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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Filling out your holly jolly brackets

I’m just wondering.

Are there any similarities between choosing those to whom you send Christmas cards and the process of selecting teams to participate in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament?

How do you determine who gets at-large bids when drawing up your Christmas card list?

Is there discussion of a prospective recipients’ “body of work”?

Do you mull the names of casual friends or co-workers and finally declare “They haven’t played anybody”?

Slice answer: Readers were asked to tell what they had learned about giving over the years. Robyn Benjamin shared this.

“What I’ve learned about giving is that the more you give, the more money they ask you to give.”

Demonstration of need: Jody Hamilton sent a photo of a low-slung building housing a Spokane driving school. In front of that business is a “Reserved Parking” sign on a pole that has been bent over, presumably by some driver running into it.

“I thought you would appreciate the irony,” she wrote.

Oh, yes. Maybe they covered that in driving lesson No. 1. “Safe motoring includes no provisions for ramming speed.”

Slice answer: After asking about watching increasing inebriation as a spectator sport at holiday parties, I heard from a regular correspondent who described himself as a recovering alcoholic and drug addict.

He said observing people getting wasted reminds him of what he does not want to be (and hasn’t been for almost 10 years). “I watch in fascination how quickly some folks devolve into teetering, groping, slurring renditions of their former selves. In short, drunk people help keep me sober.”

Warm-up question: I was talking to a woman who lives near Gonzaga University. The subject came up of how much time she spent in various other parts of Spokane. Not much, she said. “I’m pretty North Sidey.”

I had not heard that expression. But it made me wonder.

What would be the equivalent way to characterize your predominant in-town travels?

Today’s Slice question: You know how when you meet people and find out they aren’t originally from around here, it’s natural to inquire as to where they had come from? Sure. Well, have you found over the years that you almost always like those who had come to the Spokane area from a certain state? What state would that be?

I’ll open the nominations with Iowa.

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email I wonder how many Spokane business establishments have been described as a hell hole.

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