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Paul Turner: Plan ahead for summer chitchat

FILE - Spokane Indians mascot Otto dances on the dugout between innings during a game against the Everett AquaSox, Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017, at Avista Stadium. (James Snook / COURTESY PHOTO)

The official start of summer is still weeks away.

But there’s no reason you can’t go ahead and prepare answers to questions almost certain to come up once the season arrives.

Feel free to look over my shoulder and crib from my paper.

Do you say lightning bugs or fireflies?

I say I wish we had them here. I’ve told little kids about how they light up the night back East but I don’t think they believed me.

What statement does a farmer tan make?

It says, “I work for a living, unlike some of you layabouts who seem to have unlimited time to play in the water.”

Have you ever, like one of my readers named Patty, thought you were smelling a skunk and eventually realized it was the neighbors smoking marijuana in their backyard?

Dave’s not here, man.

When looking out from your treehouse, is it required that you at least occasionally talk like a pirate?

Yes. Yes, it is.

When was the heyday of drive-in movies in the Spokane area?

When your grandfather was in high school.

What’s the secret to growing four-star tomatoes?

It helps to read to them occasionally. I’m told they thrive on the Lewis and Clark journals.

What’s the right thing to say after a collision during late-night street racing mangles one of your fenders?

“That’ll buff right out.”

What’s some good advice about fireworks?

Don’t take recommendations from guys who are missing fingers.

Should the discharge from a squirt gun be able to knock a kid right off his feet?

Probably not. But that’s something I wouldn’t mind seeing.

How do you respond to someone who claims Spokane is humid?

You say, “Have you ever been to Houston? New Orleans? The Midwest? Vietnam?”

What do you say when your big dog is hogging the wading pool?

“Good boy!”

If you are planning a June wedding and your intended grew up in a family that spends all summer camping, should you assume you will be expected to go, too?

It depends. Has there been premarital camping? How did that go?

How can you tell if your neighbors seem to like you just because you have a swimming pool?

Well, do you ever see them in winter?

How exhaustive should your “While I’m gone” memo at work be before you go on vacation?

Detailed enough so nobody gets blindsided or left in a lurch but not so voluminous that co-workers suspect you are trying to justify your purportedly irreplaceable existence.

Is it wise to attempt to scare kids who are tenting overnight in the backyard?

It depends. Are they armed?

What’s the secret to making s’mores?

Stressing how much better they used to be back when you were a kid.

What song do you wish ice cream trucks played?

Joe Jackson’s “Steppin’ Out” or “Rocky Top” by the Osborne Brothers.

Is it true that only you can prevent forest fires?

Has a bear ever lied to you?

How can you tell when your shorts are too tight?

When people start talking about health code violations. “Hey, there’s open food here!”

What’s the correct verb when discussing the application of sunscreen?


When is skinny-dipping a good idea?

If you have to ask, don’t.

When skipping stones, is a sidearm delivery the way to go?

Of course.

What do the lyrics mean in Spirit’s “I Got a Line on You”?

They mean “Summer, she’s comin’ on strong.”

Is it in bad taste to refer to your summer camp as a “stalag”?

It depends. Did you consider “Hogan’s Heroes” to be in bad taste?

How can you tell when a milkshake is too thick?

When your attempts to suck it up a straw cause you to black out.

Who wants to hear your Little League or miniature golf stories?

Nobody, really. But since when has that ever stopped you?

Are you required to have a hot dog at a Spokane Indians game?

Yes. Though onions are optional.

Is there a Spokane ordinance restricting use of the expression “Hot enough for you?”

No, but perhaps there should be.

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