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Slim Randles' Home Country

By Slim Randles

"Et tu, Brute?"

Dud uttered these deathless words and sank into his well-worn seat at the philosophy counter of the world-dilemma think tank portion of the Mule Barn coffee shop.

He was in.

"Those are deathless words," Dud explained to Steve and the guys. Only Doc nodded. Doc has more initials after his name than the rest of us.

"You know what day is coming up, right?" Dud said.

"Flag Day?" Steve said.

"Don't think so, Steve," said Herb. "Maybe Easter?"

"Guys, guys..." said the patient (and obviously learned ... pronounced learn-ed) Dud. "It's the Ides of March."

"Ides of March ... do we get the day off?"

"You're retired, Herb," Doc said. "You get every day off."

"Oh yeah ... slipped my mind."

Dud was about to boil over. What good does it do to come up with a famous Latin saying when no one really cares?

"The Ides of March," he said, "means March 15...you know, when all those guys from the Roman congress stabbed ol' Julius Caesar to death on the doorstep. And just before he died he looked up and there was his old buddy, Brute, standing there with a knife, and that's why he said it."

Even the coffee cup couldn't stop Doc's smile from escaping.

"So ..." Steve, the tall cowboy, said. "What happens is that they stuck ol' Julius and then Julius ate two what? Bad burritos?"

"No, no. He didn't eat two anything. Et tu means 'Hey Brute, you in on this deal?'

Doc said, "Well I think it was pronounced Broo-TAY, too, Dudley."

"You guys, are just ... well..." and Dud stood and took his coffee to a table in the corner.

Steve and Doc looked at each other.

"Noblesse oblige, Steve?"

"Illigitimus non carborundum, ol' pard."

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