Arrow-right Camera
Subscribe now

This column reflects the opinion of the writer. Learn about the differences between a news story and an opinion column.

Paul Turner: About that missing invitation to the lake

A lakefront cabin site on Priest Lake. (Courtesy Idaho Dept. of Lands)

You have no doubt wondered.

Why don’t you get invited to friends’ lake places?

It’s a reasonable question. I mean, you have friends who have summertime residences on a waterfront, right? Or at least friends of friends. How come they never ask you to come up for a weekend?

Or perhaps never invite you back.

See if you think one of these multiple-choice options might be the explanation.

A) Your dietary restrictions are legendary and strike some people as performance art.

B) It’s not just you. They don’t invite anyone anymore. The instructions on the proper technique for flushing the lake cabin toilet are so complex and require such phenomenal manual dexterity that your prospective hosts simply grew tired of conducting water closet tutorials for guests.

C) You smoke cigars.

D) You were a ball-hog on your Hoopfest team in 2008, and that’s something people never forget or forgive.

E) Those who have lake places would love to invite you, but they worry that you would be bored.

F) There’s a chance you might discover the friendly lake monster and blab about it when you get back to town. (It has been a closely guarded secret for generations.)

G) You are the sort of wine/beer snob who makes people fantasize about assault and battery.

H) Your children. Just about everyone in the immediate six-county area knows of their reputation as hellions. And if the folks with the lake place invited you, there’s a chance you might bring the kids along.

I) It’s well-known that you are incapable of going five minutes on a boat without shouting, “Ramming speed!” or other lines from “Ben-Hur.”

J) The last time you were at the lake, your swimsuit frightened children and raised concerns about your proximity to open food.

K) People think you are the sort of person who would constantly be asking, “Good God, what’s that smell?”

L) Sadly, you seem like the sort of person who would see that someone is reading and still go right ahead and engage that individual in conversation.

M) Everyone has already seen your “moment of attack” impression based on a scene in “Jaws.”

N) Your politics and your insistence that everyone share them.

O) Your friends like you. That’s not the issue. It’s just that seeing you in your swim trunks, well, it is so out-of-context it might blow their minds. Sort of like when kids see their teachers over the summer in the grocery store.

P) Last time you were just a bit too interested in the prospects for skinny dipping.

Q) Your insistence on bringing your attorney.

R) You require that others regard you as the center of attention and that can be exhausting when people are just wanting to sit out on the deck and drink lemonade.

S) There has been a whispering campaign behind your back about how you apparently never wash your hands.

T) You strike potential hosts as the sort of person who would raise a stink about having to wear a life vest while out on the boat.

U) You have a drinking problem. Get some help.

V) Last time, your snoring kept people awake on the other side of the lake.

W) It’s known that you would require a written guarantee that there be no mosquitoes.

X) You saying, “I got’cher personal watercraft right here,” got a bit old after about the third time you said it.

Y) It’s nothing personal. A lot of Spokane-area families savor being by themselves on the weekend.

Z) Other.

Drive-in story

Darlene Norton shared this.

“There were five children in my immediate family so the back seat was always full.”

She remembers one time in particular. “I had stood up so I could see. Was told to sit back down.”

Darlene obeyed but immediately rocketed back up, pitching over the front seat. She had sat on a wasp or yellow jacket, which defended itself by stinging her.

End note

My friend Dan Hansen, a credit union executive, passed along a commercial real estate bulletin.

“The old Hooters building in the Valley is now occupied by a church called Uplift.”

More from this author