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Your funny small town stories


daijobu
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True or ought-to-be-true.  I'll start.  This one is true.

 

My mom gets in a minor fender bender, and the police officer is completing some paperwork for them at the side of the road.  It's a blustery day and his paperwork gets blown out of his hands.  Before running to collect his papers, the cop yells (at the paperwork), "Stop!  Police!"  Meanwhile, Mom and the other lady realize they have friends in common (It's a small town.) and start chatting animatedly.  The office runs back to them, anxiously asking "What did I miss?  What did I miss?" 

 

Most probably not true, but more like a joke from my dad:  

 

Dad calls the movie theater.  "What time does the movie start?"

Theater owner:  "What time can you get here?"  

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In the small (3500 people) town we used to live in we had a day called Franks A Lot. The city would buy thousands of hotdogs and give them to "downtown" businesses. They'd shut down main street and everyone would come eat free hot dogs and walk around. The pizza place always made hot dog pizza. (Bleh) In the winter they do something similar, but with soup instead and the city didn't provide anything.

That town was like living in Mayberry. I loved it.

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Don't know if this is really true, but it would not surprise me.

 

Our very small town has a small branch office of a small regional bank. The bank teller/manager was telling the new police chief of her procedure to put a certain item in the window if they are ever in the process of getting robbed when the police chief asked if the bank had ever been robbed before. It turns out that about 15 years ago some did attempt to rob the bank. Unfortunately for this dumb criminal, he was a local who the teller recognized. Once the robbery was reported, the police drove to his house to arrest the guy.

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We had to order that rubbery thing that seals the fridge door. When it arrived it came in a funny looking package. Mail was not delivered to our door - we had to pick up at the post office. The postmaster (who knew everyone and everyone's box number) bent over the counter and whispered to me: "I have some funny looking package for you. What do you think it could be??"

 

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I have some from my own small towns, but my ultimate favorite comes from one we were traveling through.  True story - but I'll make up names, after all - small town.

 

It was the old days when bills needed to be mailed rather than being paid on computer.  This was a longer trip, so I had some I had to mail en route, but I needed stamps.  We were in the UP of Michigan and came across a post office next to a gas station - I went in to get stamps while hubby and the boys got gas.  The post office was smaller than most rooms in an average sized house... inside there is one guy (Joe) I see leaning against the wall chatting with another guy (Fred) who is unseen in the back doing something.  Their chat is on-going as I walk in.

 

Joe (nodding to me):  Hey Fred, you got a customer out here.

 

Fred - continues on with his conversation with Joe - didn't break stride.

 

Joe (nodding to me again):  Hey Fred, I mean it, you got a customer out here.

 

Fred - continues on...

 

Joe is getting a little antsy now and seems really apologetic to me:  Fred!  Stop what you're doing and come on out - you got a customer.

 

Fred:  Joe, I know you're just putting me on and I'm not falling for it!  (Then goes back to the original conversation.)

 

Joe:  I'm sorry lady... FRED!  I mean it!  You've got a REAL, LIVE, GENUINE customer out here waiting for you.  Come on out.

 

Fred:  All right Joe, I'm coming out, but I mean it, if you're putting me on you're going to...

 

At that point Fred sees me and instantly blushes, apologizes profusely over and over, asks what he can help me with, and gets flustered trying to find a whole book of stamps as all he has on top are partial ones where folks have bought a stamp or two.

 

We all laugh and get into a conversation about who I am and what brought me to their small town, etc.  Finally I go back outside where hubby and the boys have been done for a while and hubby asks, "What took you so long?  Was there a line?"

 

It's still a super favorite story of ours... the day when I was a REAL, LIVE, GENUINE customer!    :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

 

I suspect Joe and Fred still tell the story too...

 

 

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I love living in our small town . . . and love reading these stories.

 

Mainly, everyone here gives a small wave to every passing car (just one or two fingers & a nod) . . . and you look everyone in the eye & smile.

 

Our dd moved to Chicago & really had a hard time with everyone NOT making eye contact!

When visiting her, it's very hard for me not to smile/wave at the strangers up there.

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A brother and sister I knew tried to steal some candy and toys from a little store when they were 10 and 8. The shopkeeper called the sheriff's office to come and talk to them and contact their parents. The deputy who showed up happened to be their uncle, so he decided to teach them a lesson by locking them in a cell for an hour. (He called their dad, his brother, to get his blessing). It made a big impression on the kids and they told the story with a mixture of awe and amusement when they were 14 & 12.

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In our small town we don't have library cards because the librarian knows everyone by name. We also don't have fines for overdue books. One time I ruined a hardcover book by spilling something on it and the librarian only charged me $5.

The library in my grandma's small town was a house about four doors down. When my sister and I visited for the summer the librarian would just let us borrow books and knew who we were :).

Edited by AndyJoy
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I got pulled over once just outside of town and my mom knew about it before I got home. A neighbor heard it on her police scanner and naturally called my mom right away.  :lol:

 

When I went to see my new family doctor for the first time, he asked about my dad's horses and my grandma's health. He vaguely remembered my high school class ranking and other people in my class. I graduated about a quarter century ago.

 

Please don't quote. There are actually people in my town who would recognize me from the first story!  ;)

Edited by MercyA
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Every interaction is personal. There is no concept of professional behavior--which can be both a blessing and a curse. It's great when you realize you forgot your wallet, and you can walk into the bank and ask for cash without id, and it's no problem. Or when you didn't realize you had to have cash to pay for your Christmas tree tag (to cut down a tree from state forest land), and the cashier says to just take it and bring by the money the next time it's convenient. It's more of a curse when you have arranged for a babysitter and gone out on a rare date, only to find that the only restaurant nicer than Subway that doesn't shut down for the off-tourist season is closed "because the boss felt like it".

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I mailed a letter to my grandmother but didn't realize that her address was not exact.  She lived on a ranch.  All the ranches along that route had the same address.   I only put Grandma for the name.  The mailman was worried that it wouldn't get to the right place.  He carefully went door to door asking all the women who might be a grandma if they recognized the handwriting.  Eventually he found the right one.   :)

 

I was at the local bank with my grandmother.  There was an elderly man sitting at a desk with the person we needed to see.  He was there for a very long time.  Once they were done, she was ready for us to come over.  She was a family friend so we started chatting.  She apologized for taking so long.  I asked what she had been doing with the elderly man.  She explained that once a month he brought all his bills in for her to help him pay.  His eyesight was failing.  My grandmother mentioned that she didn't recognize him.  The woman explained that he wasn't from this town.  He was from another town but he didn't like the bank employees there so he always brought his bills to her.  He didn't even have an account.  He would ride the bus to this other small town and pay her $10 to help him fill out his bills every month.

 

There was an elderly woman that played bridge with the local bridge club once a week.  My grandmother and I were at the bank and the woman we were talking to got a phone call.  She immediately looked at her clock, then excused herself for a moment.  We watched her run outside the bank and start waving her arms like she was directing an airplane to the proper runway.  A car was driving by, the driver saw the woman, immediately followed her directions and turned onto another street.  Turns out this elderly woman sometimes forgot where to turn.  The bridge club members called to ask the bank person to make sure she turned on the correct street.  

 

My grandmother and I had gone to visit a friend of hers.  It was just a few blocks so we walked.  While we were sitting on the porch with her, the woman mentioned that she was out of milk and really needed to "go into town".  Then she said she had decided she just didn't feel like going that far and would go the next day.  I remember looking at her, shifting my gaze to the store roughly 5-6 blocks down the road, then looking at my grandmother in confusion.  I guess distance is a relative thing...

 

My brother and I had gone to visit our grandmother and she needed something at the store (same store as above).  We drove "into town" and were at the only intersection with a real stop light.  While we were waiting for the light to turn, a man on horseback pulled up behind us.  He was waiting, too.  When we got to the store another man on his lawn mower pulled up, parked, and went in to buy groceries.  On our way out a military tank was stopped at the light and the man on the lawn mower pulled in behind him with his bag of groceries strapped on the back.  Bro and I wished with all our hearts we had had a camera.

 

For my grandmother's 90th birthday her small town declared it ______________ (her name) Day and had a huge bash for her at the local rec center.  The mayor gave her a certificate declaring her mayor for the day.  

Edited by OneStepAtATime
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Not a good thing, but my mom was allowed to buy cigarettes at age 10 because the shopkeeper knew she was fetching them for her stepfather and mother who were likely out in the truck. She never tried smoking even once, but she certainly had opportunity.

I bought cigarettes at that age with a note from my mom all the time, and that was in a big city. Rarely had to show the note. That was normal in the 70's.

 

Sent from my SM-T530NU using Tapatalk

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Mainly, everyone here gives a small wave to every passing car (just one or two fingers & a nod) . . . and you look everyone in the eye & smile.

In my town, if someone waves at you with one finger, they don't mean it in a friendly way. But they're probably using a different finger... ;)

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We used to live in a small town.  Dh wanted to rewire our fixer-upper house and add a circuit.  He does things by the book and went through proper channels to locate the phone # of the person who would know about building permits and such.  When Dh asked him what he needed to do to satisfy the county (permits/prove competency with electrical, etc.), the man replied, "Just be safe!"

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A few years ago, my dad and daughter were marching in our town's parade. Someone called out from the crowd, "Hey, [Dad's name], that girl looks just like [my name]!" She does. :)

 

I went in a used furniture shop, and, not finding what I needed, asked the owner if she'd keep an eye out for me. She said sure, she'd let me know if she got one in. She doesn't know my phone number and probably doesn't know my married name--but that's okay, because she knows my mom. :)

 

The owner of our local theater used to come on the loudspeaker before every movie and announce that he'd personally remove anyone who misbehaved. Also, they used to deliver egg rolls right to your seat, during the previews. 

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My dd works in a very small town near us.  The library she works at shares a parking lot with the community center and the police station.  Anyway, one night she was pulling out of her parking spot and hit the car next to her.  It wasn't a bad hit, but bad enough to scratch up the paint.  She left a note on the windshield, but never heard anything.  A few days later, she sees a man getting into the car she hit.  She walked up to him to apologize and see if they needed to exchange insurance.  Turns out he was a cop, and it was an undercover car.  He told her not to worry about it, that she gave it more character! lol.  

 

The biggest thing about living around here is that my dh is related to EVERYONE.  We joke that the girls need to at least look outside of the county for a husband.  

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When we first moved to our small town, I was surprised to hear about all the business-type activity that went on in the evenings, after dinner!  People had doctor appointments, service calls, office appointments...  all after dinner!  It seemed very strange to me.  So when I had to arrange for our first service call, I think a plumber, he told me he'd be coming shortly after dinner.  I was confused when he came early afternoon.  As it turns out, our community still bases its mealtimes around the small family farms where dinner is the noon meal.  Maybe this is common where some of you folks are, but to me it's a tradition more from my parents' and grandparents' generations.

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I work at a volunteer fire department.  There is a woman there, who also runs the ambulance service, who has been here since the beginning of the department in 1946.  She said back in the day, if there was a call (which came on a party phone line) and she couldn't reach anyone, she would go to the local bar where everyone hung out to round them up! 

 

Our town is just small enough that the teenagers know if you are messing around someone you know will see you.  One girl who was dating a boy she wasn't supposed to, decided they would go down to the "big city" to see a movie so no one would know them.  She turned around, and sure enough someone from our town was there in the movie theater!  :lol:  She later said it was just hopeless and she might as well give up trying to be a bad girl.  

Edited by goldberry
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The funniest to me was my kid coming home describing one of his teachers and a disturbing violent incident during passing time outside the classroom. Dh had a look of surprised horror,.and asks the name, and quickly establishes it can't be the dad, who was his teacher in the same subject,grade,and bldg, and was known for throwing troublemakers up against walls until the more stubborn were old enough for the football team. Older ds had several teachers that his dad had,and several more who were classmates of his uncles.

 

Younger ds caught on real quick that older wasn't doing his best in middle school. All of the teachers asked on his first day of middle school if he was related, and he told them no, they were cousins..the ones not from the area were quite surprised at pt conf, while the exclassmates just kept his secret and shared with me. The grandmas all get together at the senior center and everyone knows who is who.

 

On the more serious side, my older is alive because he lives in a small town. In a larger town,no one cares if you make a mistake and no one calls you on it except the pd. Here, everytime a teen decides to make a stupid decision, the neighbors speak up and remind them what being an adult consists of,and then they call the parents, who thank them. Coach and the Scoutmaster...vital influence.

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Couldn't get FedEx to deliver because no one has street addresses. Went to funeral and again no address, but everyone knew where we were going. Told my husband we just need to pull over whereever, corner store or anyone's house and ask where to find Ann's house and they would know for sure. My husband didn't believe me. It worked though.

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When we first moved here people used to see us getting in the car to go on our field trips.....the dc's were little still and we spent almost every afternoon out enjoying our local sights. It really upset me when people asked where we went and did we have fun days later when walking to the butcher's etc. I felt people were watching every thing I did in my more paranoid moments. Eventually I realized I wasn't being judged as skipping my school obligations that people were fascinated by what that kids were learning and seeing at museums etc. They were actually thrilled we were out all the time. People still like hearing what the dc's are doing, it's nice.

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I grew up in town with 2 stop lights, a funeral home, and 2 Baptist churches.  I still remember the phone ringing and my father turning to me saying that the newest shipment of caskets had come in.  Of course, we went up to see.

 

Many years ago bk (before kids), dh and I drove up from Miami to visit.  While staying at my parent's home,  I decided to help mother by grocery shopping.  When I got out of my car at the local Safeway, I automatically set my car alarm.  Several people nearby jumped.  One lady let out a shriek, "What was that??"

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I remember an interaction from when I was a teenager and visiting my cousins and grandparents. Cousin and I went to the store, she chatted with the clerk, the clerk asked about my father. After I left, I was like, I have no idea who that is. Cousin was like, oh, that's so and so, we're kin such and such a way. And I was just like, gah, everyone in this town is related to me and I don't know any of them!

 

An opposite of a small town story that I tell often... when ds was about 7, we took an extended trip to that small town to visit relatives. We also went through lots and lots of other small towns. I kept being like, "Look at how cute this town is, kids, look at how adorable the main street is, look at these old houses..." Ds in particular was having none of it. Then we were headed home and stopped in downtown Atlanta for the day. The minute we get back into a city, ds says to me, using the same tone I had been using, "Look at this, Farrar, look how cute it is. Look at all the tall buildings. Look at how many people there are!" I nearly died laughing. And I thought I was a city girl. That boy will probably never live anywhere with less than a million people around him.

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I nearly forgot about this one.  My parents moved to a small town after I left home for college.  When I was at their home for a visit, my dad asked me to stay home because there would be a delivery of furniture.  I had been watching a lot of TV and recognized the name of the furniture store because it was local, and the brothers who ran the store were on TV all the time pitching their wares, the way small businesses do.  

 

To my surprise, showing up at my house to load in the stuff was one of the guys from the TV commercial, one of the owners of the furniture store!  It about floored me because prior to this, there were 2 types of people in my universe:  people you know in real life and people you see on TV.  I couldn't believe it.  

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I live in a town of 800 people, I have no funny stories.  It sucks because it is a town of closeminded bigotted arses.  No stop lights, a handful of stop signs, we have a minimum of businesses in town but we do have a bar and a liquor store and 3 or 4 churches.  WHile we prefer the quiet over our old lives in the city I wished we picked a different town.

I work in a town of 4500 people, I can't think of a funny story off hand but I certainly see everyone every day.  I can not go anywhere without running into a daycare family, their kids are in activities with my kids, grocery shopping needs to be done out of town if I want to get it done without running into someone every aisle.

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Not a good thing, but my mom was allowed to buy cigarettes at age 10 because the shopkeeper knew she was fetching them for her stepfather and mother who were likely out in the truck. She never tried smoking even once, but she certainly had opportunity.

 

I grew up in a small city of 30,000. I used to buy my moms cigarettes for her, I just had a note signed by her.  The shop keeper was the father of one of my classmates.

 

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My grandparents all lived in the same small town. When I would visit my dad's parents, I would sometimes get bored and call my other grandparents to come and get me. My dad's parents had a party line, so I would usually have to ask someone to hang up so I could make a quick call. Of course those people were neighbors, so I always got in trouble when they told my parents I asked them to get off the phone. They also shared some very interesting gossip. You could very carefully lift the phone and listen as long as your little brother wasn't around to tell.

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My dh was heading home from work one day. He's an electrician and he's driving a company vehicle, so he about has a heart attack when he sees police lights behind him. He pulls over, struggling to figure out what he might have done, hoping his boss doesn't get too pissed off... The cop walks up and says, "Hey, the switch on the fan in my bathroom isn't working. What do you think the deal is?" LOL. Not what dh was expecting.

 

 

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I thought of another one.

 

A few houses down from us lives a multi generational family who makes bed to our town a couple of years after we move down here. They are also from Texas, so we have a lot of common experiences. The mother in the family is a middle aged single parent who adopted several special needs kids after her birth children were grown. One adult daughter lives with her. The unmarried adult daughter recently had a baby. The baby's first name is the same as our last name (a name that is a bit old fashions as a first name, but not super unusual). That has causes quite a bit of young wagging around town having people thinking that my DH is messing around with the neighbor.

 

 

 

 

I have no fear that this is in any way true. my DH likes to tell people that if he was ever going to have an affair, he would have done it in Houston where he had a lot more and better options and a lot more privacy.

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Most of my family lives in or near a very small town.  We live about two hours away and traditionally on the Saturday after Thanksgiving have a family gathering in the small town and we all traipse "uptown" to watch the Christmas parade in the evening.  My kids like to tell of the parade when one of my then  teenage sons was "eyeing" a cute young lady on the other side of the street and there was some teasing going on among the cousins.  My niece pipes up and warns my son, "Just be careful, chances are around here, the person you think is cute is just another relative.  I'm afraid to date anyone in this town!".

 

Both of my grandparent sets grew up around this town and at least two of them had large families.  The game at family reunions that my mom likes to play is that someone gives her a name and that generation tries to figure out how they are related to us.

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I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the joys of small-town newspapers. Ours comes once a week, in the afternoon with the mail. Typical headlines include whose kid got his first deer recently, who went on vacation and to where, etc. I especially enjoy the crime section. "So-and-so was fined $12 for disrupting a squirrel's nest." "Two juveniles were caught spray-painting a goat in the county park." One year there was a rash of garden gnome thefts that made the front page. 

 

I never understood why people hated the DMV until I moved for college. Ours has two chairs. I've never had to wait. 

 

And the post office at Christmastime. I went in to buy stamps and the postmaster stood there and helped me address my Christmas cards. 

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I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the joys of small-town newspapers. Ours comes once a week, in the afternoon with the mail. Typical headlines include whose kid got his first deer recently, who went on vacation and to where, etc. I especially enjoy the crime section. "So-and-so was fined $12 for disrupting a squirrel's nest." "Two juveniles were caught spray-painting a goat in the county park." One year there was a rash of garden gnome thefts that made the front page.

 

I never understood why people hated the DMV until I moved for college. Ours has two chairs. I've never had to wait.

 

And the post office at Christmastime. I went in to buy stamps and the postmaster stood there and helped me address my Christmas cards.

Yes! We regularly laugh at the headlines. We were waiting for an article on the sentencing of a man who killed our friend. Surely it would be front page? It was, but the huge main story was about a paramedic saving a dog's life. I laughed until I cried.

 

And the police blotter blurbs are ridiculously filled with TMI.

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In my small home town my mom never took her keys out of her car. One day when I was a teen a friend of mine saw her car on Main Street and jumped in and moved it around the corner. She came out of a store, searched for her car...and found it.....never even realizing it had been moved. My friend had to tell her later.

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Years ago I was home, and ran a red light. When I was growing up, it wasn't there, and I was daydreaming. At that time the licenses in my state still had your social security number.

 

I apologized profusely to the officer who pulled me over, and told him that I grew up there but didn't notice that they put a light up. He pulled out his pad and began copying down everything. Then he commented that I truly had to be a local because his social security number was identical except for the last four digits. He grew up there too, and it turned out that we actually knew each other in high school. He just didn't recognize me from my married name. 

 

He tore up the ticket!

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