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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Head ’em up, move ’em out

Here are my theories about why little kids don’t play “cattle drive” anymore.

1. Lack of role models in movies and on TV.

2. Neigborhood canines cast to play the bovine roles (little doggies) often do not cooperate and seem to take exception to simulated branding.

3. The ramrod’s mom would make him wear a helmet as he pretended his bike was a horse.

4. Nobody has a little red wagon to serve as the chuck wagon.

5. One stampede and it’s back to electronic gadgets.

6. Not enough kids have cowboy hats.

7. Girls would ask some tough questions about their roles.

Slice answers: In the matter of how the nickname of the city where you were born somehow predicted your eventual arrival here, Tim Gaines noted New York City being the “Big Apple” and the old “Apple Maggot Quarantine” signs in Spokane.

“It was meant to be,” Tim wrote. “The wife and I have been here more than 20 years now.”

Speaking of meant to be, I mentioned last week that, because my father was stationed there in the Air Force while transitioning from B-36s to B-52s, I was born in Fort Worth, Texas. I noted that the city’s nickname is “Cow Town.” But my friend Jim Clanton reminded me that another of Fort Worth’s nicknames/slogans is “Where the West begins.”

So the inescapable question is this. If we can agree that Seattle doesn’t qualify for obvious reasons and Alaska is a separate case, is Spokane where the West ends?

Warm-up question 1: When you watch a rerun of the episode of “The Andy Griffith Show” in which tone-deaf Barney joins the town choir, what real-life group singing experience in your memory does it summon to mind?

Warm-up question 2: When a fly gets in your home, how do you react?

A) Ignore it. B) Launch full-scale search-and-destroy mission. C) Adopt a “live and let live” attitude. D) Automatically assume that the surface of every glass, spoon and toothbrush is now infected. E) Arrange with a resident teenager to carry out a contract killing. F) Other.

Today’s Slice question: “We often read last words by famous people, but I think it would be interesting to read some of the last words by us commoners,” wrote a friend in Idaho.

I think he’s right. Were you around to hear someone’s last utterance?

My Idaho friend remembers his grandmother’s final words before she passed away about 40 years ago. She said, “It went by so fast.”

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. Sometimes love means never saying a word about the dog drool.

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