Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Visiting My Town?

Or is that “toawn”? The spam filter didn’t automatically put this obvious junk mail message in the junk mail folder.

From: (some fake addy)
Subject: Re: Hallo!

Hope I am not writing to wrong address. I am nice, pretty looking
gbirl. I am planning oan visiting your toawn this month. Can
we meet each otherb in person? Message me back at hazkieq@(somescammyemailaddy)

If I were going to reply—which I’m not—here is what I’d say:

Dear Gbirl (?),

How nice you are going to visit my toawn—er, town—which is mainly populated by cows and assorted rednecks. We do have some nice people here, but they will be busy working.

The town itself consists of a sign at the crossroads. There is a larger town two miles west, but most of it was bull-dozed to build a shopping center that hasn’t been built. It looks like ground zero. There is, however, a recently expanded marina, should you be in the market for a high-priced boat. Two miles east is another town with an even bigger marina, a Minute Market, and a Dairy Queen. If you’re looking for groceries as well as a boat, this one is the place to go.

For your stay in our area, I suggest you dress appropriately: sturdy shoes, long sleeves (even though today’s temps will be in the high 80s), and a ball-cap. You do have a ball-cap, don’t you? You’ll need it to participate in the main activity that is currently underway here: making hay. As I’ve noted in a previous blog entry, making hay is hot, dirty, labor-intensive work. the ball-cap keeps the sun off your face and might delay your eventually getting skin cancer.

That you are “pretty looking” is irrelevant. Can you drive a tractor? Hook the rake or baler to the tractor? Change a tire on a tractor? Spear a round bale right smack in the middle?

Can you tell which snakes are poisonous and should be killed and which are to be left alone to do their jobs (rodent disposal)? If you can’t tell a copperhead from a blacksnake, you might not want to visit. Are you likely to be grossed out by buzzards ripping apart any rodents killed during haymaking?

Do you think a visit to farmland should include running barelegged through the tall grass because you’ve seen scenes like that in movies? (Let me rephrase the question: Are you so incredibly ignorant that you are not aware of ticks and chiggers, which are quite prevalent now?) If so, I hope you have good insurance coverage. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme disease take a while to cure. The chiggers won’t give you any potentially fatal disease, unless you sever a vein or artery while scratching where they’ve caused itching so intense that . . . oh, you don’t need to know about that.

In the event that you see any cattle loose on the roads, you can tell the difference between a bull, a cow, and a steer, can’t you? You might be able to herd the cows and steers out of the road, but I don’t recommend you mess with the bulls. Just in case you have to do a bit of rounding up loose livestock, you can saddle and bridle a horse, can’t you? Do you have a strong voice that’ll command a border collie’s attention?

And you can tell the difference between a coyote and a dog, right? Actually, you shouldn’t try to pet anyone’s dog either. Most of the dogs around her are pretty territorial and protective of their property. And, no matter how cute you think they are, don’t try to pet possums, groundhogs, and raccoons. Especially don’t pet any cute little black critters with while stripes down their backs. If you do, don’t say I didn’t warn you. (Helpful hint: Tomato juice really does neutralize the smell.)

Well, I could go on, but there’s work to be done here in rural America. You understand, won’t you, that I’ll probably be too busy to meet you “in person” if indeed you decide to pay a visit? (How will you get here? This town has no taxi, bus, train, or plane service. If you don’t drive, you’re plumb outta luck.) I figure you won’t stay long.

Anyhow, y’all come back, here?



Blogger House on the Glade Hill said...

Becky, I love it! But, who was this person? A fan? A weirdo? Both? I have warned my plastic friends in Florida of the same dangers of visiting me. They are scared... I will probably never see them again!

Amy H

1:59 PM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

This was a spam email I got one morning. More interesting than the lotteries I've won or all the Nigerians who want to give me money. "Elise" had sent the email to a bunch of people with the same email provider.

Ain't no way I was gonna respond, but I figured, what the heck—inspiration for a blog!

4:25 PM  

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