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The Slice: Does what you can do still matter more than who you are?

It was long a point of pride for many in the West that people here were less likely to care about your family’s prominence, the cachet of your alma mater, et cetera, than would those in other parts of the country.

But here’s what I wonder. Is that still true?

Asked and answered: Rockford’s Tom Tyler weighed in on why he isn’t a typical resident of the Inland Northwest.

“I shave every day. I don’t wear a ballcap every day. If I wear a hat, I usually wear a fedora. I don’t drink Keystone Light or Fireball.”

Christy Mills wrote, “I am not a typical resident of the Inland Northwest because I have no desire to wear a North Face jacket.”

To be continued.

Joking matter: Nola Barrett, one of the readers I played catch with at Riverfront Park back in the summer of 2004, offered this.

A man and a woman are eating breakfast together, reading different sections of the paper. The woman says, “Oh, listen to this! A study says that the average woman speaks roughly twice as many words in a day as the average man. I wonder why that is?” The man looks up and says, “What?”

Feedback: Flo Moore wrote to defend family newsletter Christmas cards.

“My grandmother used to say that a Christmas card with only the signature was hardly worth the stamp.”

(For the record, I merely suggested some senders of these letters might have been high when they wrote them.)

Warm-up questions: How has technology changed the way you ask a relative in another state for a consultation on a recipe? Who owns the oldest ice skates currently in use in the Inland Northwest? Would a kid in 2016 find that a Slinky toy is, in fact, fun for a girl or a boy? What is Spokane’s prime example of rearranging the deck chairs? Do those who served aboard Navy ships named after U.S. states develop an affinity for the actual states?

Today’s Slice question: So you are attempting to describe a piece of music, the title of which you can’t remember. The person to whom you are speaking asks how the tune goes.

How would you characterize your subsequent attempts to convey the melody in question by humming, whistling or gasping a passage from the piece or song?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email For those who remember the “Lou Grant” show, it would be fun to walk into the newsroom one day and see Jack Bannon on the phone at the city desk.

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