Catalogs Aren’t Just For Buying Things

This week’s Wednesday Guest is Slim Randles, cowboy sage and humorist. I am pleased to share his work here. His weekly column, Home Country, is read by over 2 million people. 

The garden catalogs start coming when the snow is too deep to even find dirt. But we don’t care.

This is a catalog time of year, a time for making plans and figuring out how to do something even better than we did last year. There in the fishing catalog is that new fly-tying vise. I know I’ll be able to tie flies faster and better with that, which will give me more time to cruise up and down Lewis Creek with the fly rod. Well … at least that’s the plan.

And the housewares catalog has all kinds of things in it to help us peel potatoes, boil things, slice things, and clean things. A few well-spent dollars on their 800 phone line and before you know it, our lives will be easier and our food tastier.

With the truck catalogs, we can get a little coffee maker that plugs right in to the cigarette lighter. Or we can get a little oven that plugs right in to the cigarette lighter, or a fan that plugs right in to the cigarette lighter. Let’s hope the car makers continue to make cigarette lighters even after cigarettes themselves disappear. We’d miss out on a lot of fun without that plug-in.

The mule needs his catalog, too. I’ll do the reading for him, and the ordering. But I think he’d appreciate one of those nice white fleece cinches. They seem so soft on an old mule’s belly. And a matching saddle pad would be good, too. He’s too old to rope on any more, but a guy can still appreciate comfort in semi-retirement.

The land catalogs are the most fun. In these, there are always lakes with wooded margins, begging for a little cabin. A small place where a guy can hole up and think literary thoughts and type quietly. Well, it’s a thought, anyway. And that’s what catalogs do, stimulate our thinking.

Spring catalogs are the novels of optimistic lives.
To buy Slim’s books, go to  He’s got some good ones, including a new one, Slim Randles’ Home Country, that is a compilation of his weekly columns.

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