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Opinion >  Column

Paul Turner: How to talk when we talk about Hoopfest

Young girls walk arm in arm through the tunnel on Washington Street on June 30, 2018, during Hoopfest. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)
Young girls walk arm in arm through the tunnel on Washington Street on June 30, 2018, during Hoopfest. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)

Here’s a quick guide to the sort of Hoopfest stories your co-workers and others will actually want to hear from you today.

Yes: Self-effacing accounts of how you shot a miraculous 0-for-23 over the weekend.

No: Seemingly interminable stories about how great you played.

Yes: Stories about little kids on a winning team consoling members of a losing team.

No: Rhapsodic reports about about what a flawless jump-shot your child has.

Yes: Your sarcastic “Hoopfest Parent of the Year” nominations.

No: Exhaustive play-by-play retellings of your games.

Yes: Brush-with-fame tales in which you had no idea someone is an alleged celebrity.

No: Stories about portable toilets (unless they involve phones dropped into the abyss).

One more going barefoot/slugs story

“I used to live in Western Washington, and I’ve always loved to run around barefoot,” wrote Barbara St. Dennis. “Ran across the wet grass one morning and slipped into my Australian massage sandals, the ones with the little nubbies that work the bottom of your feet.

“The sandals had been left out overnight and held an enormous banana slug that I impaled on the little points and squished up through my toes. Seriously awful.”

No doubt. But being able to tell that story would help establish one’s Evergreen State bona fides.

Sounds of summer

Mike Storms said I left one out in last Tuesday’s list.

“The neighbor lady cussing out her kids. She could be heard a block away with a vocabulary that would make a sailor blush.”

Mike recalls a time she was scolding one of her children for using a naughty word. She later wondered aloud where the kid picked up such language.

Drive-in theater memory

Patricia Holland and a friend were watching a scary movie at an outdoor theater Patricia’s father managed.

Her dad had instructed two of his employees to sneak up and shake her car during a particularly frightening moment in the film. “We screamed and screamed,” she said. “It was so much fun.”

Rockets’ red glare

Your desire to set off fireworks this week is motivated by what?

A) Patriotic zeal. B) Yearning to celebrate your freedom to break the law. C) Hard-wired urge to blow stuff up. D) National tradition. E) It amuses you to say “And now, to honor America”… as you light the fuse. F) Lifelong interest in munitions. G) You are an unapologetic yahoo. H) Your family has always celebrated Independence Day with firecrackers and you will cease doing so when they pry your cold, dead fingers, et cetera. I) What? I can’t hear you. J) You are a longtime fan of the John Lee Hooker song “Boom Boom.” K) Other.

Just wondering

Last week, while the World War II aircraft were out at the airport, I heard an unusual engine throb overhead. It was a restored B-25 bomber. (If you have seen “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo,” you might recognize that plane.) That got me wondering. Who around here has seen the greatest variety of aircraft flying over Spokane since childhood?

I’ll bet some old-timers could draw up pretty impressive lists.

Animals in town

After wondering last Wednesday if all Spokane urban wildlife are destined to become roadkill, I heard from Madonna Luers, public information officer for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“As an eternal optimist (perhaps rare for ‘wildlifers’ and especially government public information officers!), I want to believe that Spokane citizens are stepping up to what we call ‘Living with wildlife.’ One barometer for me is how our local news media interest has waned just a little in covering the umpteenth moose running around somewhere. I mean we’re not quite to the Anchorage, Alaska, level of nonchalance, but we’re moving in that direction.

“Although in my near 34 years in this position I’m still putting out the same perennial messages to enjoy-wildlife-from-a-distance, leave-wild-babies-in-the-wild, and the other advice we offer at, I do think that more people in Spokane are adopting a co-existence mentality as a kind of point of pride – we still have enough open spaces in and around us that wildlife thrives here, too. After all, wildlife is part of Spokane’s quality of life. It’s part of why we love to live here.”

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