Now And Then

Slim Randles is here as today’s Wednesday’s Guest with a fun story about Clarice and Mr. Gavin. Some of the best stories are told in beauty shops and barber shops. And, of course, the Mule Barn Truck Stop where the gang hangs out.

I’m thinking we could have something sweet to go along with our coffee or tea. Biscuits and honey fit that bill. Enjoy…

It’s Tuesday afternoon at two, which means Clarice Devon is on her way to the Curl Up ‘N Dye beauty salon. It’s like the sun coming up or the price of bread increasing. Tuesday. Two. Clarice.

“Clarice!” yells Fran. “Ready to be beautiful?”

“Sure,” she said. “I like attempting the impossible.”

Clarice Devon is one of our angels. She’s one of the few people in town who will tolerate old people and shut ins, and she not only takes care of them, but seems to relish it as well.

During the rinse, Fran asks her if she’s the one taking care of Mr. Gavin since his stroke. Clarice nods.

“So what’s he like to work with these days?”

“It’s a now-and-then situation,” Clarice says. “You know … now and then?”

“I don’t understand. You mean it’s part time?”

“Nope. Full time. But it’s now and then.”

Fran looked puzzled.

Clarice laughed. “It’s like this,” she said, imitating old Mr. Gavin’s voice. “Now, when you finish getting me my tea, I’d like a custard, but I’d like it in a glass bowl. A small glass bowl. Then I want you to call and see if my pills are ready.

“Now, if they are, could you pick them up? Then, while you’re there, I want to try that toothpaste they talk about on television.”

Fran laughed. “Now and then, huh?”

“Now and then,” Clarice said, smiling as she was attacked by curlers.
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Brought to you by The Fly Fisherman’s Bucket List by Slim Randles. Available from

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Check out all of Slim’s award-winning books at, and in better bookstores and bunkhouses throughout the free world.

All of the posts here are from his syndicated column, Home Country that is read in hundreds of newspapers across the country. I am always happy to have him share his wit and wisdom here.

Slim Randles is a veteran newspaperman, hunting guide, cowboy and dog musher. He was a feature writer and columnist for The Anchorage Daily News for 10 years and guided hunters in the Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains. A resident of New Mexico now for more than 30 years, Randles is the prize-winning author of a dozen books and is host of two podcasts and a television program. 

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