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This column reflects the opinion of the writer. Learn about the differences between a news story and an opinion column.

Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Sidetracked by a different train of thought

The Slice asked readers what had been thrown at them from moving cars while they were out walking, running or biking.

Responses were predictably depressing. Readers told of seemingly everything from bottles to firecrackers being hurled in their direction by chuckleheads in cars.

But let’s not dwell on the actions of a few nitwits. Instead, I suggest we enjoy a different sort of story. This arrived in The Slice’s email inbox with “Things thrown from moving vehicles” in the subject line.

“My name is David Slater,” it began. “I go running on the railroad tracks in the Ponderosa neighborhood. The first time the train came by while I was running, I pumped my arm and was rewarded with a blast on the horn.

“A week later, another train started to go by. I moved off the tracks, pumped my arm like last time, and the train slowed down. The engineer opened his little window and threw me a cold bottle of water. I still have the empty bottle on my bookshelf. Best tasting water ever!”

Wildlife in your car: All God’s children have had a marmot in their vehicle. Or so it seems. But how about this?

Tom Bacon, who lives in a rural area south of Coeur d’Alene, was getting into his car in the garage. A window was open.

“I heard a sudden huge racket of fluttering and thrashing in the back seat.”

Tom jumped out of the car.

“When I opened the rear door, there was a California quail looking up at me from the floor mat. It fled with that explosive takeoff so typical of quail.”

So now Tom has something to add to his pre-driving checklist: Check for quail.

Slice answer: “My mother was the director of a small church choir for several years,” wrote Ruth Rayman. “When I was in the sixth or seventh grade, I wished to join the choir.”

So Ruth asked and her mother looked at her for what seemed like a long time.

Her mother’s pause was understandable. When I asked Ruth if she could sing back then, she answered, “Not a single note, at least not the correct ones.”

Back to our story.

Finally, Ruth’s mother answered. “I think that would be nice, of course you can.”

But she had one request of her daughter. “Just sing very quietly. Please.”

Today’s Slice question: If I say “Hot August night” will you be hearing the 1972 version of Neil Diamond for the rest of the day?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Better get another bag of ice.

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