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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  The Slice

The Slice: You’re nobody’s fool, newbie

With this being April Fools’ Day Eve, it might be a good idea to brace ourselves for Monday’s inevitable leg-pulling shenanigans.

This is especially advisable if you are a newcomer to the Inland Northwest. You see, longtime residents of the Spokane area sometimes stretch the truth a bit when informing recently arrived transplants about just what will be expected of them here.

For instance, it’s not really true that local residents are required by law to love camping. But it’s entirely possible that, on April Fools’ Day, someone might suggest you are fully expected to enjoy going without showers and communing with bugs intent on sharing your sleeping bag.

And on a related note, don’t fall for it if someone insists the secret to getting along with bears is knowing the secret handshake. That’s true only in certain situations.

Here’s another. Despite what your co-worker or neighbor might tell you, there is no Spokane ordinance mandating that you stage a yard sale every month. Same goes with growing tomatoes. If you want to, that’s fine. But it’s up to you.

Nor is it true that homeowners in certain parts of town are required by law to park rusty pickups on the front lawn. Or brandish firearms when a neighbor knocks on the door.

In addition, no matter what any longtime resident says, you won’t really be fined for wearing a shirt with a collar, skipping Hoopfest or referring to any day in Spokane as humid.

Also, don’t believe it if you are told that on Father’s Day Spokane dads are allowed to tell any child “I’ll give you something to cry about” (in recognition of the occasion in June being invented here). But it’s OK for dads to salute past generations by telling their own kids in the back seat, “Try to hold it, we’re making good time.”

There is no legal requirement to have fond memories of Expo ’74 – especially if you didn’t live here at the time or weren’t born until long after the world’s fair.

Bing Crosby’s birthday is not a legal holiday in Spokane.

Smoking marijuana is not mandatory here, though after reading certain letters to the editor you might wonder if it should be.

You are not actually required to regard bicyclists as communists or give a rip about Seattle sports teams.

And no matter what anyone tells you on April Fools’ Day, fishing, owning a white SUV, playing golf, going to the lake and taking part in nude fun runs are not compulsory in the Spokane area.

At least not yet.

Speaking of April Fools’ Day: Which of these was not featured in The Slice on an April 1 in the past.

The gripping, no-holds-barred saga of hard-drinking food page sexpot Dorothy Dean (accompanied by a glamour photo of the casserole queen – it was actually Rita Hayworth).

The incredible story of long-gone Spokane University’s improbable 1929 hoops run to the NIT championship game against Faber Tech, as told in Vince Grippi’s unpublished account, “A Season on the Brink.”

Looking back on the year Spokane hosted the Super Bowl because of terrorism concerns in major cities.

The introduction of Touch-and-See technology and the magic wand stylus that makes your newspaper page defy the laws of physics. (This was a couple of decades before Smartphones.)

The announcement that The S-R is going full scandal-sheet tabloid, complete that day with sensational grabber headlines and photos of local notables running amok.

OK, it was a trick question. All of those have been in this column on one April Fools’ Day or another.

Overheard (patient returning to a downtown eye clinic waiting room): “Well, it’s official. I can’t see (expletive).”

Agree or disagree (A reader first mentioned this in the spring of 1995): “Spokane” sounds like a model of Studebaker.

Warm-up question: The service manager out in Spokane Valley at the dealership where we take our car was telling about how his 12-year-old son had announced his career plans. The boy has decided to be a professional gamer.

The service manager reportedly told the lad it’s great to aim for your dreams. You know, go for it. But he said he also told his son it’s often wise to have a fallback plan.

So here’s the question. When you were 12, what did you want to be when you grew up?

This month’s Slice question: The month of March in the Inland Northwest is going out like what real or imaginary animal?

Columnist Paul Turner can be contacted at

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