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The Slice: Survival tips for the schoolyard

Sun., Aug. 17, 2014

If memory serves, The Slice’s mission statement includes something about helping grandparents whenever possible.

So here goes. I know there are a few grandfathers who would like to teach young grandchildren a selection of memorable lines from prison movies. You know, to be recycled by the kid on the first day of school.

But how to choose?

It’s easy. Just go with these two.

“Let me tell you something, my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.” — “The Shawshank Redemption”

And, “You make a bad enough mistake, and then you gotta deal with the Man. And he is one rough old boy.” — “Cool Hand Luke”

A grade school student spouting either of those on the first day is almost certain to be regarded with respect, if not awe.

Slice answer: Harold Voltz said he thinks Spokane County might have the highest per capita concentration of Confederate flags in the Inland Northwest because of the number of Civil War re-enactors here.

A note from a friend: “I’ve been re-watching ‘The West Wing’ because I’m fascinated at the contrast between the idealism of that show and the cynicism of ‘House of Cards,’ ” wrote Dan Hansen. “Anyway, the other night, I watched a 2001 episode in which a character asks his aide to get him ‘the face book,’ which apparently was a directory of every member of Congress, photos included. I assume the face book included relationship status, and an assessment of which Disney character each member of Congress most resembles. (George Nethercutt: I am Bert from ‘Mary Poppins.’)”

Slice answer: In the matter of something that seems to anger a lot of people around here but which you find remarkably easy to ignore, longtime Slice reader Jeff Neuberger said certain S-R columnists come to mind.

Today’s Slice question: Did you sit at wooden school desks when you were a young scholar or was the furniture in your classrooms constructed of “Jetsons” era plastic or some 1980s made-in-Asia toxic composites?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email A compass and a protractor are different tools, but both can help a geometry-averse youth plot a course to the liberal arts.

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