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The Slice: It’s called customer service for a reason

SATURDAY, MAY 10, 2014

When you decide to boycott a business because of inattentive, lunkheaded or arguably insulting service, do you first inform the management or do you simply walk out the door and never return?

Let’s move on.

A grandma by any other name: After her son and his wife had their first child, Spokane’s Penny Mathison took care of the little boy, Justin, at her house.

Penny’s husband called her “Hon” all the time. He still does.

Young Justin soaked that up.

So guess what the first word he uttered happened to be? That’s right, “Hon.”

A year later, Justin’s little brother, Chad, arrived. Mathison took care of him, too.

So what do you suppose his first word was? Correct. It was “Hon.”

“The boys are now 32 and 31, over 6 feet tall, and they still call me ‘Hon,’ ” wrote Mathison. “No matter where we are – Las Vegas, stores, in front of strangers and here at home. Love those boys.”

Laying on of hands: He’s in his 60s now. But ever since he was a kid, Mikel Stevenson has had an unruly patch of hair. It was called a “rooster tail” back in the day.

“My two older sisters and mother would pat it down frequently,” he wrote.

That, however, was not the end of it.

“Three times as a middle-aged man I have been standing in line at a grocery store when a woman behind me, complete stranger, patted my rooster tail, trying to make it go down I guess.”

Stevenson has a theory. “Some maternal instinct triggered by shopping for food.”

He has maintained a sense of humor about it, but is still surprised that these women took the liberty.

Have you been touched by strangers in the checkout line?

Slice answers: Readers add up the number of years they have been getting their hair cut by the same person, over on The Slice Blog at

Today’s Slice question: When playing catch in a park or backyard, is it possible to resist the urge to try throwing a knuckleball?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Guess the percentage of motorists on the road in the Spokane area who lack a valid driver’s license. (I don’t know if that’s a knowable statistic, but I assume it is appallingly high.)

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