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Huckleberries Online

Best of Huckleberries Online/Continued 1/3-6/06

A Fine Howdy-Do?
It was difficult to get Grandpa and Grandma Berry to move from Marysville, Wash., to North Idaho to be near a daughter and their grandchildren. Both are in their 80s. And he suffers from a World War II wound. But they found a nice duplex in Hayden and were enjoying peace and goodwill on Earth until the mail arrived around Christmas Eve. Seems the new landlord sent a Christmas card with a note informing the elderly couple that they’d have to move by spring so he could demolish their unit to make way for condos. The neighbors got the same message. In an e-mail to the SR on Christmas Day, granddaughter Kim Hill wrote: "My family and I are flabbergasted at this demonstration of greediness mailed in a Christmas card. Is this not the prime example of the Dickens classic tale of Scrooge and the movie villain, the Grinch?" If so, here’s hoping the landlord undergoes the same heart transformation as the two heels-turned-heroes.

Insurance Scam
Imagine Cis Gors’ surprise when she discovered her car insurance rates had gone up substantially because she’d met only 10 of 14 criteria on her – credit report. You read that right. Cis hasn’t had an accident in her 48 years of driving. Her husband has had one, 25 years ago. But her credit cards are only 5 years old. And her insurance company prefers that they be 12 years old. Never mind that the Gorses occasionally combine high-interest cards into lower-interest ones like the rest of us do. Or that a credit report should have nothing to do with insurance. The Gorses also got marked down because they were using 30 percent to 39 percent of their cards’ capacities, which is understandable because they have low card ceilings. Seems there situation is understandable to everyone but the insurance industry, which spends as much time figuring out how to gouge their customers as it does trying to provide protection.

Smells Like Dinner
Did you hear the one about the Spokane woman who drove off in disgust after visiting Higgens Point/Lake Coeur d’Alene to see the annual gathering of eagles. She couldn’t believe how many stinky, dead fish had washed up on shore. The smell ruined her enjoyment. When SReporter Erica Curless heard about the odor problem, she called the Idaho Fish and Game to check it out, realizing that the fish played a role in the eagle’s diet. On the line, the F&G receptionist chuckled: “That’s the whole point!” she said. “The kokanee die, which attracts the eagles.” Duh! Cue up “Circle of Life” for the newcomers.

Poet’s Corner: “Slightly fatter,/slightly balder,/all his lang syne/slightly aulder” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“New Year’s Eve Assessment”) ... “In the “Aiming to Please” Dept., Cd’A’s new America’s Cheesecake Café has made taking care of business difficult by adding small TV’s at eye level (for an NBA center, that is) above the men’s urinals. This, according to customer Jim Wilger … Sign of the Times (at Forget-Me-Not Gifts/CDA): “Credit extended to anyone over 85 when accompanied by a parent” ... Personal Note: I’d like to thank the blurkers/commenters who helped make Huckleberries Online a success during its first full year in 2005 by clicking on the site 1,303,071 individual times … Chuck Tingstad registered the first sign of spring on Christmas morning when he spotted a coupla duffers on a green near his Spokane Valley home. E-mails Chuck: “Methinks somebody got a set of clubs for Christmas and just couldn’t wait to try them out.” Bingo.

Parting Shot
Accused Groene Family murderer Edward Joseph Duncan III has made two lists while hanging out at the Kootenai County slammer awaiting trial. His blog chronicling his descent into madness was listed among the "Worst Tech Moments 2005" by Kevin Poulsen of the San Francisco Independent Media Center. And he ranked No. 6 among Idaho’s “Top 25 Influencers” (or change agents), compiled by Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press. His mother must be so proud.

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.