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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Ignore the smell, bad hair

Welcome to another installment of “Ask The Slice.”

Today’s topic: How to enjoy camping.

Q: Are Spokane area residents required to go camping?

A: Yes, at least once every summer. It’s the law.

Q: But what if you are afraid of bugs and bears?

A: Get over it.

Q: I’m a big fan of showers and indoor toilets. Can’t I just stay home?

A: No. Stop being a sissy.

Q: Being in a sleeping bag always makes me feel like a human burrito. And have you noticed that a lot of tents have a funky smell?

A: You are missing the point.

Q: Well, what is the point?

A: Camping is about rediscovering what true quiet sounds like. It’s about becoming reacquainted with family and friends. It’s about remembering what it’s like to communicate face-to-face. It’s about toasting marshmallows, staring at clouds and skipping rocks.

Q: Do marmots bite?

A: Sometimes. If you get on their nerves.

Q: What if I miss some important e-mails or text messages?

A: When was the last time you received one that actually qualified as important? Being away from that stuff will do you good.

Q: Wouldn’t Lewis and Clark have stayed in motels if they had been given the choice?

A: Maybe not after discovering what those places charge you to use the phone.

Q: Doesn’t it get cold at night?

A: It can. But four out of five campers survive.

Q: I’m not a great storyteller. What if someone at the campfire asks me to say something?

A: Invite others to tell their favorite stories about water balloons, squirt guns, watermelons, running through sprinklers, dandelions, lemonade stands or homegrown tomatoes.

Q: What if I hear a strange sound outside my tent at 3 a.m.?

A: You should assume it is a hungry grizzly bear with a late-night craving for a human burrito.

Q: I usually require about a gigawatt of power to get my hair looking decent in the morning. What will people think when they see me with “camping hair”?

A: They will scream and run off even deeper into the woods.

Q: What about mosquitoes?

A: They just want your blood. If you work somewhere with a lot of office politics, you’ve endured worse.

Q: But won’t my cell phone be out of range?

A: Exactly.

•Today’s Slice question: In your estimation, when does summer begin?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail pault@spokesman.com. For previous Slice columns, see www.spokesman.com/columnists. Coming Sunday: When birds borrow your bike.

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