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The Slice: National anthem etiquette doesn’t include flagging interest

Sue Gordon was at a local sports event recently and noticed that two men behind her who appeared to be in their 40s or 50s did not remove their hats and talked throughout the playing of the national anthem.

What would you have done? A) Nothing. Amazing as it seems, many people do not react well to having their poor behavior pointed out. In fact, they often respond by saying something vulgar. So what do you do then? Challenge them to a fist-fight or just do a long, slow boil – your chance of enjoying the event now having been ruined? B) Make eye contact but without a total stink-face expression. C) Just say “Hats.” D) Give them a full-force dirty look. E) Wouldn’t sweat it. There’s already more than enough superficial, performance patriotism around here. F) Smile and say “I’m listening to the song.” G) Ask yourself, what would Tony Soprano do? H) Move to different seats, if possible. I) Turn around and say “Really?” J) Moon them. K) Other.

Slice answers: In Hawaii, greeters drape a lei on a newly arrived visitor. What should a local welcoming committee place on someone arriving in Spokane?

“A bulletproof vest,” said Terry Frizzell, Dixie Guhlke, Nathaniel Hildebrand, Suzan Wambeke, Nick Suksdorf, John Cole, Alison Highberger and others.

Following up: In virtually every instance, readers reporting their weekend-specific guilty pleasures told of things neither decadent nor excessive. Whether it’s Lisa Thompson’s quality time with the Sunday paper, Janet Culbertson’s big Sunday breakfasts, Laurie Foley’s Saturday martini or Ed Simpson’s sailboat time at Bayview, it all sounded to me like Inland Northwesterners taking a moment to enjoy life.

My theory? People here are used to working hard and so they truly appreciate a chance to kick back and catch their breath.

Today’s Slice question: Are you prepared to offer any general observations about guys named Josh?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email I can’t prove it. But I suspect that, since portable phones became nearly universal, fewer people factor in flat-tire time when deciding when to leave for an appointment.

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