People always ask me, “What’s it like to be a writer?” My usual response is sore fingers, bad eye strain and an occasional bout of writer’s block. However, my passion is stories about everyday life experiences.
I moved from a bustling metropolitan city to a small bucolic country town. It’s a sweet haven for a writer – quiet, peaceful, a splendid environment for creative writing. I enjoy visiting the old country truck stops for coffee and observing the locals and eavesdropping on their conversations. One older fellow stated he’d been jawing for two hours. My first thought was this poor guy was suffering from a severe case of TMJ. It was later I realized he’d been talking to his morning coffee buddies and was late for his hay delivery. I love listening to the local farmers spouting their rural philosophy and home spun theories.
An old friend got me hooked on Rural Farm District humor or as he prefers to call it, “The Cow-Poop Scoop.” What makes small town folks so intriguing is that they truly believe all of the old tales, local folklore and town gossip as long as it’s followed by, “And that’s the honest to God truth!”
Case in point, a few years ago I overheard an old fellow who’d been sitting on a bench outside of a North Carolina Walmart bending another old-timer’s ear about his grand pappy who survived the great depression on lard, sugar and water. He lived to be 102 years old until he died of heart failure.
As his tale came to an end he exclaimed, “If it wasn’t for that nagging old wife of his I believe he would have lived a lot longer. Poor bastard! And that’s the honest to God truth.”
The other old fellow nodded his head in total agreement. Personally, I think it was the lard and sugar-laden diet that brought him to his overdue demise. Disturbing at best, but their lard and sugar conversation made me laugh.
Another farmer claims that one of his chickens laid an egg as big as a tennis ball and hatched a three legged chick. He raised it until it was fully grown and later plucked it and ate it for supper. He said it was a good thing because he, his wife and mother-in-law loved drumsticks so a three legged chicken was a perfect meal and that’s the honest to God truth!
All in all, a daily dose of light- hearted humor has been proven to ease tension and lower blood pressure. Remember, it takes 37 muscles to frown and only 22 muscles to smile. Whether or not it’s scientifically accurate, I don’t care. My fingers will always be sore and my eye sight will continue to worsen, but those old fellows and farmer cured my writer’s block . . . and that’s the honest to God truth!