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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: On becoming uncomfortably numb

It’s summer in the Inland Northwest, so sooner or later it will come up.

You will be invited to attend an outdoor entertainment event at which you will be expected to sit on the ground.

Because you are a fun person who is game for anything, you will agree. That’s where the trouble starts.

You see, sitting on the ground ceases to be a good idea once you get to a certain age. (You can decide for yourself precisely what that age is.)

Oh sure, it’s fine for a few minutes. But then your butt goes to sleep. Any attempt to get up and walk will make you look like an insensitive lout doing a stumbling impression of someone with a limp or disability.

You don’t want that.

Yes, people often bring folding chairs to outdoor theater or concerts. Some just bring pads, the kind designed for stadium seats. But if your companions are sitting on a picnic blanket, unfolding a lawn chair calls attention to the fact you look like a person whose butt can no longer handle extended stretches of sitting on terra extremely firma. Which, of course, it can’t.

And trying to balance yourself on a pad that has no back can be a bit like the West’s least exciting rodeo event.

In any event, it’s hard to enjoy music or drama when you are experiencing gluteal paralysis.

Shifting from one hip to the other doesn’t really work. That just results in a generalized numbness certain to challenge your ability to appreciate the arts.

But have fun. You should regain some feeling in your haunches in a few hours.

Today’s Slice question: What makes for the best first date?

A) Concert. B) Movie. C) Sports (spectator). D) Sports (participant, such as golf or tennis). E) Dinner. F) Boating, hiking, bike ride, ice skating, horseback riding, et cetera. G) Live theater. H) Lunch at a place your date has never been. I) Social service volunteering. J) Something that involves a long car drive. K) Something with another couple. L) Shopping. M) Taking a one-session class together. N) Spending time at a gun range. O) Two hours working at a community garden. P) A day at the beach. Q) Skydiving. R) Hot air balloon ride. S) Church service. T) Fishing. U) A Saturday morning spent checking out yard sales. V) Hauling a truckload of stuff to the waste-to-energy plant. W) Silent retreat. X) Visiting a nudist resort. Y) Museum. Z) Other.

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email How many different kinds of animals have bitten you?

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