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Home Country

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.

Brought to you by Sun Dog Days, now on sale at bookstores everywhere, or from www.unmpress.com, or www.slimrandles.com .

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