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Slim & Stumpy & the Y2K Adventure
Slim & Stumpy and Their Y2K Adventure
by George C. Thomas © 2000 All rights reserved

The new year, and for some the new millennium, had just dawned. Most folks were either out partying or huddled at home avoiding possible Y2K glitches. And that’s when it happened; someone in Circleville, Ohio played “The City of New Orleans” on the radio. You readers who follow the lunar cycles know there wasn’t an old gibbous moon that evening, but Slim and Stumpy entered the plastic-plasma phase anyway and began to “connect.” If you’ve read the five previous Slim and Stumpy adventures (if not, you may want to read them first) you’re well aware that the combination of that particular moon phase and specific song on the radio seemed to be a necessary prerequisite for the subsequent activities. Either this was a false assumption, or their connecting on the eve of 2000 is the first of four possible Y2K happenings.

At any rate, when Slim, a 1:20 figure on “Engineer” Jeff Saxton’s Winona & Thorny Mountain RR in St. Louis, Missouri, and Stumpy, a short 1:20 figure on George Thomas’ Lazy Acre Lumber Company RR in Delran, New Jersey, “connect” they plan to visit a great model railroad. They had already enjoyed visiting each others railroads and five others, so on this particular evening they wanted to chose one that was completely different.

“Let’s go see Konrad Richter’s railroad for his Lakes Sand & Lumber Co. in Marlton, New Jersey,” suggested Stumpy.

“What’s so special about that railroad?” asked Slim.

“Well, if you want to see something entirely different, this one qualifies. It’s outside on his porch.”

“OK, let’s go. Last one there is a . . . hey, where’d you go, Stumpy?”

So Slim hurried to follow Stumpy to the Lakes Sand & Lumber Co. He landed in a pile of snow with no sign of Stumpy. “Hey Stumpy, where are you?”

There was no answer. Then Slim heard a muffled sound coming from nearby. Upon closer inspection he found two feet sticking up into the air. He touched them and they began to move in a vigorous manner. Slim knew full well that Stumpy more than deserved his current dilemma, but he also missed talking with his friend. So he dug, very carefully, so as not to hurt Stumpy.

“Whew! T-thanks, ol’ buddy.”

“No problem. I'm used to rescuing you,” chuckled Slim. He then looked around. “So, where’s this railroad on the porch?”

“D-darned if I know,” stammered Stumpy. He was still rather chilled.

“Great! Oh well, let’s explore the area.”

So explore they did, and after only a very short time they spotted a big snowman next to some railroad tracks. Huge would be a better word for it!

“This thing gives me the creeps,” said Stumpy. “Do you think some Y2K glitch made that snowman so big?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” answered Slim. “I think that Y2K stuff has been blown way out of proportion. Hey look, here are some railroad tracks. I think we found the Lakes Sand & Lumber Co.”

“But,” whispered Stumpy, “there can’t be this much snow in Marlton, New Jersey. Remember, I’m from nearby Delran and we had no snow at all. I think that Y2K stuff is real!”

They walked down the tracks, and after a while they heard an approaching locomotive. Slim noticed that Stumpy turned white as the new fallen snow when it stopped. “What’s wrong?” he asked.

“That’s Will with our one-spot. This is the Lazy Acre RR.” Sure enough, the locomotive was the small Dunkirk, and Will was pulling the water car. (Yes, I know it’s New Year’s Eve, but I’ll still assume it’s water.)

“But how could we be at your railroad?” asked Slim. “We clearly set our bearings for Marlton.”

“You don’t want to hear my answer,” replied Stumpy. “Now I’m sure all this has been caused by Y2K!”

There was no reason to continue their explorations. Both Slim and Stumpy wanted to return to the “entry location” so they could end this evening’s strange happenings. They happily accepted a ride from young Will.

On the way they passed a man walking along the track. “Hi there, Bindle Jim, “ shouted Stumpy. Bindle Jim nodded as he continued his midnight walk.

“Why do they call him Bindle Jim?” asked Slim.

“Well,” replied Stumpy, “he went to a logging convention at Camp Elkanah out in Oregon and forgot his bindle. He darn near froze to death at night. To make things worse, two guys even burned this blue jeans!”

“But why is he out walking at this hour?”

“We never ask when it involves Bindle Jim. He just hasn't been the same since he returned from Camp Elkanah. It's a sad story.”

A bit later young Will stopped to pick up a wreath for his dad, big Jeff. Stumpy volunteered to hold it since he and Slim were standing in the only available room.

And then they came to the big snowman. They both thanked young Will and hopped off the one-spot. Another adventure, or should I say misadventure, was about to end. Neither said a word for a few minutes; saying good-bye was always difficult for these two railroad buddies.

“When and where will I see you next?” asked Slim.

“Who knows. It’s up to the moon and a beautiful railroad song. If this Y2K thing ever gets solved, there are plenty of other fine layouts to visit, including the Lakes Sand & Lumber Co. in Marlton.”

“You got that right, little buddy,” said Slim. “Until next time.”

And so they both vanished into the cool, thin air of south Jersey, heading back to St. Louis, Missouri, and nearby Delran. But rest assured, Slim and Stumpy will meet again to make another layout visit. So fill your water cars, web site readers, it could be yours!

Enjoy the next Slim & Stumpy adventure
Snow Storm on the Lazy Acre RR
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