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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Boldly going where countless others have gone before

You can tell a lot about people from the way they refer to their lake place.

Of course, most people in the Inland Northwest don’t actually have a lake place. But for those who do, their characterization of it can sometimes offer insights to their personalities.

Here’s a quick guide.

“Our lake place”: This really doesn’t tell you much. But it could be that the person is a perfectly fine individual.

“The compound”: Maybe it’s meant as a joke.

“Fortress of Solitude”: If he speaker is a mild-mannered reporter, it could be that he just let something slip.

“Lake estate”: Anyone saying that is liable to also say you can’t find good help these days. Steer clear.

“Cabin”: Chances are, it’s a lot nicer than that makes it sound. But the person is probably just being modest. You have to like that.

“Cottage”: Could be a euphemism for a waterfront McMansion or it could be the rustic lake property equivalent of “little charmer.” It’s not really much to go on.

“Castle Black”: Maybe they’re even more confused about “Game of Thrones” than you are.

“Tara”: Please.

“Our lake place by the Cliffs of Insanity”: Inconceivable.

“Aquaman’s lair”: Don’t think anyone actually says that.

“Place where we go and sit on a couch each summer weekend and complain about the noise from personal watercraft and the fact our phones won’t work”: A person saying that is a person you can trust.

“Summer place”: It could be a winking reference to the 1959 movie of a similar name or it could be an allusion to the speaker’s desire to have you believe his or her family migrates from one seasonal setting to another.

“Our retreat”: Well, maybe they can come up with a robust mission statement.

“Beer camp”: You may infer that the speaker is not a stuffed shirt.

“The Marmot Lodge”: If you’re going to give your lake place a name, you could do worse.

Slice answer: “When my mother died one of her requests had been to have ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ played at her funeral,” wrote Suzanne Harris. “The funeral was at St. Aloysius Church, and I’m sure it surprised a lot of people when they heard Simon and Garfunkel for the processional song. But, hey, it was a celebration of her life.”

Today’s Slice question (prompted by a note from John Mraz): What happened when long ago you decided to imitate The Three Stooges?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Not everyone likes salmon and huckleberries.

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