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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: The rocks were worthless, but the names were as good as gold

Retired Silver Valley geologist Stanley Huff remembers back years ago when prospectors would bring mineral specimens to his mining company office for identification.

Some of the assayers had their own terminology for rock samples that were of no value.

There was “leaverite,” which meant “Leave it right where you found it.”

And then there was “manureite,” which Huff said needs no explanation.

My friend Marty wonders: What was the most memorable ringtone you have heard when a cell phone started bleating in the middle of a funeral or wedding?

Slice answer: In the matter of local drivers’ responses to the sound of approaching sirens, Mike Cool’s viewpoint is fairly representative of most who answered that question.

“My guess is that nearly 100 percent of emergency vehicle drivers are wondering why there are so few hearing-aid stores in Spokane and nearby vicinity. They probably figure there must be some serious lost business opportunities as it would appear that at least 85 percent of the local population must be stone deaf.”

There are going to be some changes around here: One of the little girls in Anne Remien’s kindergarten class proposed marriage to a classmate. He accepted.

Maybe he figured it was time to settle down.

“Later in the day the newly engaged young man was playing with Legos on the rug,” wrote Remien. “The little girl stood behind him, arms crossed, without saying anything.”

But her displeased body language suggested that she expected him to be spending time with her now, instead of hanging out with his friends. Maybe she wanted him to be looking at china patterns or helping her work on the nuptial Web site.

Something tells me that when that little boy got home that day, he declared that he needed a beer.

Progress report: A reader named Laurie noted that one morning last week a quiz segment on a national TV show featured the question “Where is Gonzaga University?”

The viewer selected to answer that said “Indiana.”

Uh, no. That’s not the Wabash flowing along just south of the campus.

The show’s hosts reportedly pronounced “Gonzaga” and “Spokane” correctly, though. So that’s something.

One reason to wear bolo ties: “They are great conversation starters, especially with the younger kids where I substitute teach,” said Rick Barth of Wallace.

Today’s Slice question: What do people incorrectly assume about you just because you live here?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail For previous Slice columns, see Salsa snobs crack me up.

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