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Opinion >  Column

Doug Clark: Wazzu takes title nobody really wanted

Sometimes life around here takes so many weird twists that the only way to cope is with comic relief.

Take what’s going on down in Pullman. Now, that place needs a dose of medicinal laughter.

It’s not fair. Year after year, Washington State University tries so hard to achieve that coveted No. 1 ranking.

And finally it happens. The Cougs get national recognition for being tops at …

Swine flu?

Are you kidding me? With this ranking, the only bowl you get comes with hot chicken soup.

The nasty flu bug has affected just about everything at WSU.

“Spewmoni” is the flavor of the month at Ferdinand’s ice creamery.

Before each snap, the Wazzu quarterback must use a Clorox wipe to sanitize the center’s squat-pocket.*

Bed rest has replaced sleeping it off as the favorite fraternity weekend pastime.

Really. There hasn’t been a frat house kegger in weeks. Although I heard that one pledge overdid it on TheraFlu.

Even poor Butch the Cougar is under flu quarantine. Until he recovers, however, the Andromeda Strain has graciously agreed to perform Butch’s mascot duties.

So get well, kids. Let’s hope we can get through these diseased days with more numbers on the scoreboard than in the infirmary!

Spokane could use a few therapeutic laughs right now, too.

I mean, what’s it take to convict a cop in this town?

Just months ago, a jury acquitted an officer who got boozed up while off-duty and then shot an unarmed man during a foot chase. Now another jury has let off Officer Rob Boothe, who was accused of kicking a handcuffed suspect in the face.

Hey, I wasn’t there. I don’t know what happened. But it struck me as quite telling that two officers actually testified that they witnessed the kicking.

Wow. Taking the stand against a brother cop takes mucho courage.

Plus, think of the pressure those two officers felt knowing that they’ll never again be part of the Police Guild Secret Santa gift exchange.

Boothe swore he never kicked anyone. He claimed he was merely shifting his feet. Could he be talking about the fancy foot-shifting David Carradine used to do on that old TV show “Kung Fu”?

“Grasshopper. Take my Florsheim from out of your mouth.”

I read that a lot of cops showed up at the trial to support Boothe. Hmm. Maybe that explains the verdict. The poor jurors might have thought they were deciding on A) “not guilty” or B) “not leaving the courthouse without getting cavity-searched.”

But enough sick news. At least we can all be happy about John Stockton’s induction into the basketball Hall of Fame.

What a class act. This honor couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

While playing, Stockton set records for assists.

And on televised Jazz game nights, Stockton assisted in boosting beer sales at Jack and Dan’s Tavern.

Nobody is more respected in Spokane than John Stockton. I’d tell him to run for mayor except he’d be certain to win. Which would be horrible.

Being mayor of this burg is about the only way Stockton could wreck his reputation.

*(That’s right. I said squat-pocket.)

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at

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