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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Better late than never

Carol Nelson, a second-grade teacher in Idaho, had her students address holiday themes last month.

And while this might seem like old news now, I think you still might enjoy what some of the young scholars had to say.

The kids were asked a series of questions. Here’s one.

What is figgy pudding?

“It has figgy in it,” wrote one lad.

There you go. Well done, young man.

“A type of pudding,” offered another.

Well? He’s not wrong, is he? Who among us didn’t answer a few quiz questions in like manner, back in the day?

Then there was this question.

What’s the most important thing to remember when cooking goose?

That might be hard to say. After all, there are probably multiple considerations needing to be weighed. But, in composing his answer, one of Mrs. Nelson’s pupils went with total honesty.

He wrote, “I have no idea.”

Local angle: Randy Haglund shared this. “I recently discovered while playing Scrabble that I could not play the word ‘daveno.’ I could not find it in the official Scrabble dictionary or any other dictionary for that matter. I Googled it and discovered that it is a slang word for davenport, used especially in the Pacific Northwest. Can you think of other words that are peculiar to our region?”

Warm-up question: What’s your family’s equivalent of this story?

When I was quite young, I had a stuffed tiger that was about as big as I was. This beloved bengal’s name was Tige.

Once, when my family was out in the car at night, we drove past a downtown department store. Behind one of the illuminated display windows was a toy tiger that looked just like Tige.

My older brother helpfully speculated that it was indeed Tige. He further ventured that Tige had decided he liked it better at the store and so had somehow managed to make his way back downtown.

Naturally, I found this upsetting – to put it mildly. And whatever our family plans might have been, the new order of business was to head straight home and confirm the whereabouts of Tige.

Today’s Slice question: Does someone in your household have an uncanny knack for speaking to you from another room just as you are running water or arranging pots and pans and have not a prayer of hearing what is being said to you?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Does anyone still read Jack Olsen’s “Son”?

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