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

Doug Clark: Hot times or bummer summer?

Is your summer as juicy and succulent as a plump hot dog off the grill?

Or is your summer more of a sad, deflated Anthony Weiner?

Find out today by taking my annual “Summer: How’s It Hanging?” exam.

Answer the following multiple-choice questions. Then add your scores at the end of our quiz.

1. Nothing chases the ol’ summertime blues away like …

A. Taking a long hike in the woods. (2 points)

B. Reading a good book. (5 points)

C. Laughing at the crappy Seattle Mariners. (10 points)

2. This summer I …

A. Ate an exotic meal at a fabulous restaurant. (2 points)

B. Traveled to an exotic destination. (5 points)

C. Caught an exotic fungus while soaking in that divorced neighbor’s hot tub. (10 points)

3. Ah, the summer of 2011. It will go down as the summer I …

A. Lost my wallet. (2 points)

B. Lost my place in line at the new Harry Potter movie. (5 points)

C. Lost my lunch all over a stranger while riding Silverwood’s new Ricochet Rapids attraction. (10 points)

4. Sadly, there’s no sign the recession is letting up. However, a smart way to scale back on your summertime spending is to …

A. Ride the bus. (2 points)

B. Stop giving to panhandlers. (5 points)

C. Take advantage of the reduced daily rates at East Sprague’s Hooker Happy Hour. (10 points)

5. I’ve decided to help beautify our environment this summer by …

A. Planting more trees and flowers. (2 points)

B. Picking up freeway litter. (5 points)

C. Stealing every campaign sign in sight. (10 points)

6. Which harmless creature best represents summer in Spokane?

A. The furry marmot as he scurries merrily from his riverbank burrow. (2 points)

B. The baby robin taking wing as it leaves the nest. (5 points)

C. The toothless ombudsman as he crawls back into the Police Guild’s pocket. (10 points)

7. All the potholes, torn up streets and construction zones this summer have forced me to …

A. Stay home to watch more reality Food Channel shows. (2 points)

B. Erupt in periodic bursts of road rage. (5 points)

C. Use a mountain bike for all my bank robbery getaways. (10 points)

8. I love to attend Spokane Indians baseball games to …

A. Root, root, root for the home team. (2 points)

B. Pepper the umpire with foul insults. (5 points)

C. Encourage players to clear the benches and pound each other in another entertaining field brawl. (10 points)

9. Pick the best response to the following: “Without (blank), summer around here sure would be so much better.”

A. Without “mosquitoes.” (2 points)

B. Without “sunburns.” (5 points)

C. Without “Jeff Harvey, that pathetic excuse for a cop who now has the audacity to sue Spokane after being rightfully canned.” (10 points)

10. No doubt about it. You can’t have summer in Spokane without …

A. Barbecues and picnics. (2 points)

B. Beer kegs and DUIs. (5 points)

C. Raincoats and hypothermia. (10 points)

Good job. Now let’s tally the results.

If you scored fewer than 30 points, you are as boring and predictable as a mayoral debate.

Scoring between 30 and 50 points means there’s still time to make your summer a memorable one, although it may require psychedelic mushrooms and public nudity.

If you scored 80 points and above, well, you don’t need any help from me.

You already have the right attitude to enjoy summer to the fullest – before having to serve a lengthy term in jail.

Doug Clarkcan be reached at (509) 459-5432 or

More from this author