And The Winner Is…

We are back at the Mule Barn Truck Stop today with some of the guys who call that their second home. Join Doc and Dud as they have a little fun with Steve, proving you are never too old to let your inner child out. 

This story reminds me of the good times I had with my friend, Jan, and her mother, who was also not too old to let her inner child out. Dancing around the living room was one of our favorite things to do, always making Jan’s father shake his head. But he could never quite hide the smile.

A special treat at Jan’s house was the great mashed potato donuts her mother made. I would hop the fence every Wednesday when the sweet aroma would waft from her house to mine. So I thought it would be nice to have some of those yummy donuts as we read this post from Slim Randles. Enjoy…

Doc hadn’t even finished loading his coffee with fake sugar before Steve piped up.
“I think it’s disgusting and weird and unnatural and it should be outlawed!” the tall cowboy said, coming to rest at the philosophy counter of the Mule Barn truck stop.

“Aw Steve,” said Doc, “the coffee isn’t that bad.”

“Coffee? Nay, I say unto you, Doc. It ain’t the coffee … it’s them Academy Awards on the television. You see them? All them good-looking women Scotch-taping themselves into those dresses so they almost stay on? Those weird guys they’re with who only shave on Tuesdays?”

“And this makes you angry?”

“Sure does, Doc. Those folks make a lot more money than I do and all they have to do is dress up and talk to those red-carpet cameras.”

“Well, Steve,” said Dud, “we can do just as good as they can. Stand up.”

Steve looked around and then stood slowly. Dud picked up a bottle of Tabasco sauce and, using it as a microphone, turned to the breakfast crowd in the Mule Barn.
“Good morning, folks, and we’re so happy you could join us here on KRUD this morning to welcome our list of celebrities. Oh, look, it’s Steve, the pride of farrier life and heavy anvils. Steve, wherever did you get that outfit?”

“Well,” said Steve, grinning, “it’s a creation of Levi Strauss, and please note the genuine brass rivets.”

“Give us a twirl there, cowboy.”

And he did, to great applause.

“And your head-wear today, Steve, that would be what … Stetson?”

“Yes,sir. A genuine John B. Stetson original. Five ex-beaver fur felt.”

“The sweat stains?”

“Those were added later, actually, Dudley. A genuine cow-pen fillip to offset the otherwise stunning look of my entire ensemble.”

“So as not to overwhelm the onlookers, I suppose?”

“Precisely. We don’t want ordinary people to think they’ll never achieve this look, you see.”

“An admirable pursuit,” Dud said.

“Noblesse oblige, I believe,” said Steve.

“Not until lunch, Hon,” said Loretta, topping off the coffee mugs. “Breakfast special is bacon and a short stack.”

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Brought to you by Strange Tales of Alaska by Slim Randles. Available at

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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. 


3 thoughts on “And The Winner Is…”

  1. What awesome memories! Yes, we three had such fun times. I will never forget the twinkle in Dad’s eyes as he watched us! Have tried to make those doughnuts, but they’re just not the same!

    1. You’re right about the donuts not being quite the same as Mam made them. Must have been the love she put in the batter. 🙂

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