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The Slice: To rake or not to rake?

It’s a week before Halloween, so you’re probably wondering.

Is it better to rake the leaves in the front yard so kids can traverse the walkway unencumbered by decaying plant matter? Or is it preferable to wait until November, for the sake of autumnal atmosphere?

Let’s look at the pros and cons of raking before Halloween.

Pro: If you don’t do it now, you’ll have to do it later.

Con: Removing leaves from your yard deprives kids of hearing that classic rustle at their feet.

Pro: If you rake and a child spills his or her trick-or-treat candy, that youth will probably be able to gather it up without too much searching.

Con: If the leaves are gone, kids tripping on their own costumes won’t have anything to break their fall.

Pro: A raked yard tells trick-or-treaters the house is inhabited.

Con: The sensation of shuffling through leaves is something kids cannot experience via their electronic devices.

Pro: If you rake now, you can go ahead and do the sprinkler blowout without creating patches of soggy leaves.

Con: A yard carpeted in leaves somehow suggests the possibility of something spooky in the house.

Pro: Maybe you’re not trying to suggest the possibility of something spooky.

Con: When a little dog accompanies a cluster of trick-or-treaters, it can be fun to see the short-statured canine standing in leaves up to its shoulders.

Pro: Raking makes it less likely the kids will trip on a hidden rock, a downed branch or whatever.

Con: If the leaves are left to cover the yard and your neighbor’s delusional cat decides to “take down” one or two of the pirates and princesses, the intended victims will be able to hear the spirited feline moving through the yard, creeping up on them.

Pro: There’s probably some ordinance saying you have to provide a clear walkway after dark.

Con: Leaves add ambiance to Halloween videos.

Momentarily forgetting: Tomas Kelley Lynch doesn’t really experience the sensation of wanting to say something to certain people and then remembering they have passed away. But he does come home at the end of the day and walk over to check his answering machine.

“I haven’t had a land line in five years.”

And he has never had one in the apartment he has occupied for three years. “But I set my keys down and walk over to where the answering machine never was.”

Today’s Slice question: How many people in built-by-the-railroads Spokane have never ridden a train?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Do you have a favorite fading ghost sign painted on the side of a local building?

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