Checking the Speed Limit

This picture of Lily that I took the other day has nothing to do with the subject of this blog post. I just thought it was a nice image to carry into the weekend. And I don’t know if she had been sleeping this way, or just slowly making her way from the top perch after her nap.

Just Hanging Around


When I read this week’s offering from Slim Randles I couldn’t help but think of the car ride from Michigan to West Virginia when I was just a kid. There we were, all packed into a 57 Chevy station wagon, and Daddy was singing “Splish, Splash, I was Taking a Bath.” The closer we got to his hometown, the louder he sang, and the harder he pressed the accelerator.

Then there was a siren.

Daddy pulled to a stop when the State Patrol car flashed us over. The officer came to the window to inquire as to whether Daddy knew how fast he was going. Daddy said, “No,” and the officer educated him and inquired as to why Daddy was going so fast.

I think the explanation of the singing and the tempo of the song, was so unique, the trooper let Daddy off with a shake of his head and a warning to mind the speed limit on the mountain roads with a car full of kids. 

That became one of our favorite road-trip stories that was told many times over any time there was a new audience.

And now, here’s Slim with his story about speed limits. 

It happened in the checkout lane down at the Soup ‘R’ Market last week. We discussed it thoroughly, of course, and no one knows yet what to make of it.

As sometimes happens, when we are glancing at the tabloids to see who fathered Bigfoot’s new baby, we get into discussions of trivia. Annette was sliding broccoli and corn flakes over the glass-window dinger machine, and we were just chatting about … I think it was bears this time. You know…

“I read,” said Annette, “that a bear can run 45 miles an hour. Faster than a race horse.”

To which I added, “Did you know a polar bear’s skin is black, and a black bear’s skin is white?”

“Really?” Annette said, weighing the plastic bag of apples. “And did you know,” she said, “that horses can’t vomit?”

Horses just hadn’t heard me sing yet, that’s all.

So it was then that the next guy in line, a young fellow dressed in camouflage, smiled and joined in.

“You know the song, ‘The Duke of Earl’?” he asked.

Well, of course we did. We used to slide around the dance floor to that when Elvis was still a pup. Wasn’t as good for snuggling as a Johnny Mathis tune, but what is? Half the marriages in this town began while dancing to “The Twelfth of Never.”

“Well, here’s something to think about,” our young friend said. “If you are driving down the highway, and you tap your foot on the accelerator each time the car goes by one of those broken yellow lines, and if you do it in time to “The Duke of Earl,” you’re doing exactly 55 miles an hour.”

“You’re kidding!”

“Nope. I’m a trucker, and I can tell you it’s a fact. Heard it on the radio and gave it a try. Fifty-five miles an hour.”

Let’s see … Duke, duke, duke, duke of earl, duke, duke, duke of earl, duke…

Might come in handy if the speedometer goes on the fritz.
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Brought to you by, who have put two of Slim’s books at 40% off, just for his readers and listeners.

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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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That’s all for me folks. I hope you have a great weekend filled with good times and good friends. Be Safe. Be Happy.

2 thoughts on “Checking the Speed Limit”

  1. What a crazy picture of sweet Lilly!
    Enjoyed reading about your West Virginia trip and can almost hear your dad singing. Have to try that Duke of Earl thing!

    1. I couldn’t believe it when I looked over and saw Lily hanging like that. Also really surprised that she stayed that way while I took the picture. So often the animals move just when you’re trying to get a photo. LOL

      Let me know if the Duke of Earl thing works for you. LOL

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