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Slim Randles' Home Country


Doc had his nose stuck in the paper and had it fanned out from Dewey's coffee mug to Steve's plate of hash browns.

"What's so interesting, Doc?" Steve said.

"All these Christmas ads," Doc said. "Everyone's having a Christmas sale. Groceries, tools, cars, television sets. All of it."

Herb grinned from down the philosophy counter here at the Mule Barn truck stop. "Make you feel kinda left out, does it, Doc?"

Doc put the paper down and sipped his coffee. "I could have a Christmas sale, too. Yes, matter of fact, I believe that's exactly what I'll do."

"I can see it now, Doc," Steve said, grinning, "you could take out someone's appendix in exchange for the spare parts."

"Mirth has its place, with even me lad," said Doc, starting to twinkle. He's a world class twinkler when he gets going good. "But I'm serious. Why shouldn't a physician have a Christmas special too?"

"I've got it," Dewey said, "Special this week. Half off on amputations."

Dewey slapped the counter so hard in laughing that most of our coffee spilled. Loretta had to bring the towel and do refills.

"No boys," said Doc, "my special has to do with skateboards."

"I thought you didn't like them, Doc."

"Don't. I hate 'em. That's where my special comes from. How's this: I'll set any bone broken while skateboarding, and all I'll charge is .... I know ... half that skateboard."

Steve pondered this for a minute. "You know, Doc, if you'd extend that offer to bull riders, your freezer'd be full in no time at all."

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