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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Getting the show on the road

When your family is getting ready to go somewhere for the weekend, what is it like at your home?

A) A well-oiled machine. B) Like the Plains Indians breaking camp and swiftly moving to intercept a buffalo herd. C) Someone complaining about how late it has become and someone else getting in the car without one shoe. D) Like that “Let’s go, hogs” scene in “The Great Santini.” E) Children being instructed to go to the bathroom. F) One adult mumbling a checklist and one adult asking where the cat is. G) One person referring to the Wagon Queen Family Truckster while another family member rolls her eyes. H) Like an elite commando unit moving out at dawn. I) Other.

Follow-up: Erik Michels noted that The Slice’s discussion earlier this week of keeping flying insects out of the home omitted one key consideration: Pet doors.

He said that over the years his dogs have enjoyed standing in the opening with the pet door propped open. “Letting all manner of bugs into the house.”

A well-aimed spritz of water from a spray bottle can help move things along. “But one can only imagine how much time the dog stands halfway through the door when no one is home.”

Though, while the dog is standing there, it’s a good bet that raccoons and skunks won’t be coming in.

Warm-up questions: What’s your personal record for shortest elapsed time between getting hired and being laid off? What are the top three drawbacks to hanging clothes outside to dry? What Spokane area next-door neighbors have cats that most closely resemble one another? Who is the oldest nonstudent to routinely receive what is always referred to as an “after school snack” upon coming home from work? If all the fine folks who steal, vandalize and commit other crimes were banished from the Spokane area, how many people would be left? If people had hidden video cameras set up to monitor the babysitter back when you were a teenager, what would they have seen? How many people besides me got a running start and then tried to fly like Superman when they were about 4, only to rediscover gravity with a definite thud?

Today’s Slice question: What do you consider to have been the golden age of Saturday morning TV cartoons?

(It’s OK if it happens to coincide with the years of your childhood.)

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Here in the lumber heritage Northwest, “I’m choppin’ but no chips are flying” might be a nearly perfect expression to describe a failure to get through to someone.