Arrow-right Camera
Go to e-Edition Sign up for newsletters Customer service
Subscribe now

This column reflects the opinion of the writer. To learn about the differences between a news story and an opinion column, click here.

Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Every story starts the same way

With 300 days left in 2009, there’s still time to make this the year you finally write that great American novel.

And getting published might be easier than you think.

When you get that first sentence written, send it to The Slice.

•How things work: 1) Transitioning to your warm-weather clothes early does not influence the weather.

2) Just because you have boots doesn’t mean you are required to stomp around in the woods during mud season.

•Which album title best describes the coughing in your home or workplace: A) “Rattle and Hum.” B) “Aqualung.” C) “Sticky Fingers.” D) “The Rising.” E) “Blood on the Tracks.” F) Other.

•Pat Poll (only those named Pat or some variation may submit answers): Would you trust anyone who seemed happy all the time?

•Slice answers: More than a few readers said they would shoot a burglar if they encountered one in their home.

That’s an understandable sentiment. And I would not feel sorry for the recipient of this frontier justice, assuming there hadn’t been a case of mistaken identity.

But I’m not sure all of my respondents fully connected to the unpredictability of a moment such as that. I mean, are these men and women walking around carrying guns at all times when at home? And how do they know they would react in a composed, decisive way?

Readers who shared recollections of actually encountering burglars described a range of responses, from steely calm to instantly soiling oneself.

Still, maybe the guns-a-blazing folks would make good on their pledge. Some certainly have. A relative of mine once went from being sound asleep to shooting an intruder in a matter of seconds.

In response to another question, I heard from Slice readers who were born during presidential administrations starting with Wilson and ending with Clinton.

“Roosevelt,” said one, Peggy Coffey. “No, it was Franklin, not Teddy.”

•Maybe no one else finds this amusing: But it always cracks me up when snarling notes arrive in envelopes with return address stickers featuring balloons, butterflies or teddy bears.

Oh, well. At least those writers shared their names. So, according to The Slice rules of engagement, they get to say whatever they want.

•Today’s Slice question: Do Inland Northwesterners tend to enjoy loud activities more than people in other parts of the country?

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 Thanks for the “moved here in March” stories.

More from this author

Tags: the slice