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The Slice: No reason we all shouldn’t have a happy one

Thu., Dec. 31, 2009

You aren’t the only one who likes to borrow Mr. Potter’s line from “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

I do, too.

So Happy New Year to you – in jail!

West of the Big Sky: I was asked why so many people here aren’t exactly hardy about facing winter. And I said something about there being too many former residents of Western Washington here now and not enough transplanted Montanans.

But then I thought about it. And you know, we really don’t have a shortage of Montanans. That, in turn, reminded me of a story.

One of the people responsible for bringing a National Hockey League franchise to Los Angeles in the ’60s supposedly had been told that there were thousands of transplanted Canadians living in Southern California. Well, after years passed and interest in the team remained lukewarm, he observed that he now realized why all those Canadians had moved to California: They hated hockey.

Maybe that’s the deal with Spokane’s former Montanans. Job opportunities notwithstanding, maybe they moved here because they got tired of Montana winters.

Today’s family phrase: Years ago, when Peggy Thomas’ two little girls heard that the family was moving to Yucca Valley in California, they heard it as “Chuckle Belly.”

“For the seven years we lived there and ever since it has been Chuckle Belly, to the chagrin of two of our younger children who had the misfortune of having been born in Chuckle Belly,” said Thomas.

Timing the celebration: “We have a tradition of ringing in the new year at midnight Greenwich Mean Time,” wrote South Hill resident Mary Drew. “This means we blow the noisemakers and wish everybody a Happy New Year at 4 p.m. Pacific Time.”

Today’s Slice question: Do you feel weird about using leftover Christmas stamps to mail bill payments?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail pault@ Chuck Young said an e-mailed thank-you note is certainly better than no thank-you note at all.

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