December 29, 1997 in Nation/World

1997 Has Been A Great Year For Huckleberries

D.F. Oliveria The Spokesman-Revi

It’s been another Huckleberries kind of year, full of pratfalls, asides, bumpersnickers and parting shots.

If you’re lucky, you didn’t see your name in the column. If you’re very, very unlucky, you not only saw your name in the column, but the item about you also made Huckleberries’ Top 10 for the year and is listed below.

So, have a happy new year and keep those Huckleberries coming.

D.F. Oliveria’s Top 10 Huckleberries:

1. Practice makes perfect (Sept. 29)

When they marry Nov. 7, Steve Wood and Jeane Plastino each will tie the knot for a second time. So, Steve thought he’d add a few lines to the traditional vows, promising to love Jeane’s daughters as his own. Jeane liked that idea and encouraged her youngsters, Sam and McKenzie, to make some vows of their own to her fiance. Later, she was passing the girls’ room when she heard Sam, the older daughter, urging McKenzie to practice her vows. You know, “A, E, I, O …”

2. Dumb criminal tricks (Aug. 11)

Ricky LeRoy Mueller, 20, of Spokane, didn’t land in the crowbar hotel for being a rocket scientist. First, he allegedly robbed Woods Meat Processing in Sandpoint - a bungled crime in May that netted $2 and reads like a Woody Allen routine. Now, Ricky’s back in the slammer. Seems when he tried to enter a plea to the armed robbery charge, authorities suspected he was high on marijuana and methamphetamine. So he was asked by 1st District Judge Jim Michaud to take a urine test. En route to “make water,” Mueller advised his girlfriend not to wait for him. He was smart enough to know this was one test he wouldn’t pass.

3. Oh, Dani girl (March 24)

Dani, 4, daughter of sportswriter Jim Meehan, was horrified after frolicking on the McDonald’s play set. Seems someone had taken Dani’s boots while she was at play, leaving a similar pair, but several sizes smaller. The boots didn’t fit, of course. Tearfully, Dani told her mother: “We stayed too long. My feet grew.”

4. Hard duty in Hawaii (Dec. 1)

So, U.S. Sen. Dirk Kempthorne will be in Hawaii to honor Idahoans killed during the Pearl Harbor attack. Hmmm. Now I know 14 Idahoans lost their lives at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. And I agree fervently they deserve honor. However, I also realize this is a fine time of year to visit Hawaii for a wreath-laying ceremony. Or for anything else a congressional staff might conjure up to get its lame-duck boss some sunshine. In fact, I find it hard to believe Dirk’s giving up his perks to run for governor and freeze with the rest of us next winter. Now, that’s a sacrifice.

5. A prize in each box? (Jan. 27)

How would you like to be North Idaho College student Amber Yohe? Recently, she ate all the raisins from one little box but couldn’t quite reach the contents in the bottom of another. So she opened the other end. Big mistake. There, she discovered a little worm. Still wiggling. Upset, Amber opened the bottom of a third box. And, voila. There was another small wiggling worm. Now, the question that haunts Amber is: Was there a worm in the first box, too?

6. Going postal (Feb. 3)

At the ZipStop catty-corner from the Coeur d’Alene post office, a customer was eyeing the last of the chicken fingers when the clerk spoke up. She informed him that postal employees would be disappointed if there were no chicken fingers left for lunch. The man decided not to risk it. Said he: “God knows I don’t want to make someone who works at the post office mad. They know where I live.”

7. Only in Idaho (Nov. 3)

A friend of mine saw this when she happened upon “The Jerry Springer Show”: a woman beating up on the sap who had impregnated her. After stagehands pulled them apart, the woman’s mother entered stage right. Mother Dearest tried to get at junior and his current squeeze, too. It was ugly. But the worst was yet to come. At one point, the Human Hormone shouted that he was glad to be out of Idaho and safe in Washington. The response from Mother Dearest? Thank God you don’t live in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, anymore. She yelled it three or four times. Why worry about Aryans when we have these fine folks representing us?

8. Unsinkable No. 473 (April 21)

Whoever asked survivors to drop his cremated remains in Lake Pend Oreille should have picked someone with a better throwing arm. An 8-by-8-inch plastic bag of remains attracted a crowd after it was spotted off the end of a Farragut State Park boat ramp. There the cremains remained until the Spokane Cremation Society confirmed ol’ No. 473 had been submerged legally. Afterward, deputy Ken Dodge fished the remains out with a long pole and dropped them in a deeper spot. Who says total immersion beats sprinkling?

9. Evita, is that you? (Dec. 8)

Some wags in the large crowd waiting for the Christmas light display Nov. 28 grumbled when they saw Coeur d’Alene kingpin Duane Hagadone standing above them on the Hagadone Corp. roof. They didn’t like the symbolism. But a woman in the darkness put the scene into perspective. Said she: “I don’t mind as long as he doesn’t sing, ‘Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina.”’

10. Paint it black (Aug. 18)

The media are concentrating on the wrong element of Congressman Helen Chenoweth’s planned helicopter tour of the Boise National Forest with House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Who cares whether or not Our Miss Chenoweth was involved in the coup d’etat to topple Gingrich? What inquiring Idaho minds really want to know is this: What color are those helicopters?

, DataTimes MEMO: D.F. Oliveria will be on vacation until Jan. 5. His column will return the following Monday.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = D.F. Oliveria The Spokesman-Review

D.F. Oliveria will be on vacation until Jan. 5. His column will return the following Monday.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = D.F. Oliveria The Spokesman-Review

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