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Saturday, August 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  The Slice

The Slice returns: Some blowhards are good people

Editor’s note: Seven months after Paul Turner’s The Slice column disappeared from the pages of the Today section, it’s back. Look for his column monthly in Sunday Today.

Here’s why there might still be hope.

I despise leaf-blowers. Always have.

And yet, a number of people I’m quite fond of use these noisy devices with gusto.

Somehow we manage to get along. So far.

Let’s move on.

So here’s a question: When do you consider “the holidays” to have arrived? You know, as in the psychological/attitudinal season. Not the stores’ definition.

Halloween? C’mon, that’s way too early. Besides, Halloween is really more of a children’s bacchanal than a true holiday.

When your November or Christmas travel plans are finalized? Maybe. When the words “gift list” first intrude on your consciousness? Could be.

The days leading up to Thanksgiving? Maybe. Some of us can relate to momentarily getting into the seasonal spirit about then. At a crowded grocery store or when brooding weather cues a holly jolly memory.

Or perhaps you would agree it’s when something first prompts you to experience a hint of the anticipation you predictably felt about the holidays long, long ago.

Maybe that’s triggered by a snippet of a song or a scene in an old movie.

Or perhaps it’s the first time you find yourself counter-offering “Why don’t we do it after the holidays.”

Thumbs down: It’s not unheard of for voters to actually feel genuine enthusiasm for their preferred political candidates.

It happens.

But I’m guessing many of us are often more passionate about voting against certain political hopefuls, which can make living in the Spokane area a frustrating experience. That’s because voters on either side of the Idaho line often know enough about local candidates in the other state to want to vigorously cast ballots against them. Of course, that’s not allowed. We have to be content with just voting against office seekers in our own states.

Just wondering: When traveling to other parts of the country, do you say you are from Spokane even if your residence is well outside the city proper and “Spokane” isn’t part of your mailing address? Why? Why not?

A) It’s simpler. B) People give me a look when I say I’m from Athol. C) I regard Spokane as a crime-ridden cesspool. D) I’m always concerned that the other person might suspect I am one of those Last Redoubt nuts hoping for a breakdown of the established social order after which individuals who lack educations can rise up and assume control. E) When I say “Spokane Valley” it just confuses people. F) I used to refer to “North Idaho,” but that led to too many conversations about why I don’t say “northern Idaho.” F) Look, people who live 100 miles from Chicago say “Chicago,” so back off.

Select one: Which of these three would make the best holiday themed Hallmark Channel movie set in or near Spokane?

“The Littlest Marmot” – A shy young rodent who enjoys cooking with lentils gets a very special Christmas surprise when a new furry family moves in next door.

“It’s a Millwood Miracle” – A lovely young widow who had stopped believing in Christmas has her faith restored when a hunky newcomer enlists her aid in his bold plan to start a seven-day evening newspaper in Spokane.

“The Princess of Peaceful Valley” – Fleeing her tumultuous life in Europe after yet another kidnapping attempt, a smart, shapely member of a royal family secretly moves to Spokane (with the help of the Witness Protection Program) and becomes a barista who finds love where she least expects it.

Chilling out: Oct. 31 can be pretty brisk in Spokane. Depends on the year. So this isn’t really a new issue. But it might be worth mulling before Wednesday. You know, to come up with a winning strategy.

If Halloween night turns out to be cold, how can you make sure your children or grandchildren are dressed warmly without causing them to freak out?

Some trick-or-treaters balk at donning multiple layers of clothing beneath their costumes. They argue it ruins the stylish lines of their festive outfits.

And if you want to see a child come unglued, just try proposing that he or she wear a warm coat over a painstakingly selected fantasy get-up.

I don’t really have an answer. But perhaps it will get the child’s attention for a moment if you assure him or her that, decades from now, he or she will get plenty of mileage out of saying the following: “When I was 8, my mom made me wear a coat over my Halloween outfit … I’m still mad about it.”

Marmot Lodge update: I’ve been asked. So I’m pleased to report that the time-honored fraternal order’s dues structure and meetings schedule remain unchanged despite the Grand Poobah’s exploration of alternative lifestyles.

October’s question: What’s one Spokane obsession you simply don’t care about?

Contact the writer at srpaulturner@gmail.com. Telepathic messages also accepted.

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