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The Slice: A seasonal adjustment that has nothing to do with the clock

The small garage/big vehicle issue isn’t new.

It has been with us for years, especially in parts of the Spokane area with older homes.

Guiding your car into the narrow space of a vintage garage can be a bit like piloting a spacecraft during an intricate docking maneuver. Or so I imagine.

It requires a cool head, nerves of steel and all that.

But now, with the official start of spring a little more than a week away, we have arrived at a time of year when the wide-vehicle/constricted entrance reality takes on a new complication.

Bicycles on bike racks.

Whether the rack is on the back of the vehicle or on the auto’s roof, bikes can expand a car’s profile. Which is fine. Until you try to pull into the garage without first removing them.

It’s bad when that happens. Makes an ugly sound.

By the time summer rolls around, those who transport bikes on their cars are used to the routine. Upon returning home, they stop in the driveway and remove the bicycles from the rack.

But here at the start of the season, it is easy to forget. Did I mention it’s bad when that happens?

So what do you do to make sure you don’t neglect to take your bikes off the car before proceeding into the narrow garage?

Well, you could try doing what they did in the 1995 movie “Apollo 13.”

One of the astronauts places a hand-written note over a control panel. It’s a reminder not to touch a certain button. One of his fellow astronauts asks him about it. And he explains that if he hit that button before everyone was in the right module of the spacecraft it would cast two members of the crew adrift in space.

So you could put a note on your car’s dashboard, “Remove bike before entering garage!”

Then all you would have to do is remember to look at the note.

Today’s professional in-joke: “When I worked for the Forest Service in Northern Idaho, I was on the silviculture crew,” wrote Diane Stutzman. “One of the things we did was take tree cores to determine stand age.”

They had a joke they told on themselves.

“We’re so dull, we even bore trees.”

Today’s Slice question: What made you realize that your home not being wheelchair accessible was going to be a problem?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Blake Ballard would be perfectly happy if he never again heard “It’s a game changer.”

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