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This column reflects the opinion of the writer. To learn about the differences between a news story and an opinion column, click here.

Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Taste testers take chances with holiday artifact

I mentioned last Monday that Slice reader Pat Cadagan possessed a Hostess Holiday Fruitcake he had purchased a couple of years ago, back when they were still being made.

And that he offered to share it. “If you dare,” he said.

So The Slice asked for volunteer taste-testers. A number of readers raised their hands.

In the end, our fruitcake panel consisted of Cadagan, Jerry and Dee Hargitt, Tana Dugan, yours truly and three of my intrepid colleagues.

Before I get to the reactions – spoiler alert … it was a split decision – I should note that no one’s life was in any real danger. The mass-produced dessert was not some Cold War bomb shelter ration. It was from this century.

Though down below a long list of preservatives and artificial flavors the package said “Best when served chilled,” we enjoyed this cudgel-like treat at room temperature.

Now longtime readers of this column might remember my policy on fruitcakes: Some are good. A few are great.

But what about the corporate cousin of the Twinkie that we had before us?

It should be noted that no one fled even as Cadagan struggled to slice the dense brick o’ food.

The verdict?

Jerry Hargitt said it was perfectly fine. Adriana Janovich, the newspaper’s food editor, thought it tasted like chemicals.

Most others were equally polarized. Me? I had expected it to be worse. I thought it was going to taste like one of those Pres-to-Logs you use to start a blaze in your fireplace. Though I cannot really say how they would taste.

In any case, it was better than that.

Is that how advertising slogans are born?

Another remote control adventure: Vince Roland’s family was keeping an eye on a neighbor’s home while that family was away. The two families have identical garage door openers. So one night, in a moment of confusion, Roland unwittingly opened the neighbor’s garage door and this was not discovered until the next morning. “Luckily there was no theft of property.”

Today’s Slice question: What’s the biggest difference between Spokane and Whoville?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. Spokane and Whoville sounds like a defunct railroad.

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