Category: Columns

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You have to hand it to Windy. When Alphonse “Windy” Wilson chooses to speak, it is a bombastic sampling of creativity. Windy has yet to find a word he can’t make better through his own unique methods. Well, what got him fired up the other day was a meeting of the ladies of the garden club down at the nursery. Windy’s been helping Dewey with his manure business on the one day a week he spends helping others. Today wasn’t a helper day, but he couldn’t pass up the audience. They hadn’t gotten through old business when Windy stood, smiled, and spoke. “Dear ladies,” he said, “what an opera-tune moment this is, finding you all coagulated here in an effort to beatify the yards of our fair town. And what, you may ask, brings me to this conflagration? It’s the latest thing in gardening. Our chairman of the board refers to it as ‘cow pasture tea’ and it nutritionalizes plants right down to bedrock. As Dewey says, the only way to improve on cow manure is to liquidize it. Well, he hasn’t said it yet, but he will. “Now what exactly is cow pasture tea you’re undoubtedly asking yourselves at this moment. It’s a varietal combination of composted cow manure, water, and some acid we put in there to matriculate it properly into the life-giving succulence we require. Then...

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Home Country

  “Sanctimonious siphons, it’s hot!” said Dud, sitting at the philosophy counter and turning over his coffee cup for action with a single smooth move.  Dud is a regular at the Mule Barn truck stop’s legendary world dilemma think tank. “Epithet time again, Dudley?” said Doc. “Epithets and heat time, Doc. When that heat comes along, the only thing that can really change an attitude is a properly tuned epithet. It’s man’s emotional release valve, but of course you know that, being a doctor and all.” Dud doctored his coffee and took a sip. “Right?” “Oh …” said Doc, “right … of course. We took Epithets 1A and 1B in medical school, naturally. ‘Emotional release valves and their perfection’ they were called. I got an A in Epithetology for the Masses in my third year, too.” “You’re just putting me on.” “Maybe.” “Let’s look for a moment,” chimed in Bert, “at why epithets are so good for the soul.” “He’s going to wave his arms again,” whispered Doc to Dud. “I’m afraid so…” “Yes,” said Bert, “epithets, particularly those where no swearing is involved, are like a frustrated man’s crossword puzzle. They bring out enough cleverness and creativity in a man to pour salve on whatever it is that’s bugging the bejeesus out of him.” “I know I feel better with salve poured on my bejeesus,” said Doc, nodding....

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Home Country

  The evening was one of those that come back to you time after time, year after long year. It comes back and whispers of how good life can be when you’re well fed, enjoying life, and a good friend shares the front porch with you on a summer’s evening. It was that way with Doc and Steve the other night. Doc thought he might have to do a scientific paper on the soporific effects of ice tea, fried chicken, and corn on the cob. As long as it didn’t take any effort. So when this huge meal had been bull-snaked down, the two grinning friends came out to the porch to watch the sun go down behind the trees along Lewis Creek. The air had that orange and russet glow, and the breeze, that little one that caresses the neck, came slowly down from the hills and made their shirt collars wiggle ever so slightly. It was like taking a dry bath in paradise. Doc sidled up to one of the porch posts and gently tested it to see if it could hold the extra weight he was carrying with that meal. It stood fine, so he leaned against it seriously and looked out on the evening’s warmth. Steve, who was enjoying having a fine meal that someone else cooked for a change, leaned against the post on...

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