Saturday, June 13, 2009

Some story-tellin'

An out-of-stater who hates living in a beautiful new home on 120 acres next to the Gasconade River in the Missouri Ozarks was rejoicing this week on the Missouri Forum, because she's fixing to move back to some Florida city where she can go to the mall every day.

She complained that Missourians don't have a sense of humor. I have to disagree. Some of my friends and neighbors are hilarious and keep me in stitches. You have to understand rural humor is primarily storytelling; it's also often delivered deadpan. The funniest people I know around here use wryness, subtlety and understatements. They'll also use self-deprecating humor.

For instance, a ouple of weekends ago I had to go over to the MotoMart to get some more gasoline to finish up mowing. Ran into a buddy, another old redneck like me, and we were talking outside. Car with Pennsylvania plates pulls up and guy gets out to go inside. We howdy him, and my buddy winks at me. I figger he's planning some fun.

We continue talking. Guy comes back out; I guess he had to go to the bathroom and buy a couple more cokes.

Buddy says, "I see you are from Pennsylvania. Welcome to the Ozarks."

Guy stops and says, "Thank you, we're on our way to Branson."

Buddy says, "If you're a-lookin' fer hillbillies, no need to go plumb to Branson; you done found you a couple rightcheer." We both give him big tooth-missing grins.

Guy laughs and heads toward his Lexus, which is still running so his wife is in the cool a/c.

Buddy says, "Well, enjoy your visit, stay as long as you can and spend as much as you got. We like Pennsylvania money in Missouri. JUST DON'T FORGET THE WAY HOME, and drive carefully."

Then we both laughed real big and the guy laughed with us. He got back in his car and as he backed out apparently told his wife what my buddy said, for she rolled her window down, despite the heat, and stuck out the middle finger of her right hand.

We laughed uproariously, doffed our caps and waved as they drove off.

Pennsylvania women apparently don't have a sense of humor.

Now, did you get the joke? Did you laugh? Chuckle? Smile?

Or did you get angry because you pictured a couple of hillbillies laughing at a city slicker as they tell him to spend his money here and then go home.

Now, if you are angry, ask yourself: Did that really happen or did he make it up, and is the joke really on me?

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