So remember when I mentioned the Boonies and what it means? Well, my mother and I went out to THE Booniest of the Boonies. I’ve taken a freelance job where I go out and take pictures for insurance companies or property buyers and what not. There were 3 in a clustered location so I took them. I knew the one was waaaaay out in the middle of nowhere so I asked for a little extra money for that one.
I told my mom I’d give her $5 if we stayed on paved road, but I just knew it was going to be a gravel road leading off into the wild mountains of Arkansas. Little did I know that it was even worse than I’d thought. Sure enough, we were out in the sticks… and sure enough, we turned off a little 2 lane country road onto a gravel/dirt road. And THEN we turned off of it onto a clay dirt road and started seeing signs that said:
Posted Property: trespassers will be shot or No Trespassing, violators will be shot.
Now, I’m not about to get shot for a measly $20 and I’m getting nervous. Does this person know I’m coming? Will I get shot? I’m driving a nice car, not a jeep or pickup truck… or anything that remotely looks like it should be out galavanting around on backwoods dirt roads. I’m hearing John Wayne in my head saying “You ain’t from round here are ya… city slicker.” and visions of getting married off to cousin Jeb in some backwoods shotgun wedding.
And I can’t find the house… the mailboxes don’t have numbers on them. I guess everyone knows who everyone is and where they live. That makes me nervous, so I call in for support and I’m assured that it’s okay, they are expecting me, it no big deal.
I am directed to a turn off of the clay road onto a steep incline that has a mud puddle going across the road at the bottom. This is not a good thing and I’m wondering if I will be able to get back up this side when I get ready to leave again. I’m like… okay here goes nothing and we slosh through the mud and up the other smaller incline.
I pull up to the house and immediately am greeted by 2 horses. One looks laid back and chill, eating grass kind of ignoring me. The other? Oh his ears are up and his tail is swishing around and he’s giving me the “I’m watching you!” on alert vibe. Now, I dunno if he can get to me or not… I’m scared to get out because I also don’t want to get trampled by a mad horse, but I finally do and then go get the pictures only to have a mess of chickens kick up a fuss. I get my pictures and get back to the car.
This is my first gig and I want to make sure it’s right and more importantly that I don’t have to come back. I can’t fill in all the pictures because there’s no address on backwoods shanty number 6. Now, mom has to go to the bathroom and we’re waiting on support to make sure I’ve got what they need. I jokingly tell her to pick a tree, but she’s 72 and that’s not going to work. We wait some more and I lose my signal… oh no! While we’re on hold the mail person drives on this tiny 1 lane mountain road where I’m currently pulled over as far as I can be. She gives me a glare as she drives by, she knows I don’t belong there. She’s driving a jeep; one of those ones you go offroading with. Behind her is a pickup truck. This is looking bad.
Finally, I’m good to go. We are on a mission to find a bathroom for mom… in the middle of nowhere… off 3 dirt roads. It’s not easy but we get back to civilized paved roads and can speed up. I find a place called “Scat and Chat”… um okay. So I pull in and they’ve got gas pumps, but those ones from the 70’s that I’m pretty sure haven’t seen gas since about that time. Mom goes in, I’m staying in the car keeping an eye out for… I dunno, but I’m not going in.
The sign on the door said: We have worms!
Check that off of the possible places to eat lunch. I’ll pass.
I wait forever for mom… I’m like what is going on in there. I call a friend and I tell her:
Mom’s been in there a long time. The mountain folk might have her. I’m not going in there after her. She’s got 5 more minutes before I leave and she becomes mawmaw to a passle of wildlings.
About that time, Mom comes out. She was chatting… after all the place was called scat and chat. I told her I was about to leave her behind because I thought she’d been commandeered into a redneck army compound or something. She laughed… she thought I was kidding. I let her keep believing that, it’s better that way.
We head home to civilization and survive to tell the tale.
Your city slicker for life