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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: If he’s feeling stealthy, he flies under the radar

Remember kids, Spokane is farther north than virtually all of the Midwest and Northeast.

So if Santa has some sort of problem on Christmas Eve, chances are he will have already made his rounds here before the sleigh malfunction, pulled reindeer groin or whatever.

Of course, few really know his exact route. Maybe he starts in Chile or Australia and works his way back toward us.

Do you have a theory about how he does it?

Word power: “Many years ago when I was just learning to spell, like many other kids I would spell words out loud to show off my learning smarts,” wrote Owen Fullmer. “One day coming down a mountain road with my father I spotted some letters scraped out of the snow on a frozen pond. As I started with F and struggled to recognize the last three, they finally all came together and I pronounced the word to the best of my ability having never heard it.

“To my disappointment, my father said nothing.

“When we got home he told my mother ‘Owen’s spelling is coming right along’ and then whispered something into her ear. She sort of did a snort-like sound but said nothing.”

Taking liberties with Christmas song lyrics: Phil Georgariou has heard “Grandma got run over by a Rainier.”

“Kind of takes a really bad song to a whole new low.”

Several readers mentioned “Later on, we’ll perspire, as we sit by the fire.”

Slice answers: Spokane Valley’s Gary W. Smith does not know anyone who refers to Spokane as “The Can.”

“I have lived in Spokane/Spokane Valley for all but three of my 70 years, and have never heard that term used in conversation, or on the local TV news. The only place I can recall seeing it in print is in The Slice, and maybe The Slice Blog.”

Barry Bauchwitz said he has heard it once. “It was from my ex sister-in-law in Anchorage, Alaska.”

Today’s Slice question: Shouldn’t those who want Christmas to be viewed as a religious occasion be concerned that governments regard it as a holiday? Or is that OK, just so long as governments recognize your religion and not necessarily others?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email No one learned less from a Christmas present chemistry set than I did.

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