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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

The Slice: Near nature, not humidity

You think that this is what your hair is like.

You think this is how your skin feels.

But that’s only because you happen to live in the Inland Northwest. Those things are your reality here.

If you lived in a significantly more humid place, much would be different. Oh, you would still be the same person. But you would be a frizzier version with a less crustacean-like epidermis.

Don’t believe me? Ask some friends or colleagues who came here from cities where high humidity is a fact of life.

Then ask them if they could ever go back to that.

In the matter of what went through your mind as you realized you were falling off a ladder: Susan (Bailey) Johnson’s story goes back to the early 1970s. It happened near Bradbury Beach at Kettle Falls.

“I was picking apples in my family’s orchard when I leaned wrong, and the ladder and I headed for the ground.”

Not good.

“I thought to myself (maybe it was a silent prayer), ‘Please don’t break anything — I’m getting married in a couple of days!’ ”

She got her wish. “Thank God, I was fine.”

Johnson and her husband, a man she describes as her “best friend,” will celebrate their 42nd anniversary next month.

Hearing one thing and thinking another: If, from all sorts of evidence, we assume that ignorance runs riot across the land, it must be that at least a few people in other parts of the country hear “University of Idaho Vandals” and know nothing about Germanic tribes, thinking instead that the college mascot celebrates mindless, malicious damage to property.

This date in Slice history (1995): Today’s Slice questions: If the Inland Northwest printed its own money, whose image would go on the dollar bill? What about the penny?

Random flashback: It’s remarkable that more people didn’t have their hair set on fire back in the day by unsteady concertgoers wielding lighters as their way of requesting that the band come out for yet another encore.

Today’s Slice question: What did you learn from the experience of being arrested?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. Beatrix Potter characters make nice nicknames for certain neighbors you don’t know.

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