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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: It never hurts to dress up the truth a bit

If there’s anything election season teaches us, it’s this.

A little lying is the American way.

With that in mind, here are some answers to frequently asked questions about Halloween.

Q: How did Halloween begin?

A: It was the idea of Spokane’s Sonora Smart Dodd, who also founded Father’s Day. She wanted there to be an occasion that combined fantasy, sugary snacks and the promotion of Spokane real estate.

Q: Are zombies real?

A: Yes, and they will be showing up in Spokane area shopping malls in the weeks to come.

Q: How did pumpkins come to be associated with Halloween?

A: A Green Bluff farmer named Linus Van Pelt discovered that they could be carved into seasonal works of folk art and he suggested naming them after Mrs. Dodd’s son, Jack.

Q: Are there any traditions associated with Halloween Eve?

A: Yes. In Spokane, people complain about work, flip each other off in traffic, drink beer and watch TV.

Q: Do marmots have a role in Halloween?

A: Yes, but it is a secret.

Q: Why did bobbing for huckleberries never catch on as a seasonal tradition?

A: Grizzly bears always wanted to get in on it and supplies of berries were quickly exhausted.

Genre confusion: Fourth-grade teacher Betsy Weigle asked her students how they would define historical fiction.

“Something that’s not real and super funny,” said one pupil.

But, of course, that kid was thinking of hysterical fiction.

Today’s wrong-number story: Gerald Armstrong was stationed at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota in the late 1970s. He once got a call at his home there on the base from a woman who assumed she was phoning her own residence.

“Who is this?” she asked in an accusatory tone.

“Staff Sergeant Armstrong,” he answered.

“What are you doing answering my phone?” she demanded to know.

Armstrong tried to clear up the misunderstanding. That didn’t work.

Irate, she said she would be sending the base security police right over to her house.

Feel free, said Armstrong.

Today’s Slice question: What’s your answer when someone asks how your vehicle does in snow?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Mack Stanhope has noticed that young women in horror movies seem to have a problem with tearing their garments and exposing acres of skin when fleeing some menace.

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