By Slim Randles
Down at the sale barn Saturday, the think tank had coagulated there with coffees to go to celebrate spring. Doc and Dud had their dogs with them, while Bert and Dewey and Steve went stag.
Dud tried to start a conversation, but the loudspeaker soon drove them outside, where they arrayed themselves on dropped tailgates and waited to hear what Dud had in mind.
"I thought about it a lot," Dud said, "and I wondered what the favorite part of my job was, and wondered if you fellas ever gave that any thought, too."
They nodded. Yes, by mutual consent a worthy subject.
"With me," Dud continued, "it wasn't so much my job as my hobby. Writing that book. I'm claiming it as the best part of my job, anyway."
The assembled were still waiting to read "Murder in the Soggy Bottoms," as it had yet to see print, and was really a work in progress.
"Of course I'm retired now," said Bert, "but when I was running the pawn shop, my favorite part of the job happened when a customer found something in there he really needed and ended up paying much less for it than he thought he'd have to."
"And you made more on it than you thought you would, too," said Doc. Bert grinned and nodded.
"Yep. That was good too. Dewey?"
"The best part of the fertilizer business," Dewey said, "is seeing the difference it makes in the flower gardens around town. Maybe it's just my imagination, but I kinda like to take a little credit for a prettier town."
"You deserve it, Dewey," Doc said kindly. "Well, with me it's a little different. I have doctoring skills, of course, and it's good when I can help someone, but these days the most satisfying part of my job is to check someone out thoroughly and find there's absolutely nothing wrong with them. Now that's special."
They looked at the tall cowboy, Steve.
"Digging postholes," he said.
"What? That's your favorite?"
"Sure," and Steve grinned. "That's the only job a cowboy ever has where he can start at the top and work down."
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