So today is the first Monday in almost 26 years that The Slice column has not appeared in The Spokesman-Review.
Well, that’s not totally correct. I’ve missed a few Mondays since the summer of 1992 because of vacations and whatnot. And it might be that there was a period when my column did not run on Mondays.
It’s all sort of blur now. Can’t really remember.
But the point is, things change and we move on. I have a new home in a new section.
This move is partly the result of the Monday and Tuesday features sections going away. It all happened fast. The time seemed right.
The new column will not be The Slice. That’s hard for me to grasp right now.
Maybe we will get used to the idea together.
Still, I can’t help but wonder: What will readers think when they peruse today’s newspaper and do not see The Slice column?
As you might expect, I have theories about the reactions.
A) Won’t notice because they never read The Slice anyway.
B) They will offer a prayer of thanks. “Oh, merciful heaven, hallelujah! No more insipid blather.”
C) “Wait, something’s missing here.”
D) “Hope he’s not sick again.”
E) “Oh, thank God. No more mindless lists and first-person navel gazing.”
F) “Wasn’t the Monday Leaflet already tiny enough?”
G) “I knew he was getting old but …”
H) “That column hasn’t been the same since his neighbor’s cat went to her reward.”
I) “He must have smarted off to the wrong person.”
J) “Someone down there must have figured out that he was making a career out of simply typing in stuff readers sent him.”
K) “Marmots must have turned on him.”
L) “Why wasn’t I consulted?”
M) “I met him once. Can’t remember where. He’s taller than his mugshot.”
N) “He wrote something back in 1994 that really ticked me off. Haven’t read him since.”
O) “I liked that column more back when it was angrier.”
P) “Clearly, Paul Turner is the reason The Spokesman-Review circulation has been in free-fall.”
Q) “I liked that column better back when he occasionally left the office.”
R) “Well, that frees up 2.7 minutes I can use however I want. Woo-hoo!”
S) “I wonder where his body is going to turn up.”
T) “He never used anything I sent in, so the heck with him.”
U) “They must have fired him because he doesn’t like the president.”
V) “I heard he stopped answering his phone. Maybe that’s why this happened.”
W) “I’ve been reading that column so long, I feel like I know some of his regulars almost as well as I know members of my own family.”
X) “I got so sick of reading about his bike riding and bus adventures.”
Y) “My ex-wife really liked him. I hope she sees that he has been relegated to the Northwest section.”
Z) “I knew he was a flash in the pan.”
One last Slice question: How do you thank people for 26 years of story sharing, loyalty and friendship?