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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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A new way to extend season’s greetings

Back in 2010, The Slice proposed making “Get off my lawn!” Spokane’s official slogan.

The idea did not catch on. Apparently readers felt having this bold motto on signs greeting motorists entering the city would send the wrong signal. Or maybe people thought that slogan rightfully belonged to the city of Spokane Valley.

To be honest, I can’t remember.

But that’s fine. I have come up with a higher use for that expression.

You know how Americans have wrangled over “Merry Christmas” vs. “Happy holidays” in recent years?

Sure. Well, I’m weary of it. I lean toward supporting the “Happy holidays” people. I like recognizing not everyone attends the Church of Fox News. But I also like to say “Merry Christmas.” I just don’t feel like linking arms with the militants who have turned this sweet greeting into a political taunt.

So, I have an idea. Instead of “Happy holidays” or “Merry Christmas,” I’m going to start saying “Get off my lawn!”

Yes, I suppose some will be puzzled. But I will be happy to explain that I am simply putting a Spokane-esque spin on a seasonal greeting.

And perhaps I will note that my decision is not without precedent. Remember, near the end of “It’s a Wonderful Life” when a jubilant George Bailey shouts “Merry Christmas, Mr. Potter” and the embittered old grump replies “And Happy New Year to you, in jail!”?

I’ve known people over the years who playfully borrowed Mr. Potter’s line, knowing full well that everyone understood it was meant as a light-hearted salutation.

OK, I’ll admit signing “Get off my lawn!” on a Christmas card to my cousin Dave in North Carolina or to my niece in California might make them wonder about me. But I suspect it would not be the first time.

The thing about “Get off my lawn!” is it’s not so much something people actually say as it is a summation of an attitude.

So I intend to rebrand it and claim the expression as a new way to wish someone well at this time of year.

As if Karen Carpenter had famously sung, “Get Off My Lawn, Darling.”

Today’s Slice question: Can you be close friends with someone whose tastes are the opposite of yours when it comes to movies, music, TV and books?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210, call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. What food stains mark the pages of your cookbooks?

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