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'Twas hard to say who was a bigger jerk at Cavanaugh Bay Resort Marina on Priest Lake during the Fourth of July weekend: the Big Boat Driver who cranked up his sound system when others at the dock complained about his engine noise or a Brother In Boorish Behavior who groused in the restaurant/bar about getting slapped with a noise citation. Both triggered a mild form of "lake rage," a term coined by Berry Picker Findaddy/Spokane to describe "the boorish behavior of modifying one's power boat so it makes the loudest possible sound come from the motor." Among the printable things the crowd on the dock yelled at Captain Clueless was: "Shut that thing off" and "That boat is not welcome here." In the bar, Findaddy relates, the cuss-tomers applauded the ticket given to Captain Equally Clueless, prompting him to huff that they were jealous they don't have the money to buy a big, loud boat and that he wouldn't return to a lake where he and his boat weren't wanted. The locals cheered the announcement, according to Findaddy, and said to the effect: "Spread the word that (Big Boat Drivers) are not welcome here." Or anywhere else on North Idaho lakes, for that matter.

Lake fakes
For years, locals have enjoyed hanging out on CdA's Third Street seawall on weekend evenings to watch the drunks dock their boats. 'Tis fun to see the got-rocks crowd jawing at one another when an inebriate gums things up by jackknifing his trailer. Now, John Austin/Coeur d'Alene offers a new spin on this old pastime. At the Carlin Bay Marina on Monday, he watched with amusement as two ha-huge boats cruised in, "dampening the morning quiet." Of course, John said, they disgorged the usual assortment of passengers: "short (emphasis on short) older men with their shouldn't-be-bikini-clad-but-are-bikini-clad, fake-blond babes." He saw the same thing at Arrow Point Resort on Sunday. Sez John: "It's become our favorite pastime now, watching obviously deficient men and past-their-prime women looking for attention and getting it with laughter rather than praise." In other words, Cap'n, we're not laughing with you.

High-maintenance femmes
On his afternoon show Monday, June 26, KXLY's Dennis Patchin and sidekick Julie Scott were slapping Spokane on the back for another swell Hoopfest when talk turned to high heels. Patchin was amazed that some femme spectators wore high heels to the event, played in sweltering heat. Also, Patchin theorized that the higher the heel, the higher the maintenance quotient on the femme wearing it. After some repartee with his Woman Friday, he finally said: "There's a whole newsroom full of high-maintenance women at Channel 4." Alas, he didn't name names. KXLYers'll have to fill in the blanks.

Poet's corner
"Three bucks buys a gallon/of Conoco premium,/but only a pint of/Godiva ice creamium" – The Bard of Sherman Avenue ("Summer Shopping Note").

Dunno which of these Bonner County sheriff's calls from earlier in the week is my favorite: Someone left a deer head on another person's property. Or: A drunk male "devoid of clothing" is being disorderly at a local campground. Or: Clueless – Huckleberries' word – youths are "playing on a train trestle while a train is coming." Or: "Dogs playing in town fountain (two reports)." Smile if you want. But most city folks should envy the relatively crimeless life in Bonner County … Factoid: At the liquor store in viewtiful Bayview, you can buy machetes and knives, as well as booze. And there's a flier out front if you're looking for a "vintage trailer" to rent … Curious, two Berry Pickers sipping brewskies near the Black Rock Marina at Rockford Bay asked their waitress about the live rock music nearby. And were told that ex-Ferris High/Idaho/Seattle Seahawk John Yarno was celebrating his final alimony payment … Rumorama: About that rumor that work on CdA's Government Way bridge has stopped because the contractor and the Idaho Transportation Department are feuding? It's just that. Workers poured 50 yards of concrete Thursday. The job is expected to be done in mid-August … Among the most interesting entries in the Bayview Daze parade was a motorized bar stool … Among the top sellers at the Athol Gear booth at Bayview Daze were T-shirts, coffee mugs and baseball caps with Athol-centric phrases – you know, "I'm a real Athol without my coffee: and "Back off, Athol." You can run from your Atholness but not hide. 'Tis better to embrace it and make a few bucks.

Parting shot
For the second time this year, Huckleberries is about to undergo a change. Earlier, the column moved from the Monday spot it'd held in the Idaho edition since 1985 to Saturday in all editions. For the next two months, The Spokesman-Review is going to experiment by running bits of Huckleberries – about 4 to 6 column inches every weekday, beginning in the Idaho edition Monday. The goal is to make it even more interactive with Huckleberries Online: If it works, great. If it doesn't, this column will return in its regular format in September. Stay tuned.

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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.