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The Slice: When your seatmate gives off good vibes

Here’s how you know the stranger seated next to you at a show might turn out to be a good seatmate.

1. Smiles and nods when you arrive at your seat.

2. Doesn’t immediately stare at you and harrumph.

3. Doesn’t snarl “The armrest is mine. I have a medical condition.”

4. Isn’t singing the featured performer’s songs before the show even starts.

5. Isn’t loudly booing the usher.

6. Doesn’t say “You wore that to this?”

7. Did not apply perfume/cologne with a ladle before leaving for the venue.

8. Puts phone away when the lights go down.

9. Zero sulfuric belching.

10. Is not obviously hammered.

11. Does not have a worried look and is not volunteering to anyone within earshot “Gonna try to hold it … hate those restroom lines.”

12. Doesn’t act put out when you hand him/her the bulky winter coat that had been dumped in your seat before you arrived.

13. Doesn’t thrash her head around around in such a way that makes her extra-long braided hair repeatedly whip you upside the head.

14. Does not appear to have been an interior lineman for the Minnesota Vikings who has put on some weight since his playing days.

15. Isn’t having an F-bomb-laced fight with the person on the other side of him/her as you arrive at your seat.

16. Not excessively woo-hooing when you arrive.

17. Doesn’t say “These seats are saved” even though your numbered tickets point to the absurdity of such a claim.

18. Does not smell so strongly of pot that you wonder about the possibility of a contact high.

19. Does not appear to be offended by your mere presence.

20. Shows no signs of being in possession of an air horn or cowbell.

21. Says, in an irrepressibly bubbly way, “I’m so excited about being here.”

Warm-up question: Do you regard working in a building that has multiple flights of stairs as a health and fitness benefit of your employment?

Today’s Slice question: What is your second-favorite Bing Crosby holiday song?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email How do you determine a snowperson’s gender?

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