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Opinion >  Column

Doug Clark: Bad news isn’t always ahead, Spokane; savor the moment

The weather outside is anything but frightful. Gas prices are no longer spiteful.

My Eagles are winning.

Legal weed has created a bonanza in tax revenue for the state and misplaced vehicles for the tow truck industry.

That posh new Davenport Grand Hotel is rising out of downtown like the “Great Walt of Worthy.”

Can you feel it?

Spokane is enjoying a rare gondola ride of Good News.

And I’ve never been more afraid.

I can’t help it.

See, I’m a Spokane lad born and bred. Which means I know the following dark secret about my hometown: We’re not very good when it comes to accepting success.

This, in fact, is actually spelled out in Chapter 11 of the Spokane City Charter.

And I quote …

“Life is a (bleep) storm. Best wear a hat!”

Don’t ask me why, but not expecting good things to happen seems to be encoded in our civic DNA.

It’s like trying to answer that age-old conundrum:

Did we sign up all those sister cities as an act of friendship?

Or did we get them in hopes they won’t attack.

Some things are impossible to know.

For whatever reasons, many Spokanites see the universe as a cosmic balance sheet where success is always countered by a turn of the worm, a change in the wind or a drop of the other boot.


This is irrational nonsense, of course.

And if it isn’t, we are definitely due for one of those semi-apocalyptical blizzards that descend on us every winter to close all the South Hill bus routes and turn Freya into an Olympic toboggan run.

It is impossible to feel like a winner when you’re standing ankle-deep in slush and pouring kitty litter under your mired tires.

I’m sorry. It’s the holiday season.

I don’t want to be pegged as some bah-humbug-spewing Scrooge who wants to bring everyone down.

I only bring up this stuff because for once I would like to ignore my Spokane nature and revel in all the good news we’ve been having.

Who says the Spokane success stream has to run dry?

Who says EWU can’t win another national football championship like it did in 2011?

And who says that the band won’t let a certain washed-up, over-the-hill alumnus cornet player tag along for another ride to the Big Game?

Go Eags!

There’s no reason to think of my hometown as a pawn on some karmic battlefield, where every pleasure is countered by disaster.

On the other hand, there are 16 shopping days left before Christmas.

Trust me when I say that fewer things are more dangerous than heading to the department stores with a spring in your step and a Christmas tune in your heart.

It’s almost like asking to have your identity stolen or your credit cards hacked.

And if that happens, you’ll know what to tell the cops when they investigate the crime.

Tell them you were done in by too much good news.

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

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