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Paul Turner: Your approach to dandelions may say a lot about your personality

In the lawn-loving Spokane area, your attitude about dandelions can almost amount to a distinct personality profile. (Liz Kishimoto / The Spokesman-Review)
In the lawn-loving Spokane area, your attitude about dandelions can almost amount to a distinct personality profile. (Liz Kishimoto / The Spokesman-Review)

In the lawn-loving Spokane area, your attitude about dandelions can almost amount to a distinct personality profile.

So tell me. Which of these sounds most like you?

Scorched earth: Don’t care if those weed-killer chemicals might be dangerous to human life now and for generations to come. What are you going to fight dandelions with? Harsh language? Growth-stunting incantations?

Eyes wide open: You hear them growing after you have gone to bed at night. That’s the thing about dandelions. They are relentless. They just keep coming, wave after wave. And they know where you live.

I Am Curious (Yellow): Yes, you regard them as the enemy. But you sort of admire them, too. I mean, how do they do it? Even after you are sure you have gotten rid of them, a few insurgents stage a comeback the moment you look the other way.

Prefer hand-to-hand engagement: There’s something so satisfying about digging them out by the taproot and hearing the invader ripped from the turf. It makes you want to offer a lusty cry of victory that would make a professional wrestler sound understated and restrained by comparison. “Ahhyiiiiiiiiiiii … Yeaaaaah!”

Live and let live: Chill, man. You are not one of those uptight “Get off my lawn!” guys who is all hung up about weeds. You have a few yellowheads popping up here and there? That’s cool. They call you Mellow Yellow. Quite rightly.

Issue is irrelevant: You live in an apartment or in a van down by the river.

Churchillian: We shall fight them on the side yards. We shall fight them on the flower beds. We shall never surrender.

Searching for a negotiated settlement: No one has ever gotten dandelions to sit down at the table for purposeful peace talks. You might be the first to hammer out meaningful accords.

Two with nature: The presence of dandelions challenges your belief that you can control your environment.

Winter is coming: Sure, it’s a long way off. But waiting them out is always one way to deal with dandelions.

Mother’s Day questions

Do you say “Happy Mother’s Day” to women you don’t know without having first ascertained that they are, in fact, mothers?

Are people more apt to do that in Spokane than in other places where you have lived?

Mother’s Day is a huge deal. We all know that. But would it be an even bigger thing hereabouts if, like Father’s Day, it had originated in Spokane?

What’s this day like for women who have lost a child or for women who would love nothing more than to be a mommy but for whom that just hasn’t happened?

Is today sort of complicated for childless women who feel harshly judged by their own mothers because they do not have children?

Do you ever wonder what life is like for those who did not grow up knowing what it’s like to have a mother’s unconditional love?

If you could visit your mother’s gravesite today, would you say anything out loud?

What makes/made your mother laugh? Cry?


No need to mention any names. But some of us skipped our high school or college graduations. Or both. Ahem.

So tell me. Based on your cap and gown recollections, what did we miss?

Spokane medical personnel and a song from 1978

How many surgical nurses are old enough to name that tune when they hear patients mutter the Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated”?

End note

A friend was telling me about his 9-year-old grandson.

Last summer, the lad learned how to play blackjack, the card game. And upon hearing that an area casino offered an activity center for kids, the boy was excited about the possibilities.

Can’t blame him. Just imagine a 9-year-old sitting across from a dealer, murmuring “Baby needs a new pair of shoes” or some such.

Anyway, the boy’s mother explained to him that the children’s room at the casino wasn’t actually a gambling venue for youth, as my friend put it. She further pointed out that adults engaged in gaming at casinos play for money. And how many 9-year-olds are walking around with a fat wad of bills in their pocket?

But my friend’s grandson had an idea. Instead of money, kids could play for food.

I have to admit, that could be interesting.

A child could bet an ice cream cone and, if he won, let it ride. Of course, the kid might not win.

“How’s he doing?”

“He’s down.”

“How bad?”

“Three hot dogs, a serving of hummus and several Otter Pops.”

Columnist Paul Turner can be reached at srpaulturner@gmail.