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The Slice: Our ‘Happy’ days are numbered

HAL says you’ve got until Jan. 12 to wish others well.
HAL says you’ve got until Jan. 12 to wish others well.

At what point is it time to stop saying “Happy New Year”?

Any day now, I suppose. But isn’t it one of the best things we get to utter all year? Don’t you enjoy trotting that out over and over?

So maybe it’s no crime if we push back its expiration date a few days.

How about if we agree that it’s OK to say until Jan. 12, birthday of the HAL 9000 computer in “2001: A Space Odyssey”?

“Open the pod bay doors, HAL.”

“Happy New Year, Dave.”

More collective nouns for multiple Subaru Outbacks: “Clique.” — Tomas Kelley Lynch

“Drove.” — Bob Ladd

“Home Health Care Team.” — Sheila Masteller

“Glacier.” — Danielle Shoff

“Escargatoire.” — Mike Carlson

“Outrage.” — Bill Mahaney

“Plod.” — Jim McGuire

“Takusan-no.” — Jack Thompson

“Pleiades.” — Jim Collier

“Hatchback of Roos from Down Under.” — Vaughn Blethen

“Cause.” — Wade Griffith

Among the other suggestions were “Liberal,” “Lesbian” and “Bike Rack.”

One North Idaho reader writes: “Would you be kind enough to wish my husband, Randy Hopkins, a happy retirement?” wrote Lauren Hopkins. “And wish me luck.”

Naming the first three snow storms of 2013: Larry, Moe and Curly. — Larry Zimmerman, Jim Corcoran

X-Ray, Yankee and Zulu. — Joyce Becker

KXLY, KHQ and KREM. — Jim Cole

Abe, Bea and Sea. — Dick Warwick

Alex, Ben and Colin (her grandsons). — Nancy Engard

And Wayne Pomerleau offered a pair of threesomes: Wynken, Blynken and Nod, and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

If you went by your first initial and middle name: “Mine doesn’t sound so good,” wrote P. Lee Holland.

“People would confuse me with Cee Lo Green,” wrote C. Lee Webbenhurst. “Well, maybe not.”

For C. Joyce McNamee, the practice reminds her of her first grade reader. “C Joyce run. C Joyce jump.”

Today’s Slice question: Self-appointed “experts” on what subject are the biggest pain in the butt to be around?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email I’ll bet you cannot name all of Washington’s counties without looking it up. And I know you can’t name Idaho’s.

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