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The Slice: Training season starts today

Today is the day Spokane-area families look at game films and critique their Christmas performances.

This is a tradition going back decades, to the home movies era. It has grown in popularity since portable phones became capable of recording video.

But if yours is a family that does not conduct a day-after grading session, don’t feel left out. Here are a few snippets of what you might hear if you were a fly on the wall in certain households today.

“… OK, Justin, see how the cat went right around you and got all the way to the base of the Christmas tree and almost knocked it over? Son, we really need you to step up and contain. We can’t have that animal beating you to the outside like that. Do you think you can get the job done next Christmas? Because if you have any doubt, we need to be looking for someone who can.”

“… Caitlin, you need to see this and learn from it. Here it comes … OK – there! Did you see how your face showed total disappointment when you opened that present? Everyone in the room knew exactly how you felt. Easiest read in the world. That’s just not good enough. You need to raise your compete level, young lady. A lot of effort went into selecting that gift for you. And when you react by making a face like you did, it’s as if you are quitting on the whole family. You need to get your mind right before your birthday.”

“… Now this next sequence is a pleasure to watch. I’m going to slow it down. As you all can see, this is at Christmas dinner. Now watch how Mikey passes the casserole. Boom – no fingers inside the bowl! See that? Folks, this is a young man who made a commitment to improve and he has achieved his goal. When he was 8, he would have had his grubby little mitts down inside the bowl – making contact with the food. But now, at 9, he is passing that dish like someone who knows what it takes to succeed in this family. Let’s back that up and watch it again.”

Today’s Slice question: Is there such a thing as overdoing it on borrowing the “It’s a Wonderful Life” Mr. Potter line – “and Happy New Year to you, in jail!”?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email “The main ingredient for Spokane sauce would be ketchup,” said Becky Rains.

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