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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: Ben Stein scurries north after Hayden Walmart visit

Ben Stein isn’t making friends with cuss-tomers at Hayden Walmart.

In a recent column for the conservative American Spectator, Stein tells of stopping at the Hayden store en route from the Spokane airport to his Sandpoint getaway.

He described the cuss-tomers as “terrifying” – and “not at all like the friendly folk at the Walmart near Sandpoint.” Also: “These were enormous sallow men and women, grotesquely obese teenagers, horribly tattooed women in sun dresses at 10 p.m. These were the Jukes and the Kallikaks. Their RV’s were parked in the Walmart parking lot. Terrifying, especially in Walmart’s ultra-bright jail line-up lights.”

One of my Huckleberries blog readers who goes by the blog pseudonym Frum Helen Back responded in jest that she thought Stein was describing her. Then, she realized she’s in bed by 10 p.m. Adds Frum Helen Back: “One thing I learned from this article is that I don’t like him and hope I never do run into him anywhere.” Especially at Hayden Walmart.

Ah’m your huckleberry

Many of us relish huckleberries because, well, they’re huckleberries. Mm mm good. But Bonner County fourth-grade teacher Rick Price has a life-and-death reason for being devoted to Idaho’s special fruit. Rick tells Huckleberries (the column, not the fruit): “I was having a hard time recovering from major surgery about 20 years ago and went on a shake-a-day diet to gain some weight. Luckily, I was living in Victor at the time, home of the Victor Emporium, one of two of the best places to get huckleberry shakes in the state. That got me back to health.” The other best Idaho place for huckleberry shakes? Price recommends the Elmira Store, between Sandpoint and Bonners Ferry. Tell ’em Huckleberries sent you.


Poet’s Corner: “Won’t Kim Kardashian/ever go out of fash-ian?” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“We Can Only Hope”) … Recipe for S’mores from Priest Lake blogger Pecky Cox (As the Lake Churns): “Drive to Priest Lake. Start beach bonfire. Drink a glass of wine. Drink s’more” … All things being equal, you may opt for work at Kootenai Health over other similar options. Consider. The Coeur d’Alene hospital is offering 15 percent discounts to employees for elective surgeries. (Translation: tummy tucks, face-lifts, nose jobs, etc.) … Bumpersnicker on old Chrysler at last weekend’s Pinehurst Car Show: “I’ll keep my guns, freedom & money; you can keep the ‘change.’ ”… Item: Allegations against the former city clerk triggers recall attempt against three Athol City Council members. Worries Huckleberries: Won’t that give Athol a bad name? Onward … Councilman Dan Gookin of Coeur d’Alene, author of many of those computer “Dummies” books, was ready when online software/tech teaching firm asked the final question in an online interview. Question: Is there anything you’re a so-called “dummy” in? Something you could stand to learn more about? Gookin: “Women.” And all the men said: Amen.

Parting shot

Yes, Virginia, the street to the Post Falls sewer, er, wastewater treatment plant really is named Brown Trout Road. And Councilwoman Kerri Thoreson theorizes why the air in Lake City this summer is, um, odorific, as they used to say in that deodorant commercial. Take it away, Kerri: “With temperatures well into the nineties for an extended period, waste traveling from the lift stations in Riverside Harbor, Ponderosa and Greensferry – all the way to the treatment plant on Seltice between Chase Road and McGuire – can get a little odorous. Sometimes even those small holes in manhole covers can allow the aroma to escape.” Sewer Chief Terry Werner & Co. have been tweaking the system to reduce the stink.

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