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The Slice: Birth order and survival of the fittest

As our nation turns its thoughts to pizza today, I’m reminded of how fast my older brother could eat when we were young.

It was breathtaking. Johnny could inhale slices of pizza at a rate that once forced me to take desperate measures.

Yes, I say forced. If I had failed to act, the pizza would have been gone before I got my second piece.

So I dibsed a couple of slices in advance by licking them in an admittedly slobbery way. This proved an effective deterrent.

Though, as I recall, it also got me severely punched in the shoulder. And just about everyone with whom I’ve shared that story has found my conduct revolting.

But there’s a reason I bring this up. I was the youngest child. I wonder what Slice readers who also were the youngest sibling can recall about tactics they employed to ensure that they got their fair share at the dinner table.

Let’s move on.

Discuss among yourselves: The subject was first slow dances and junior high-age kids. A number of women – well, two – recalled long-ago dance partners who were, how should I put this, overly excited. It happens at that age. But if you want to continue this discussion, you will have to do so on your own.

Slice answer: This comes from Spokane Valley’s Janet Shaffer, a onetime teacher who was a grade-school reading specialist. She is 89.

“Our theme for the reading program at that time was BEAR, which stood for Be Enthusiastic About Reading.”

Which brings us to her submission. “In answer to your question about what the surest sign is that my bear is a grizzly, I have a growler bear I purchased in York, England, that unfortunately has stopped growling unless you shake him. But he was like a grizzly in his earlier years. The two of us have grown old together and are past our growling days.”

I wonder if Janet’s bear ever lost his British accent.

Today’s Slice question: A long-ago S-R colleague named Rob once went to a Super Bowl party at the wrong house. He saw snacks/beverages-toting people going in and just followed them instead of paying careful attention to the address on his invitation. He eventually figured out his mistake, though everyone was quite congenial.

What’s your Super Bowl party story?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Surely there are more responsible ways to dispose of an hors d’oeuvre you find unpalatable at a party than to secretly stuff it behind a couch cushion, where it might not be discovered for months.

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