2013-04-11 / General Stories

Home Country

by Slim Randles

Slim Randles Slim Randles We were a bit perplexed … stunned, really … when we poured into the Mule Barn truck stop coffee shop at the crack of dawn and saw our fertilizer mogul, Dewey Decker, in earnest conversation at a booth with his girlfriend, Emily Stickles, and they had papers on the table wedged between the coffee cups and the empty plates where former sweet rolls had been.

“I’m telling you, Honey …” she said, then looked up and saw us and smiled. “Morning, guys!”

“Emily, Dewey,” Doc said. “How goes it?”

“Just fine, Doc,” Dewey said. “Emily has some ideas on how to help my fertilizer business.”

Doc looked serious. “Dewey … would these ideas have anything to do with sharp objects or machinery?”

“No, of course not,” he said.

“Well …” said Emily. “Not for Dewey to handle, anyway.”

“As your physician, Dewey, I’m very happy to hear that.”

Over our first two cups at the philosophy counter, we kept looking back over our shoulders at the two conspirators in the booth. It was still a serious conversation.

“What do you think of that?” Steve said.

“Beats me,” said Herb. “I just hope she realizes how accident prone he is.”

“She knows,” Doc said, remembering the times Dewey had stepped on Emily’s feet, and the headlong crash to the ground that brought these lovers into this happy relationship. “Believe me, she knows. Dewey’s put more than a few bruises on Emily since they’ve known each other.”

“Wonder what she has in mind for him?” said Herb.

“Success, I’m guessing,” said Steve.

“In the cow manure business?”

“Hey, I told him before he started,” Doc said, “that he needed to get into something that didn’t require dangerous machinery and work with a product that is worth exactly nothing. And he did.”

We wondered just how far up the ladder of success a man could climb with a shovel and a corral full of … product.

Brought to you by the awardwinning book Home Country, available at http://nmsantos.com/ Books/Home/Home.html.

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