Home Country

Dewey Decker showed his new business cards to the other guys at the Mule Barn Truck Stop’s philosophy counter, and each member of the world dilemma think tank got to keep one.

Steve, our owlish-appearing cowboy, scratched his head as he studied the card.

“OK, Dewey, I’ll bite what’s a verm-a-?

“Vermiculturist, Steve,” Dewey said, proudly. “It means I raise worms.”

Dewey, the beloved accident-prone member of the think tank, began his new career with just a shovel and his pickup, spreading manure in people’s yards. Now, thanks in great part to the genius of his girlfriend, Emily Stickles, (she of the magnificent cheekbones) he was earning a decent living. Back when they fell (literally he tripped) in love, she took this crash-and-burn disaster and molded him into a multi-dimensional businessman, while still keeping him away from sharp objects or things that crush.

Dewey has branched out now into compost, worms (excuse me vermiculture) and fertilizer tea. The tea goes on the lawn, not in the tea cups.

“Dewey,” said Doc, “this vermiculture stuff now how much work is it, really?”

“That’s the good part about it, Doc. You see, I don’t have to do anything at all, really, except keep them in product, you know. They reproduce without any outside help, and turn manure into the best compost in the world. Then you can sell them to other people to work their compost piles, or to fishermen.”

“Well, Dewey,” said Herb, “it looks to me like simply being a vermiculturist doesn’t really cover the subject. Wouldn’t those red wigglers also make you a compostocologist?”

“Hadn’t really thought about ” Dewey said.

“And when it comes to selling them to fishermen,” Doc said, “wouldn’t you be an ichthymasticatiousdietician?”

“I I “

“Yes, Dewey?”

“I refuse to be anything I can’t spell.”

From the book, “Home Country,” at www.nmsantos.com.

Read free samples of Slim’s books at www.slim randles.com.

Home Country is a weekly syndicated column written by outdoors journalist and humorist Slim Randles.

Contact Slim Randles at homecountry8@gmail .com.

Home Country

It’s fall, and time once again for the Chipper Invitational Golf Tournament here in the valley. You remember Chipper, Doc’s imaginary squirrel? The one who was imaginarily squirrel-napped?

Doc named the annual golf tournament after good ol’ Chipper. The tournament is used to raise money for coats for kids who need them. And it’s only fit and proper it be named for Chipper, since the golf tournament itself is just about as genuine as the squirrel.

There isn’t a real golf course here in the valley, you know. You have to go to the city for that. So Doc decided to just wander around with a shovel, digging holes here and there and putting flags next to them. The flags, in civilian life, sure look a lot like metal t-posts.

Another thing that makes Doc’s tournament unique is that there is absolutely no way to practice for it. That’s because the “golf course” is usually laid out a day ahead of time each year, and every fall, Doc picks another spot for it.

The holes are different, the fairways are non-existent, and the hazards oh, the hazards. After the first tournament, when one of Harold Brewster’s cows got hit in the butt, there are no longer any four-legged ambulatory golf hazards. Farmers are allowed to move them, happily, into bomb shelters or corrals for the duration of the madness.

But have you ever tried to hit a golf ball that parked itself beneath an old, rusty hay baler? Such things make the course challenging? Yes, and fun.

This year, Doc’s theme was what he called trans-oceanic. This means, in valley talk, having the tee-boxes on one side of Lewis Creek and the holes on the other. It will be interesting to see how many errant golf balls hit the tire swing at the swimming hole and vanish forever into the depths.

Chipper would approve, I’m sure.

From the book, “Home Country,” at www.nmsantos.com.

Read free samples of Slim’s books at www.slimrandles.com.

Home Country is a weekly syndicated column written by outdoors journalist and humorist Slim Randles.

Contact Slim Randles at home country8@gmail.com.