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The Slice: As long as everyone knows you’re proud to be an American

There are exactly 10 weeks until Memorial Day.

How do you look in a swimsuit? A) Why is that any of your business? B) Like 10 pounds of Inland Northwesterner in a five-pound bag. C) You mean now, at my current age? D) I don’t let it define me. But since you asked, I look fine. E) I look self-conscious. F) Like a total freakin’ sexpot. G) Like somebody who doesn’t give a rip what anyone thinks. H) Like a tankini ad. I) Grrrrreat. J) Like a mom. K) Like a walking health department violation. L) Like a normal person my age. M) Like a thong wearer who clearly does not see himself the way others do. N) Other.

Just wondering: What 21st-century development has nudged you from believing a few people are idiots to believing that a lot of people are idiots?

Of casseroles and growing up in the Midwest in the 1950s: Kathleen Schrum noted that her mother always said a can opener was her favorite wedding gift.

Speaking of casseroles: A few readers said they are still very much with us but that Jell-O mold concoctions are on the endangered list.

Clearing the air: As noted in Sunday’s column, lots of Slice readers recall when it was standard for workplaces to be filled with a cigarette smoke haze.

But one recurring theme in reader responses was the pervasiveness of smoking in hospitals.

“Doctors, nurses and patients all smoked,” Cindi John wrote. “It was horrible.”

Viewed from 2013, it seems amazing. Maybe you had to be there.

Joan Matlack recalls patients on oxygen smoking in their rooms which, she noted, is “hard to believe now.”

Arlene Schmidt worked in a hospital laboratory where people smoked.

And Jean Brustkern remembers people smoking not far from women in various stages of giving birth.

Warm-up question: To what extent are you willing to put up with persistent discomfort rather than make an appointment with a doctor because you hope the problem will just go away and suspect that a medical exam might lead to unpleasant tests?

Today’s Slice question: How do “M*A*S*H” reruns hold up after all these years?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email When a speaker at a roast says “True story,” the anecdote that follows usually isn’t.

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