By SLIM RANDLES
To The Desert Independent
February 2, 2017
The problem was Mrs. Doc, you see. Oh, don’t misunderstand. She’s a perfectly wonderful lady and we all think the world of her, and as far as we know she has yet to burn down a house or start a war or anything.
The problem is, we don’t know her first name.
If you just come out and flat ask her, she’ll smile and say, “Well, don’t you think Mrs. Doc is a nice name? I’ve had it for a long time now.” But I guess there’s something deep inside us that hates a vacuum … a vacuum of knowledge, that is. We’re still curious about exactly where Old Man Jenkins’ cabin is, for example. While he was alive, we never thought to bug him about where he lived, because we also cherish a man’s right to privacy. But Jenkins died on one of his trips to town, and we still didn’t know where his cabin was.
So that began a number of semi-serious expeditions into our nearby mountains to try and solve the mystery. Hasn’t happened yet, but there’s always hope deep in the souls of true explorers.
And so it is with Mrs. Doc. She introduced herself to all of us as Mrs. Doc, and … as wife of our local sawbones … she automatically deserves respect, even if that respect means maintaining a mystery.
But in a way, Mrs. Doc has added something tangible to our little society here in Home Country, because if we should ever falter for a subject of intense discussion, we have her first name to fall back on.
Doc’s a true pal, of course, but there’s no way he’d betray his missus on this. We did ask him one time if he actually knew her first name. He gave us the strangest look and said, “What do you think? I met this girl in college named Mrs. Doc and asked her to marry me?”
The speculation has run the gamut of everything from her having a first name meaning a poisonous flower, to body parts, battleships, national parks, and disastrous storms. If we did accidentally trip over her real name, neither she nor Doc would confirm it.
So while we’re looking for Jenkins’ cabin, we can contemplate that very nice lady … Mrs. Doc.
Home Country is now a radio program in 17 states. Have a listen at www.homecountrydemo.com.
"Home Country" columnist Slim Randles won three regional book awards for the two books he wrote in 2014. "Max Evans and a Few Friends, the 90th Birthday Book" took honors for best non-fiction book, and "Saddle Up: A Cowboy Guide to Writing" won for best how-to book and best cover design at the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards in Albuquerque. Randles lives in Albuquerque and has a dozen books currently in print.