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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Dam impressive? Not for this guy

With the warm-weather travel season just over the horizon, The Slice thought it would be interesting to interview the only guy in the Spokane area who has never taken his family over to see the Grand Coulee Dam.

A transcript of that exchange follows.

To protect him from harassing calls from regional tourism officials, he will not be identified by name. In any case, you won’t believe what he had to say.

Q: So why haven’t you gone over to check out the dam?

A: You know, it just never seemed all that interesting to me.

Q: But it’s really big.

A: Yeah, I realize that. I’ve seen pictures. I just always seem to have something else to do.

Q: Do you have something against the dam because of environmental concerns or are you protesting the salmon thing and other implications for indigenous peoples?

A: What? No. I mean, I guess not. Look, I just haven’t gotten around to it. OK?

Q: It’s one of the world’s largest concrete structures. It is one of the biggest electricity-producing facilities anywhere.

A: So I’ve heard.

Q: Would you like me to sing a few lines of Woody Guthrie’s “Roll on Columbia”?

A: No, that’s not necessary.

Q: “The mightiest thing ever built by a man…”

A: Seriously, it’s OK. I know the dam was and is important to the Pacific Northwest. I know it’s big. I get it. I just haven’t seen the need to go stand there and stare at it.

Q: Are you afraid that you would fall off a viewing platform and get sucked into one of the mammoth underwater intakes?

A: No, not really. I just haven’t ever made driving over there a priority.

Q: What do you think of the word “staycation”?

A: Don’t care for it.

Q: Do you have something against incredible engineering feats or regional history?

A: No. I just think that if I said, “Hey, let’s drive over to Grand Coulee Dam this weekend,” my family’s reaction would be, shall we say, underwhelming.

Q: Well, have you told them that all the pyramids of Giza could fit within its base? Have you told them about FDR’s role? Have you mentioned that the generators are, well, dam big?

A: No. But still, I’m not sure that …

Q: Is it because Hoover dam has been in more movies and TV shows?

A: No, that’s not it. Maybe I’m just lazy. I usually end up running a few errands and watching sports on TV. Believe me, I’ve got nothing against Grand Coulee.

Q: So you might go check it out this summer?

A: I might. I hear it’s pretty big.

•Today’s Slice question: What do most of Spokane’s teenage criminals have in common?

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 What do you think of nonreligious observances of Easter?

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