Paul Turner, Spokesman-Review columnist. (The Spokesman-Review)
Paul Turner, Spokesman-Review columnist. (The Spokesman-Review)

The Slice: Good communication worth weight in utensils

A friend whose name has appeared in The Slice more than a few times asked that I keep her identity to myself on this occasion.

After seeing Monday’s column, she sent me an email with “Dead squirrel” in the subject line.

“Our daughter Andrea has the softest heart in the world for mammals, hence her choice to become a vegetarian at age 2 after she asked me, ‘Mommy, does it hurt the piggy when they take out the pork chop?’ So, needless to say, the sight of dead squirrels was a cause of heartbreak to be avoided.

“One cold winter morning before she was awake I spotted a squirrel casualty frozen (cartoon style) in our backyard on top of the snow. I told my husband to please go out and dispose of the body before she could see it. I made the request with full confidence that he’d use a garden implement or trash bag. Wrong-o.

“I happened to glance out the window a few moments later to see him standing in the yard holding up the carcass clasped within my good serving tongs (a wedding gift from the maid of honor at our wedding).

“Of course, I gasped and started yelling but since he couldn’t hear me apparently he thought my antics were shouts of approval. So he hoisted it in the air and waved. He looked like Cousin Eddie from the National Lampoon series.

“When he came inside I expressed my shock and horror at his choice and my dismay that a lovely wedding gift was going in the trash. His reply? ‘I was going to wash them.’

“Seriously, I am not making this up. So, after several rounds in the dishwasher and an overnight soak in bleach, I still have the tongs although have not been able to bring myself to use them. They are tucked in a drawer next to a framed Ann Landers column (about this story) that she published on May 12, 1999, ‘Family Joke Offers Laugh for the Day.’

“The ‘Squirrel Tongs’ are famous in our family but I’d still rather remain anonymous so people aren’t afraid to come to our home.”

Today’s Slice question: What is happening to your attention span?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. A classic episode of “The Twilight Zone” called “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” first aired on this date 50 years ago.

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