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The Slice: Attention campers: Sleep at your own risk

The Great American Backyard Campout is coming up on June 22.

Apparently this is part of a campaign designed to get kids to spend more time outdoors. I suspect selling camping equipment is also part of it.

That’s fine. But it only seems fair to warn children about what might be lurking out there, just waiting for them to let their guard down and doze off.

So, kids, if I may have your attention. If you are camping in the backyard and hear a strange sound after dark …

It might be a flesh-eating dinosaur. I know, they are supposed to be extinct. But ask yourself. What else besides a T. rex would make a sound like that?

Of course, it could be a grizzly bear sow who mistakenly thought you had harassed her cubs. That could be rough.

Unless it is actually an escaped criminal looking for hostages. You just never know these days.

So zip up that tent and keep very quiet. And if someone outside claims to be your grandfather, ask to see photo I.D.

Name game: “Sometimes you need to be a bit shocking to help people remember your name,” wrote Lolita Sutton of Spokane Valley. “I will often introduce myself ‘Lolita, just like the dirty book.’

“Trust me, I in no way look like a Lolita, but it makes people chuckle, at least those who are old enough to remember the book/movie ‘Lolita.’ I think it also helps them remember my name.”

Today’s firefly story: Steve LaCombe in Spokane Valley grew up in a military family and lived several places as a child, including parts of the country where you find lightning bugs.

“We used to play cowboys and Indians,” he said. “And when we played at night, we’d catch those things, break them apart and put the goop on our faces for war paint.”

Warm-up questions: How many phone numbers appearing on your Caller I.D. prompt a reflexive “Uh oh” reaction? Which was the better team – the 1969 Seattle Pilots or the 1970 Spokane Indians?

Today’s Slice question: If you wanted to challenge someone’s assertion that this area has zero diversity, taking him or her to visit what local grade school would be a good way to start?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Another expression that bugs certain Slice readers is “for free.”

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