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Opinion >  Column

Doug Clark: ‘Groundhog Day’ Spokane-style would be radio jingle, Zags gear

Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott and Bill Murray star in
Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott and Bill Murray star in "Groundhog Day," a 1993 movie that has Murray’s character in a time loop, re-living the same day over and over. (Columbia Pictures)

Remember Bill Murray stuck in a time loop in the 1993 comedy movie classic, “Groundhog Day”?

Murray, as the jaded and condescending TV weatherman Phil Connors, wakes to find himself living the day (Feb. 2) over and over and over … again.

Well, happy Groundhog Day, 2017.

Going about our lives here in the great Ingrown Empire often seems like an exercise in repetition. In my mind, a Spokane-area Groundhog Day deja voodoo do-over could go something, like…

6 a.m. – The Bose Wave radio clicks on. You wake up to the sound of that infernal boat show promotional jingle. “Only in a boat. Only in a boat. Only in a boat. Only in a boat. Only, only in a boat. Only in a …”

6:45 a.m. – Shower and dress. You pick The Spokesman-Review off your porch to find a giant groundhog leering at you from the top of the front page.

7:30 a.m. – Time to check the Facebook page, where 67 of your normally gentle friends are calling the president of the United States a “mother (bleeping) Nazi.”

8 a.m. – Backing out of the garage, you – WHAM!! – chip a tooth when the left rear tire on your car plummets into one of Spokane’s 76,342,947 potholes.

8:01 a.m. – A concerned neighbor woman rushes to her front door at the sound of your angry cursing.

9 a.m. – After a call to the dentist, you stop at Starbucks for a latte and a scone. Scanning the room, you notice that all three baristas and every customer except you are wearing Zags gear.

9:30 a.m. – Driving downtown to the bank, you pass yet another semi truck that has ignored the measurement sign and is now stuck under the railroad bridge on Stevens.

10:15 a.m. – Inside the bank. While depositing a check, you look up to see that every teller and customer but you is garbed in Zags gear.

10:30 a.m. – The parking ticket on your windshield indicates that the nickel you dropped in the meter wasn’t enough.

10:31 a.m. – Two pedestrians turn at the sound of your angry cursing, and stare.

11:23 a.m. – Back on the street, you switch on the car radio just in time to hear, “Only in a boat. Only in a boat. Only in a boat. Only in a boat. Only, only in a boat. Only in a … ”

12:30 p.m. – Pulling onto an on-ramp, you take I-90 east. Your attempts to observe the posted speed limit look feeble when everybody passes you doing 85.

12:45 p.m. – Avista wants another rate increase, the radio announcer states at the newsbreak.

1:30 p.m. – In Coeur d’Alene you grab a late lunch at Hudson’s Hamburgers. “Double-cheese pickle,” you say. A moment later, each customer seated gives the death glare to an idiot newcomer who wants fries.

2 p.m. – A front page headline on the Coeur d’Alene Press catches your eye as you walk past a newspaper box. “Hydroplane Races Postponed Until 2069,” it reads.

3:30 p.m. – “This is going to hurt you a lot more than it hurts me,” says your jokey dentist, who hovers over you grinning.

4 p.m. – You stop at a grocery store to pick up a few items for dinner. All six checkers, you notice, are wearing Zags gear.

5:30 p.m. – Switching channels on the flat-screen back home, you pause to watch a replay of last Monday night’s Spokane City Council meeting. George McGrath is at the microphone, blabbering against some proposal.

9:30 p.m. – Bedtime. After tossing and turning, you finally fall into a fitful sleep.

6: a.m. – Click! “Only in a boat. Only in a boat. Only in a boat. Only in a boat. Only, only in a boat. Only in a … ”

6:01 a.m. – The neighbor lady across the street rushes to her front door at the sound of your screaming.

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