Need Help With That Car?

What is it they say about the best laid plans? Mine for this week didn’t include a trip to the veterinarian with one of my cats, Lily, that ate up most of Tuesday mid-day. Got home from the 11 o’clock appointment at 2:30.

Oh, about those plans? On Monday, I finished up a writing spree on the third book in the Seasons Mystery Series that racked up 1000 words, and was psyched to get even more done the next day. Tuesdays are usually one of my best writing days, but I barely squeezed in about 300 words yesterday. Hoping for better today.

Oh, wait. Don’t make plans. 🙂

This is Lily as a baby in 2013. If you look closely you can see my reflection in the window behind her.

By the way, Lily is okay. Nothing life-threatening going on, but she has a really upset tummy. She’s on some meds to control the affects of that. I had to chuckle when I read the official version of her issue: Forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth accompanied by retching. 

Does that sound better than cat puke? 🙂

Okay, enough of that. Slim Randles in here as today’s Wednesday’s Guest, and I’m happy to let him take the stage. Read on and enjoy…

It was like buzzards circling the body.

The Jones kid, Randy, was out in the Mule Barn parking lot with the hood up on his car. He was staring down into it as a first-time parachutist would look out the airplane door. You never quite knew for sure what lay ahead.

“Looks like Randy’s got problems,” said Steve.

“Let’s have a look,” said Dud.

So coffee was left to get cold and the entire Supreme Court of All Things Mechanical – Steve, Dud, Doc, Herb and Dewey – trooped out to see what was going on.

They formed a powerful semi-circle of wisdom around the youth and his engine with folded arms and facial expressions that said, “It’s okay, Kid. We’re here.”

Dewey spoke first. “Having trouble, Randy?”

“Won’t start.”

Doc, who has the most initials after his name, said, “Give it a try.”

Randy ground the engine, but it wouldn’t kick over.

“Stop! Stop!” Doc yelled. “Don’t want to flood it.”

All Doc knows about flooding is that the animals went on board, two by two.

“Randy, I think it’s the solenoid,” said Steve, looking wise.

“Doesn’t have one, Steve,” Randy said.

“Sure it does. All cars have solenoids.”

“Not the new ones. Haven’t made solenoids in years.”

Steve’s expression said, “Young punks, what do they know?” But his voice said, “Well, what do you know about that?”

“Need a jump?” Dewey asked.

“Got plenty of spark,” Randy said.

Randy looked at the older men and then bent to the engine and smiled. His voice came floating up over the radiator. “Might be the junction fibrillator. Or it could be a malfunction of the Johnson switch. If I rerun the wire from the organ housing to the pump by-pass, that might get it done.”

When Randy looked up, all the men had gone back in for coffee. He smiled and called Triple A on his cell phone.
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Brought to you by Home Country (the book).

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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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