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The Slice: We’re either extremely quiet or extremely engaging

The Spokane area is full of people that strangers from other places don’t mind sitting next to in airplanes, on trains, et cetera.

Let’s move on.

Slice answers: “Being an old fart has nothing to do with chronological age, gender, or geographic location,” wrote Eric Rieckers. “It has everything to do with being resistant to change.”

But Nancy Chevigny-Dahlke said that description applies only to males. She would prefer to be referred to as a “tough old bird.”

Alex Smith’s pet peeve: “The word ‘peeve’ just gives me the creeps.”

Things 5-Year-Olds Don’t Understand Department: “While on vacation this summer with our kids and grandkids at Lake Chelan, my 5-year-old granddaughter, Kennedy, discovered some big news,” wrote Chris “Grammie” LeGrant.

“Kennedy and I were walking and holding hands on our way to the pool for a swim when she noticed the ring I was wearing. She said ‘Oh, Grammie, that ring is so pretty … did Papa give it to you?’

“I said no, my kids gave it to me.”

Young Kennedy was baffled. So she asked a question. “You’ve got kids?”

If people misspell your name: You are not alone.

Consider the case of Dianna Mast, of Kingston, Idaho. It isn’t just strangers who botch her first name. “Even my sister misspells it.”

Return to sender: An undelivered Christmas card mailed to a friend in San Francisco came back to Spokane’s Bill Mahaney this summer. The original postmark was 21 DEC 2009.

The card must have gone on an extended holiday.

Punting situation: A couple of readers suggested that the question about whether Slice readers can punt a football was ridiculous because everyone can. But Polly Carlson said she is pretty sure she couldn’t.

On the other hand, Mack Stanhope can both punt and drop-kick a football.

And in Wednesday’s Slice Blog, Rockford’s Rusty Nelson told about his long-ago brush with punting fame.

Today’s Slice question: Has the definition of a teenager being “grounded” as punishment changed over the years?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email If you know Dennis Held, ask him to demonstrate the proper pronunciation of “brats” as in bratwurst.