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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Where Dakotans go to die

I’m not the only one who reads the obits.

“One can’t help but wonder if North and South Dakota wouldn’t be our most populous states had it not been for all its natives who moved here,” wrote Jim and Charlotte Mansfield.

American graffiti: “I am finally going to ask the question that has been nagging at me since I moved back to Spokane nearly 10 years ago,” wrote Kathy Jo Nasworthy.

“On the southwest corner of Trent and Napa, way up high on a grain elevator, it reads ‘Billy loves Lisa.’ My question is: Does Billy still love Lisa? Are they together? Did Lisa ever love Billy? What’s the story?”

The public declaration was written in red, in two places.

“The only thing Spokane knows for sure is that, at the time of the writing, Billy really did love Lisa and a tattoo just wasn’t good enough.”

Today’s family phrase: Years ago, someone thought it would be amusing to take liberties with a wedding announcement in a small Inland Northwest newspaper. So the bride’s last name came out as “Butugley.”

“All the relatives asked, ‘Who is this Ba-tugley girl?’ ” wrote Sherry Davidson, who knew the parties involved. “So at our house, whenever something is butt-ugly, it’s Ba-tugley.”

Ghosts of the Christmas just past: Teresa Seely received a Christmas letter in which a grandchild was described as being in a “Spanish submersion” program.

And on Christmas Eve, John and Marilyn Mraz’s 2 ½-year-old granddaughter, Ava, put out four cookies for Santa and an apple and nasal spray for Rudolph.

Speaking of the holidays: About five minutes after the new year arrived in the Mountain time zone, Ruthie Larson’s 7-year-old great-grandson in Idaho phoned his grandmother in Montana to ask how 2010 was going.

Today’s Slice question: Ever stuck your hand into a bag in which a cat was hiding?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail One visitor from out of town pronounced “Parkade” as if it rhymed with “chickadee.”

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