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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Would you please repeat the question?

It’s not likely those surgical tools would help at the bowling alley, but a little laughing gas might make  for a more enjoyable time. (The Spokesman-Review)
It’s not likely those surgical tools would help at the bowling alley, but a little laughing gas might make for a more enjoyable time. (The Spokesman-Review)

Two different emergency room nurses asked me.

“Are you a fisherman?”

Apparently, after my wife got a few stitches, they were going to toss out the metal tools the doctor had used. That’s cheaper than sterilizing the made-in-Pakistan suturing instruments for reuse. At least that’s what one of them told us.

Did we want them?

Sure. Why not.

I’m guessing the scissors-shaped clamps, et cetera are suitable for tying flies or removing hooks. Or something.

The question made me think. I haven’t been fishing in a long time. But if one has ever been a fisherman, is there some point at which you lose that status? Or is “once a fisherman, always a fisherman” more like it?

In any event, I hope I won’t be back to the ER anytime soon. Still, it’s tempting to predict what question I’ll be asked on that occasion.

Here are a few wild guesses:

Are you a bowler?

Do you recall when the Today section was called IN Life? How about when it was Empire Life?

Remember when that Bulgarian choir sang “Oh! Susanna” as its encore at what was then called The Met?

Are people originally from certain other regions disappointed when it turns out that a “barbecue” can involve some pretty pedestrian fare here?

Have you ever thought about the fact that at least a few visitors to Expo ’74 would have had the haunting soundtrack to “Chinatown” playing in their heads that summer?

What’s the deal with the spelling of “Benny & Joon”?

Ever wondered what became of that radio ranter Rick Miller, the drama-queen city councilman Chris Anderson or the TV newsman/alt-weekly editor/mayoral candidate Tom Grant?

Did you know that “Hockey Night in Canada” icon Don Cherry played for the Spokane Comets in 1962-63?

What former Spokane TV news anchor was in an episode of “The Larry Sanders Show”? (Maureen O’Boyle.)

Remember when that polar bear was at the airport?

How many times has your bank changed names?

Did you notice that nurse Hathaway on “ER” mispronounced “Spokane”?

Remember when Beth Ann Carr was a fixture during KSPS pledge drives?

Were you a fan of Milt Priggee?

If the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes could converse, what would they ask each other?

What Spokane social service volunteer can’t go two minutes without referring to this unpaid work?

Did you ever cruise Riverside as a kid?

Today’s Slice question: Under what circumstances will you park illegally?

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 Some people can’t get used to saying “Whitworth University.”

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