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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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It’s a good idea to get permission first

The question about seeing something on a colleague’s computer screen that you wished you hadn’t prompted a note from a Slice correspondent whose name I will keep to myself.

“Do cellphones count?” she wrote.

It seems she picked up a neighbor’s phone and took the liberty of scrolling through the photos stored there. At first, it was just as she expected. Puppies, kids, et cetera.

“Then I came across a very graphic body part picture.”

Maybe it was medical. Perhaps it was porn. But she learned her lesson about looking at phone photos without an invitation.

Tolstoy as a 20-year sleep aid: “ ‘Anna Karenina’ has been on my nightstand since 1996,” wrote Karen Burgard of Spokane Valley. “I started reading it and soon found that it worked better than Nytol. I read many more books since then and poor Anna was buried but never removed from the nightstand. Every now and then I would read a chapter.

“In 2004 my father passed away and that started a very stressful time. My siblings and I were dealing with assisted living facilities for my mother. I was making many trips back and forth to my home state of Alaska, all the while feeling the need to be home with my family.

“My mind would be filled with all the problems of the moment and I couldn’t sleep. So ‘Anna Karenina’ started to travel with me. The more stressed I was, the more pages I had to read to fall asleep. My husband would not ask how things were going, he would ask how many pages did I read the night before. Usually it was three or four. When I said ‘32,’ he knew that it had been a particularly rough day.

“While I still have not finished the book, I continue to use the magic Nytol properties on occasion. It sits on the nightstand buried under four or five books, waiting.”

Today’s Slice question: Back before you quit smoking and safety matches arrived on the scene, did you have a stylish way of lighting matches? You know, like something we might have seen in old movies where characters would start the flame with a flick of a thumbnail or by striking a match on the bottom of their shoes.

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. Those born long after the Cuban Missile Crisis (October 1962) sometimes think the idea that our world is fraught with peril is something new.

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