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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: Feels like the first time

I’m not going to name names, so don’t even ask.

But there are people in Spokane who fake it. That is, they watch recorded TV shows with their spouse or significant other without ever admitting they had already viewed the episode in question.

Sometimes, with certain shows, this can require acting. You know, to project surprise or amusement. Even though, the second time around, the viewer isn’t really surprised or amused.

Slice answers: The Slice asked if any readers had attended a wedding where the old Brewer & Shipley marijuana song “One Toke Over the Line” had been played.

“Actually, no,” wrote Wade Griffith. “But I do remember a Manito Rose Garden wedding where the prelude was ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale.’ By a cello quartet, no less. Actually very well done and tasteful, as long as you tried not to think about the lyrics. ( ‘Her face, at first just ghostly…’)

“The bride had a nice tan, as I recall.”

Claudia Craven also reported that she has not heard “One Toke Over the Line” played at a wedding. “But you should see the senior fitness class at the Southside Senior Center boogieing to this tune. A few know the meaning of the words, but I’m guessing a fair majority do not. Makes me smile every time. I sing along.”

One toke over the line sweet Jesus

One toke over the line

Sittin’ downtown in a railway station

One toke over the line

Warm-up question: When a conversation about local air quality prompts you to recall the decades-ago field-burning era, do newcomers look at you with mystified expressions?

Today’s Slice question: Slice reader Billie Watson was the latest to learn that Seattle residents referring to the East Side are, in all likelihood, talking about Bellevue. They aren’t thinking about the state. They’re thinking about their metropolitan area.

Which made me wonder. Over here, “West Side” is absolutely a state-focused description. But what if we engaged in a little region nullification of our own? You know, come up with a new, more local definition of “West Side.”

So instead of Puget Sound, that expression could refer to … well, that’s the question.

What would qualify as the Spokane area’s West Side?

But then what would we call the part of Washington on the far side of the Cascades?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email After all these years, would changing the name of Pig Out in the Park be a good move or an unthinkable brand-flushing marketing disaster?

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