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The Slice: Planet of the marmots

Here’s an idea for a series of movies.

It might seem a bit derivative. But in the hands of the right creative team, it could work. I already have the titles and story themes.

“Planet of the Marmots”: Rodents who speak English rule a futuristic world where not much is expected of grunting humans.

“Beneath the Planet of the Marmots”: Marmots get under the hoods of cars and chew up engine hoses.

“Escape from the Planet of the Marmots”: Rebel human says “Take your stinking paws off me, you damn, dirty rodent.” Hilarity ensues.

“Conquest of the Planet of the Marmots”: Personality-plus marmots wearing leather jackets take over Riverfront Park.

“Battle for the Planet of the Marmots”: It’s gardeners vs. rockchucks in the final faceoff.

“Rise of the Planet of the Marmots”: A drug trial gone wrong produces a supermarmot with big plans.

“Dawn of the Planet of the Marmots”: A big-hearted human and the charismatic marmot leader form a bond and try to save Spokane from destruction.

Warm-up question: Do you recall the 1993 “Seinfeld” episode in which the idea that everyone in the city should wear name tags costs mayoral aide Lloyd Braun his job? Well, I thought of that the other day in the downtown Spokane post office. I crossed paths with a local politician who was wearing a T-shirt adorned with the equivalent of a campaign sign for himself. It made me wonder.

If you designed a T-shirt with your name on it, would you go with your first name, last name or both?

Today’s Slice question: How old is your barbecue grill? A) Cars had tail fins when it was new. B) It’s not old, it’s experienced. C) If you are thinking of suggesting that I replace it, I will be forced to cue up Neil Young’s “Long May You Run” and then we’ll have a little talk about loyalty. D) We would have to use carbon dating to find out. E) It is the Alley Oop autograph model. F) Pretty new. Still in its shakedown summer. G) It’s so old it was made in the U.S. H) I do not have a barbecue grill, Sam-I-Am. I) Other.

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email There is noise from the next apartment and then there is noise from the next apartment.

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