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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Let’s invite Santa to a family reunion

Don’t ask how I found out.

You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.

It turns out Santa Claus has a family connection to the Inland Northwest.

That’s right. Some unorthodox genealogical research shows Santa’s family tree has a branch laden with distant Spokane-area relations.

Many hereabouts have felt exceedingly blessed at Christmastime. And now we have a working theory about why that might be the case.

Santa views us as kin. At least that is my assumption. Calls to the North Pole have not been returned, other than a cryptic 2 a.m. message from one of the big man’s representatives saying “Santa Inc. does not comment on pending litigation.”

Huh? Probably some probate matter.

OK, many of the Claus family history findings are a bit murky. But here’s what we know.

Santa had a cousin, twice removed, who ran a North Idaho auto salvage operation. His name was Bud Claus.

Bud married a woman named Clarice Tipsycake. They had seven children: Bud Junior, Dongle, Chivas, Nector, Shep, Cuthbert and Caitlin.

According to public records and a recently discovered unpublished memoir, Bud Junior moved to Coeur d’Alene and became a practicing Californian.

Dongle relocated to Spokane and operated a roadkill restaurant. His estranged daughter, Donglette, would go on to be named Mold Princess of Seattle.

Chivas became a minor criminal and general contractor who once bowled in an Athol-based mixed-singles league.

Nector apparently pursued a life of substance abuse and for-profit spirituality.

Shep worked on the railroad before being abducted by space aliens.

Cuthbert moved to Boise and became a potato industry lobbyist. His relationship with Santa Inc. became strained after he pushed his ageless relation to promote spuds as stocking stuffers.

But Caitlin Claus was the child of Bud and Clarice who really made her mark. She worked with Santa for years as chief elf outplacement consultant.

She invented the expression, “We fear your special talents are being wasted here and we would love to see you explore exciting new opportunities elsewhere.”

Caitlin married a Spokane Valley lentils broker. Then she gave birth to two feisty dragons and is thought to have been the inspiration for a character in HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”

It’s unclear how all this might explain our area’s special relationship with Santa Claus. But it does raise the possibility that some of us are shirttail relatives of the jolly old elf.

Sounds almost too good to be true.

Today’s Slice question: When it comes to taking something back to a store, who is your family’s go-to returns specialist?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. Gloves or mittens?

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