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Paul Turner: Keep your hands to yourself and watch what you say at cookouts

Paul Turner (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Paul Turner (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Perhaps you have wondered.

What exactly are grounds for ejection from a Spokane area backyard cookout?

In a hockey game, you have to commit a pretty serious offense to get tossed. But what about at cookouts? What gets you ejected from a gathering near the grill?

Well, there is no one all-encompassing Code of the West covering this. Rulings vary, from cookout to cookout.

And honoring the right of free speech certainly includes acceptance and tolerance. But here are a few of the behaviors that might get you tossed from a local cookout. Of course, a few of these same pronouncements might win applause at a different gathering.

Describing the host’s favorite Inland Northwest lake as a fetid swamp of no return.

Speculating in a rude, mocking way about the parentage of the resident dogs.

Loudly endorsing a mayoral candidate whose view of the homeless seems to be “Why can’t they just go away or at least stay out of sight?”

Suggesting that any of the horses in last Saturday’s crazy Kentucky Derby would have challenged Secretariat.

Illegal use of hands.

Refusal to acknowledge that back in the days of Cecil Andrus and Frank Church, Idaho was a two-party state.

Unwillingness to concede that former Washington governor Dixy Lee Ray did not spell her name “Dixie.”

Insisting that Washington’s taxation policies make sense for an allegedly progressive state.

Saying you don’t approve of spaying/neutering pets because it’s not natural.

Being a militant anti-vaxxer.

Asking “Who was Bobby Orr?” on May 10.

Refusal to believe that Elvis performed here a couple of times.

Refusal to believe that Spokane was mentioned in the same episode of “The Andy Griffith Show” that introduced the Darling family.

Refusal to believe that Spokane is mentioned in the movies “Network” and “Coal Miner’s Daughter” or TV’s “Mad Men.”

Arguing that Spokane is about as humid as Houston or St. Louis.

Arguing that Spokane is about as buggy as Maine or Upstate New York.

Insisting that the mammoth B-36 was never stationed at Fairchild.

Further insisting that Moses Lake never had its own Air Force base.

Doubting the veracity of your dozens of vintage baseball cards showing various major leaguers spent a season in Spokane.

Refusal to believe Rainier beer was ever brewed here.

Badmouthing farmers.

Refusal to believe that Henry J. Kaiser once lived on the South Hill’s Grand Boulevard.

Refusal to believe Madonna ever came to Spokane to film a movie scene.

Insisting you are wrong when you correctly note that GU used to be in the Big Sky Conference.

Doubting your assertion that our area used to be the home of multiple Atlas and Titan ICBM silos.

Claiming the widespread belief that tomatoes used to be better is a myth.

Asked and answered

The other day, over in the Today section, I asked readers what was the best age to have been in that culturally pivotal year of 1969.

Jeff Anderson was ready with a reply.

“For most of 1969, I was 15. We lived in Louisiana at the time, where the driving age was 15. (Get your motor runnin’. Head out on the highway. Lookin’ for adventure. And whatever comes our way.)

“We moved to Washington in the summer of ’69. I drove one of the family cars (1960 Corvair) in convoy with the rest of my family (in the Family Truckster) from Louisiana to Washington. Spent most of the summer in Coeur d’Alene, my birthplace. Best year ever.”

Speaking of the Idaho Panhandle and 1969

I’m just going to assume you knew that during the Apollo 11 moon mission Eagle Scout Neil Armstrong sent greetings to the thousands of scouts gathered at Farragut State Park for that summer’s national jamboree.

End note

An email arrived from Kathy Hansen.

“Hi, Paul. I’ve wondered about something for years that has always bothered me. Why are the comics hidden in the Sunday paper? I was hoping you could answer this question in an upcoming column. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has wondered about this. It’s a trial every Sunday to hunt for the buried comics.

“Today I took the entire paper apart until I just gave up. I know this is far from what you usually write about, but was hoping maybe you could provide some insight into this burning question.”

Hi, Kathy. I’m fairly certain the placement of the Sunday comics is not specifically intended to be annoying. But I can’t say for sure. I’ve been wrong before, when it comes to aspects of the S-R business model. So I’ll ask and then report my findings.

Columnist Paul Turner can be reached at

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