Who's Your Daddy?

A few months ago I applied to work at the local general store because, let’s be honest, I’m not going to meet my future husband while working the desk at the library. They happily (I think) hired me, and now when the library closes in the evening I cross the street and make sandwiches and sell beer into the late hours of the night. I consider nine o’clock to be the late hours of the night.

Our most regular customers are The Old Men of Podunkville, or as I shall now refer to them, TOMs. We supply them with cherry ice cream cones, pints of Yukon Jack, and Cheyenne cigars, and in return they barrage us with questions. Are you from around here? Why haven’t I seen you here before? Do you come here often? What year did you graduate? Oh, did you go to school with my grandson, Insert-Name-Here? No? Who’s your dad? Is your dad Random-Person? No? Is your grandfather Random-Other-Person? No? Where’s your dad from? What was your grade in high school physical science? What’s your social security number? Can I have your address? Can I have more ice cream? No?

Sigh. Of course, because we aren’t native to this town, the TOMs don’t know my genealogical origins or my Zodiac sign, but they’ll name off every person with a similar last name or star pattern as me. I enjoy their company. It just entertains me that they’re baffled when they can’t quite figure out whose second grand niece twice removed-in-law that I am. No, sorry TOMs, I’m new around here.

Of course, that makes me a heathen, to not be a native, so I generally just tell them that I’m an orphan and was abandoned at the volunteer fire department.

How is this relevant to anything? Well, you see, I was on my way to class and ran into this dude who is also in my class. I knew he was a Marine because, c’mon now, it’s me, I can recognize a Marine the way a bull recognizes a cow, but anyways. He said, “Hey, we don’t have class.” And then I was all like, “That sucks. I just drove here all the way from Podunkville for nothing.” And then he was all like, “You’re from Podunkville too?”

I swear to cow folks, I saw a halo appear over that boy’s head, and my response went a little like this:

“Where in Podunkville do you live? What’s your name? What’s your last name? What’s your middle name? Who’s your dad? When did you graduate? Did you go to school with Random-Person? I work at the store, why haven’t I seen you there? I work at the library, why haven’t I seen you there? Do you have a library card? What 4-H club were you in? Did I go to school with you? Did you have Mr. Unpronounceable name for math? What’s your GPA? What’s your major?”

Turns out he’s not from Podunkville. He’s from Podunkton. Sorry homeboy, you’re a heathen, and therefore, we can’t continue this conversation. Good-bye.

Oh, wait, you have a Chevy?

What’s your sign? Would you like to meet my cats? Will you be my Valentine? Are you a carrier of any genetic diseases? How do you feel about women staying at home and baking pie? Do you want children? I’m thinking a June wedding on the farm…

Published on Feb 11, 2013

Grit Magazine

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