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by MICHAEL BOWEN & r & & r & Who Loves Pizza? & r & & r & Americans do, more than Italians. (Here in the States, only hamburgers rank higher.) Even before recent spikes in the cost of olive oil, mozzarella and wheat flour, only 14 percent of Italians named pizza as their favorite food. And according to Italy's National Institute of Statistics, now that's down to less than 9 percent.





Whereas on a typical Saturday night in Spokane, fully 91 percent of the population stays home and orders in. The other 9 percent of us are driving around in a car with a dome light on the roof, going door to door and delivering Pepperoni Surprises.





Wooden Acting?


"Guy walks into a log cabin, meets a voyageur with a really large flintlock...." Sounds like a setup to some kind of Davy Crockett joke. But actually, it's a slice of the "Living History" you can experience this weekend with the historic reenactors (straight from the 1820s!) at the Spokane House Fur Trade Post Encampment, on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am-5 pm at the Spokane House, north of Nine Mile Falls on Highway 291. Visit www.friendsofspokanehouse.com. (Though that's totally anachronistic -- you never caught David Thompson surfing the Web.)





Pitilessness


Street racers in Connecticut, roaring against traffic and going the wrong way, run over a 78-year-old East Indian man. He lies, mangled and bleeding, in the street. No one moves to help him.





A black woman falls to the floor of waiting room in a Brooklyn hospital, thrashes around, then lies still. Staff and visitors ignore her for an hour. Then she dies.


Don't wanna get involved, gotta take this call, someone else will help them.





But other people aren't just obstacles, impediments to your day. They're human, too. So smile at the grocery checker. Thank the counter clerk, and be sincere about it. Give the other guy the help that you'd want your own loved ones to receive.





Diminuendo


Effective next June, Dan Keberle has announced his retirement as music director of the Spokane Jazz Orchestra after a 15-year run. That makes September's Diane Schuur concert at the Fox -- and the SJO's other three concerts next season at the Bing -- all the more to be savored. Visit www.spokanejazz.org.

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