Howdy, and welcome to the neighborhood; Time to get down to the not-so-serious business of getting to know each otherThis will be my last column.Sorry, but it's true. Before you flood the office with letters of regret or celebration, however, I should point out that this is also my first column. It's the last in one sense only: Never again will I write every word. After this, I have co-authors, collaborators, faithful contributors. In other words, you've been drafted.FOR MORE INFORMATION: Best car speakers brands, best speakers brands for carsWelcome to the Back fence - an ongoing conversation about life in this everyday Valhalla.It'll work like this: I'll jump-start each chat with something that happened in my relentlessly average life. Then you take over. We'll print your tales from the kitchen and the office. Lines you overheard in snooty latte shops. Alarming reports of disturbing new trends, such as nail polish for men. No doubt we'll play the favorite hits: traffic complaints, weary bleats about the weather, acts both boorish and kind. Whether people who bring 15 items to the 10-items-or-less line should be caned in public stocks or just shunned, Amish-style.It's a rambling conversation with no rules, except one: no Esperanto. It makes the spell-checker start smoking.It's not just stories we seek to swap, but good questions. Small, nagging questions - we know about Father Hennepin, but who was Lyndale to get a street named after him? What's the story behind Pilot Knob Road, for heaven's sake? Does either Maple Grove or Maple Plain actually contain a substantial amount of maples? How many Adams and Eves live in Eden Prairie, and are they able to bite into apples without a slight hesitation?Nostalgia is encouraged here, particularly if there's a little mystery attached to it. For example: There's a huge faded sign for a drive-in burger joint becalmed in the back lot of Lyndale Garden Center, at 64th and Lyndale in Richfield. One of you knows where it comes from. One of you had your first kiss at that drive-in; one of you remembers spilling pop down the best car speakers, best car speakers for bass and sound quality of your father's new car while goggling up at the neon hamburger.The Back fence wanders through many yards - one of them has to belong to a former carhop, a short-order chef for whom the sign meant another night of hot, greasy work. Or perhaps you just want to bemoan the lack of good drive-ins.In short: it doesn't matter what makes you pick up the pen. Send it in. Create your own topics based on your various gripes and joys - the more voices we have per installment, the better. Because only you can keep me from writing about my dog twice a week.Did that make you think of something to share? I thought it might.Here's what we meanWhat sort of thing doesn't belong here? Joyless, bitter kvetching. Chain letters hinting that my dog will develop male-pattern baldness if I break the chain. Cranky accusations that this paper is staffed entirely by castoffs from Pravda. (That's not the case. We're from Izvestia.) What fits? We'll find out as we go along. But here's an example: a letter to the paper that came flying over the transom from Blaine's own Ruth Westland. She writes:1/3Last week I was waiting for some friends at the Olive Garden Restaurant. A gentleman came in wearing oxygen tubing and pushing a small portable oxygen tank. A perky young hostess greeted him with "Good afternoon. Smoking or non?"There's just so much material in those few words. For instance, you have to wince - at both the hostess' lack of observational skills and the safety hazard posed by putting a tank of pure oxygen near people who are lighting matches and flicking lit cigarettes. I called a respiratory technician with HealthEast, and he said he advises patients using such tanks to avoid flames or sparks - not because the tanks are itching for an excuse to explode, but just out of common sense.But if you dragged the tank's tube over a flame, such as the little candles that restaurants employ for tableside atmosphere, then conspicuous public combustion is theoretically possible. You'd have a mushroom-shaped cloud - a portobello mushroom shape, perhaps - and a thick miasma of atomized linguine and marinara sauce rolling over the land. The paper would have a photo of someone pointing gravely at a piece of corkscrew pasta half-buried in a telephone pole.So the hostess was wrong. Stone her! Right? No. Anyone who's ever been in the service industry knows that on some days, people cease to be people, and start to resemble oversized, demanding hand puppets. It takes all you can give just to smile. That's when you trot out The Script.Everyone has their version of The Script. It's a one-size-fits-all speech that gets you through a tedious job, parries the blows of the boors. Once learned, The Script is never forgotten. I spent exactly one day as a salesman for Time-Life books in 1977, and 20 years later the opening line of The Script is still burned into my synapses. I fear when I die I will attempt to sell St. Peter a series of home-improvement books. I can't remember my dad's birthday, but I know that Script.So what may seem to be an act of utter insensitivity may actually be someone using a crutch that keeps them tottering through a tough job. And sometimes, well, it's just stupidity. If that hostess had looked at the man with the oxygen tank and said "Do you, like, snorkel 'n' stuff? Cool! Me, too!" then it's a different story.That's how the Back fence works - someone tosses us a tale, we chew it over, and then throw it open to discussion. Do you have a workplace Script, a nightmare encounter with the service industry, or an example of a customer idiocy? Send it in, and don't worry about being concise - we'll hack it down to its pith.SEE ALSO: Best car speakers for sound qualityNext installment (on Wednesday): The Tornado Siren That Cried Wolf. When I was a kid, the siren struck terror. Three seconds into its solemn howl, we were headed for the basement. Now we shrug. Are they overusing the sirens? If the sirens don't command respect anymore, what should we use to get people's attention? One of Prince's lusty squeals? A windup alarm clock bell at 200 decibels? The sound that Barbara Carlson would have made if her tattooist had hiccuped while inking her fundament? Your suggestions, please. See you next time.