Those New-Fangled Car Engines

Slim Randles is back as today’s Wednesday’s Guest, and he’s introducing us to another one of the guys that hang out at the Mule-Barn Truck Stop. What an interesting group of men, and I suspect they are not all made-up characters. But no matter, they’re always fun to share space at the counter and have a cup of coffee with.

Grab a cup for yourself and enjoy. 

It was a rare treat to have Vince come in the Mule Barn truck stop and join us for coffee. He’s usually too busy taking care of what we all know around the valley here as the “gas station gun shop.”

Vince is one of those lucky guys who figured out how to scratch his passion itch while earning a living. The passion is guns and the living is pumping gas. Ever since he received a firearms license from the feds, it’s been more fun to fill up at his place.

He often has 12-gauge shells on sale, you see.

“Yo Vince,” Steve said, “everything okay at the gas station gun shop?”

Vince sipped coffee and shook his head. “I’ve found myself to be on the horns of a dilemma, guys. That’s why I came in here today. I need advice.”

Someone actually asks for advice from those of us in the world dilemma think tank?

Some of us have been waiting years to hear that.

“What’s the problem, Vince?” asked Doc. “You know we always have advice for people whether they want it or not. All kinds of advice.”

“It’s the computers, Doc,” said Vince. “They’ve got ‘em in all the newer cars now, and I don’t know how to fix them. I don’t even know how to tell when the darn things go on the fritz.”

“Are you sure they’re plugged in?” asked Dewey. We figured that was about all Dewey knew about computers.

“They’re in the car, Dewey,” said Doc.

“Oh … yeah.”

Steve doesn’t know much about them, either, but he’s real big on giving advice.

“I think I have the answer to your problem, Vince,” Steve said. We all looked at the mustached seer of the sagebrush.

“Yep,” Steve said, “I think what you need is to hire a teenager. That should take care of it.”

We don’t even charge for this, you know.
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Brought to you by Ol’ Jimmy Dollar, an illustrated kids book about a houndman and his family of dogs. Available at You can also find it at Books A Million. If they don’t have it on their shelves, they’ll order it for you, just in time to gift it to someone special this Christmas.

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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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