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The Slice: The Slice: You can’t put a price tag on a stranger’s kindness

Sat., Oct. 26, 2013

Sometimes it’s the little things that give you hope.

Judi Durfee was in a Spokane grocery checkout line when she overheard a young woman with two toddlers speaking to an elderly couple ahead of her.

Clearly the young woman had not lived here long.

Durfee heard her tell the older couple that her family was going up to “One One” to take the short but scenic autumn train ride.

Durfee saw the elderly man’s face change from a puzzled look to one of “a-ha” comprehension.

He said, “Oh, you mean Ione. The ride is a genuine treat. We have taken it many times. You won’t be disappointed.”

Durfee kept watching.

“The young woman smiled and repeated the name softly to herself, giggling as she did so.”

Durfee silently thanked the old man for the way he corrected the young woman’s pronunciation of Ione without unduly embarrassing her.

Instead of dwelling on her arguably amusing mistake, that gracious stranger in line deflected attention from it and cheerfully endorsed the young woman’s plan to go up and ride that train.

In an increasingly coarse, angry society, gentlemen sometimes seem to be in short supply. But every once in a while, we’re privileged to see one in action.

Printed books vs. e-books: “It strengthened my favor of printed books, and greatly saddened me, when I realized I would not be able to tuck a love note between the pages of my husband’s book for him to find while he travels this week,” wrote Lisa Giegel. “He’s toting a tablet with e-books these days.”

Just wondering: Do your mammalian pets put on weight as winter approaches and claim it is simply a natural protective layer?

Nobody asked me, but…: In the 25 years I have lived here, I have yet to meet a local resident who grew up in Canada that I did not like.

Warm-up question: What percentage of Inland Northwesterners wear clunky hiking-style footwear even though 99 percent of the outdoor walking they do involves going from parking lots to building entrances?

Today’s Slice question: What’s your “usual” and where do you get it?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Trick-or-treating with a shot glass is not a new idea.

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