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The Slice: When everything’s a Red Ryder BB gun

Perhaps we can help each other.

I don’t have ready access to young children to whom I might offer the classic Christmas gift warning – “You’ll shoot your eye out.”

As I’m sure parents and grandparents can imagine, this leaves a void in my celebration of the season.

And what about you? After issuing repeated yule present admonitions, maybe you could use some backup when it comes to laying down the law about items being too expensive or whatever.

I am here to assist you.

Just bring your child or grandchild to the Review Tower and I will make a ruling on the youth’s holiday wish list.

Here’s the beauty part. It doesn’t matter what gift the child craves. I will react in the same way: “You’ll shoot your eye out.”

Think of me as Santa’s cranky helper, Uncle Slice.

Say, a darling little boy wants those plastic building blocks.

“You’ll shoot your eye out.”

Or a sweet little girl would like a phone.

“You’ll shoot your eye out.”

I realize this might baffle the children. Still, I would enjoy it. And I promise not to hand out those candy canes that taste like chalk.

So I know what you’re thinking. Why not get a job as one of those mall Santas who help the real Santa? That way, I could interact with all kinds of kids.

Yes, but then I would have to deal with store managers or other retail authorities.

“Uh, Mr. Turner, some of the parents are upset. Apparently you are telling the children they’ll shoot their eye out, even when the toy poses no such risk. Mr. Turner, we can’t have that.”

No, I’m not up for that. I want to say my line, tousle the kid’s hair and call it good. Bim. Bam. Boom.

But perhaps, upon reflection, that prospect has limited appeal for Spokane area parents and grandparents.

I mean, I can just imagine some grandmother answering her husband’s question as she heads out the door.

“Where did you say you were going with Madison?”

“We’re heading down to The Spokesman-Review so the Slice guy can tell her that the Christmas present she wants will shoot her eye out.”

On second thought, maybe this could be better handled by sending the kid a text.

“Dear Madison, You’ll shoot your eye out. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, in jail.”

Today’s Slice question: When you wear a white shirt, do you look like an over-the-hill Mormon missionary?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Please share your cheese ball story.

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