2012-02-23 / General Stories

Home Country

by Slim Randles

It was on the fourth date … er, we mean interview, of course … that Dewey brought Emily home to meet the folks.

Home, naturally, was the Mule Barn truck stop – home of the world dilemma think tank - and the folks - it goes without saying - are us.

When they came in, Dewey had his hand in the small of her back to steer her toward us, and we noticed right off that Miz Emily Stickles, county watchdog of everything that should be perused, didn’t seem to mind a bit.

“Emily,” Dewey said, with an arm flourish that knocked Dud’s cap off, “these are the guys.”

And she shook hands as he introduced each of us on philosophical duty that morning: Doc, Steve, Dud, Herb and me. She was gracious and I saw right off how Dewey could get fascinated by her cheekbones. Olympic class. If her face was on Mount Rushmore, you could rappel off them.

“Dewey’s told me so much about each of you,” Emily said, smiling. “It’s so comforting to know he has an emotional support group while he works things out.”

Doo slipped us a wink and quick head shake to let us know he hadn’t explained, as yet, that cow manure was his business and not a neurotic obsession. We smiled back.

“We don’t mind a bit,” Doc said. “Everyone can use an emotional support group from time to time. Ol’ Doo is here for us, too, you know.”

They retired to a booth, ordered breakfast, and we stole occasional glances to see how things were progressing. They got coffee and Emily whipped out the old tape recorder.

“ Now Dewey,” she said, pushing the buttons, “I noticed Doc referred to you as Doo. Would that be in reference to your … fascination? I mean … like dog doo … you know?”

From small acorns like these do the tall oak trees of doctoral theses grow.

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