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“If cats had opposable thumbs, they would try to kill us all in our sleep with tiny pistols. They are evil little animals.” And so begins another year of observations from best-seller Barton Grover Howe. With more reflections on life from his “Beach Slapped” newspaper column, he’s at it again: The discussions between his pregnant wife and allegedly sympathetic women (“What else explains the endless discussion about what’s about to emerge from her: Watermelons, bowling balls, Black & Decker tool sets, you name it. And as long as the sentence ends with ‘… it’s like that scene in “Alien,’’’ they seem pleased that they could share this amusing little anecdote.”); his daughter’s arrival into the rainy world of the Oregon coast (“It’s a moist, dark and quiet kind of place; pretty much a womb with a view.”); and other people’s ongoing need to make him a better person (“This is national ‘Turn Off Your TV Week,’ something I first heard about on TV, thus highlighting why this is the dumbest thing on Earth.”)

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