Those of us who call this little valley home have a unique blessing in the form of Perry, our dentist. Yes, when we go to get the fangs fixed up at O’Dontall Dental, down in the old brick building near the office of the Valley Weekly Miracle, the grinding and scraping and numbing and lip shaking is accompanied by … well … acting.
You see, Perry worked his way through dental school by treading the boards … acting on stage, that is. When all was said and done and he received his final mouth mirror, he’d become a darn fine dentist, and could quote Shakespeare and others at the drop of a hat. And he’d even drop the hat for you.
It was like that for Dud recently, when he went in for his six-month check-up and polish job.
“Ah, Dudley,” Perry said, peering into his mouth, “the years have favored you kindly in the mouth department. Very little cleaning to do.”
“Ahhhks,” Dud said.
“You’re welcome. Here’s a scraper on number six, however. I can only say, as I scrape … out, out damned spot! Leave and take with thee the spectre of decay! Begone and tarry no more to add to the misery of my boon companion!”
Dr. O’Dontall sometimes uses his native Irish accent to emphasize things, as well.
“’Tis brushing after every meal you be, Dudley, my eyes tell me true…”
“That’s right fine, lad, right fine. And thanking you kindly for years to come your mouth will be, for efforts now lead to years of chewing free …”
“Ahhhks,” Dud mumbled.
Perry doesn’t even charge extra for this.
Newspaper columnist Slim Randles, who writes the weekly Home Country column, took home two New Mexico Book Awards in 2011.
His advice book for young people, “A Cowboy’s Guide to Growing Up Right,” took first place in the self-help category, and “Sweetgrass Mornings” won in the biography/memoirs category. Randles lives and works in Albuquerque.
Home Country reaches 2.2 million hometown newspaper readers each week.
Slim Randles learned mule packing from Gene Burkhart and Slim Nivens. He learned mustanging and wild burro catching from Hap Pierce. He learned horse shoeing from Rocky Earick. He learned horse training from Dick Johnson and Joe Cabral. He learned humility from the mules of the eastern High Sierra. Randles lives in Albuquerque.
Randles has written newspaper stories, magazine articles and book, both fiction and nonfiction. His column appeared in New Mexico Magazine for many years and was a popular columnist for the Anchorage Daily News and the Albuquerque Journal, and now writes a nationally syndicated column, “Home Country,” which appears in several hundred newspapers across the country.