The Price of Progress

Slim Randles is here to entertain us today with another story from the Mule Barn Truck Stop. Is it is just my imagination, or is there a subtle editorial slant to this? I don’t know. Maybe I’ve just been listening to too many POD Save America podcasts, but Del certainly does seem to have a similar thought process as someone we know in Washington D.C.

Of course, you are perfectly free to discount that idea as the ramblings of an old lady and read on. Do have a scone for a little snack and enjoy…

Image courtesy of The Spruce, where you can find the recipe at

“Hear ye! Hear ye! Cometh to the think tank this morning Delbert McLain, our very own Chamber of Commerce. A broad smile beameth.”

You know, we’re really proud of Del. Of course, what he’d like to do is make this valley so rich and crowded that none of us would want to live here anymore, but at least he works really hard at it. We admire hard work.

“Hey Del,” Steve said, “pull up a cup and sit down.”

“Thanks guys,” he said, flipping his necktie over one shoulder so it wouldn’t dangle in the coffee. “You heard about that Spanish billionaire Fortunato Alvarez de Banqueria?”

“No,” Doc said. “We don’t keep up on Spanish billionaires, I’m afraid.”

“See,” Del explained, “he’s this rich guy from Spain …”

“Kinda had that part figured out.”

“ … and he’s interested in … get this … investing in our valley Isn’t that something? I mean, it’s still in the tentative stages, of course, but the word is, it’s going to happen.”

“What’s going to happen?” Herb said.

“The subdivision, of course. The way I heard it …”

“Hold on, Delbert,” Doc said. “How did you hear it and what did you hear?”

“Sure. You know Carol, comes in the barber shop to sweep up at night? Well, her cousin’s girlfriend works in the city and overheard her bosses talking at break time about Fortunato coming over here with some real money. And what other Fortunato could it be?

“And the bosses said, and I got this straight from Carol, that the subdivision would probably be somewhere near our local landfill and will be called Basura Vista Estates. Think of all the people coming in! Think of all the road scraping that will happen! It’s amazing!”

“What will those new people do for jobs?” Doc asked.

“They’ll scrape in those roads and build those houses, of course,” Del said, taking a sip of coffee. “It’s the American Way.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  ~

Brought to you by “Strange Tales of Alaska, available on That is just one of the many books by Slim Randles that are always sure to entertain, and perhaps not be an editorial commentary. Try one out and see for yourself. Most of his books can be found by checking out his Author Page at Amazon. One of my favorites is Home Country,” which is a collection of the many columns he has shared in national syndication.

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