho?

Let’s move on.

Let this be a lesson to you, lads: Walt Lane recently attended his 50-year high school reunion. “I was no prize as a teenager,” he wrote.

But he must have had something going for him. Because, at the reunion, he told two once-unapproachable female classmates that he had a crush on them back in the day. And each informed him that if he had spoken up way back when, he would have gotten a green light.

Warm-up question: When you think about the way you drove a car when you were a teenager, would it be fair to say that you were quite fortunate to make it to your 20s?

Today’s Slice question: If you could go back in time and ask people at Expo ’74 to predict what Spokane would be like 40 or 50 years into the future, what do you suppose they might say?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email I have it on good authority that it is possible to literally run out of your shoes.

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