Saturday, February 20, 2010

Small Town

--Myra's, Valdese, N.C. by davidbus159 on flickr

I love A Valdese Blog:

Part of a conversation overheard at the post office & duly reported to me so I could write it in this blog.

I like our post office. I sometimes approach entering buildings, such as restaurants and grocery stores, with a bit of trepidation, but I've gotten quite used to going into our little post office. I may not be the most sociable person who ever walked thru their door, but I can make the occasional small talk. Everybody has always been very friendly & helpful.

Anyway, I didn't witness this conversation, so I may not have it exact. It involved a passport application. If you get behind someone dealing with a passport application chances are you're going to be standing there a few minutes. But that's ok. Its a small town, where else would you go? [cont.]

I was lucky enough to live in a small North Carolina town when I was in high school. Unfortunately, my understanding of small town time, small town rules and regulations, and small town idiosyncrasies, and so did not appreciate my luck until many years later, years of being long gone.

I fell prey to calling such towns "charming." To be exactly honest, I classed them and their denizens (and mavens) with the snooty designation of Southern Gothic -- by which I meant steeped in quirky doom and quirkier gloom, with a dash of madwoman in the attic.

Worse? I came to believe (echos of Step Two in Alcoholics Anonymous: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity...) that the only good Southern [Gothic] writing came from wimmin.*

Now I know lots better about a few things. I know I like this blog that is sometimes about Valdese, North Carolina. After that? I hedge my bets.** One of my brother-units is a bookie, you know!

My favorite posts tend to be about humans and their willy-nilly dogs --"The Dogs of South Avenue" is a favorite (There is even a Part Two). But nothing -- no, nothing -- tops the very specific Pickles the Dog.

Pickles T. Dog. (T stands for the)
Pickles P. Dog (P stands for puppy)
P. Pickles Dog (if she's puttin' on airs)
P. Dog
P. Doggy
Gnarls Barkley
Pickles Anne
Pickleheimer (Don't ask me why, Patti Anne just started doing it)
Monster Dog

Look, I deserve some relief from The Felines of Marlinspike Hall. One day, I'll tell The Story of My Dog Emma and there won't be a dry eye in the house.

*Tamarah Cohen: After days on the Internet and in the library, I have come to nothing more than the obvious: "'wimmin' is a semi-phonetic spelling of 'women', recently adopted by feminists...."(OED, 1989).

Fig. to reduce one's loss on a bet or on an investment by counterbalancing the loss in some way.

Bob bet Ann that the plane would be late. He usually hedges his bets. This time he called the airline and asked about the plane before he made the bet. John bought some stock and then bet Mary that the stock would go down in value in one year. He has hedged his bets perfectly. If the stock goes up, he sells it, pays off Mary, and still makes a profit. If it goes down, he reduces his loss by winning the bet he made with Mary.
(McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs.)

to try to avoid giving an opinion or choosing only one thing, so that whatever happens in the future you will not have problems or seem stupid
(Cambridge Idioms Dictionary, 2nd ed.)

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