When Mr. Big Food ventures off the Farm and out of Mississippi on business, he is encouraged by those he meets, most of whom have never been to Mississippi, to talk about Life here on the Farm in Rural America.
He doesn’t need much encouragement! He tells them about the three stop lights in town– the only ones in the county, about how Nigel or James or one of the others at the Piglet take our groceries out to the truck for us, about the spectacular clear starry skies, about our shooting range, about chatting with our neighbor, Ken– the sheriff’s deputy– over the fence… . Mr. Big Food paints a pretty good picture of Life out here in the boonies where folks gather at the courthouse on election night and the closest Whole Foods are in Memphis (176 mi), Birmingham (242 mi), and Little Rock (307 mi).
Inevitably, one of Mr. Big Food’s colleagues will ask, “Sounds lovely, but about what do you talk with the people?”
I find this funny and sad.
It’s funny because I know their type and I can just see how red their necks would get after an hour in the Mississippi sun. No. No I can’t because I can’t see them spending an hour in the sunshine without being covered in SPF127, hat and umbrella. It’s sad– for them– that I can’t. More generally, it’s sad because they know so little about life, and by asking the question, they admit that they couldn’t carry on a conversation with Nancy at the US Post Office– who invited us to the deer meat supper– or DC at the Piglet– who calls us “kids” even though he knows we’re his age.
I take carrying on a conversation to be one among life’s greatest pleasures and challenges.
I was reminded of Mr. Big Food’s experiences with that question when I took the “bubble-thickness” quiz this morning. I’ll document how I found the quiz– I scored 60, more on this below– because I think it’s relevant to the bubble.
Instapundit.com to Cafe Mom’s “The Stir” which has a link to the the quiz from this book. I saw it mentioned at one site that proudly proclaimed a score of 37. Again, mine was 60– and I’m o.k. with that. I didn’t get full credit for knowing Jimmie Johnson was a NASCAR driver, but I did get partial credit for knowing that Jimmy Johnson once coached the Dallas Cowboys.
What I want you to attend to in the preceding paragraph is how easy it is for a country bumpkin to access information.
As I said, I took the quiz. And I took it going in promising myself I would not be critical of the questions. A couple were hard. The question that asked about movies I’ve seen in some year was a hard call. In the end, I was honest, given the question. I probably saw True Grit two or three times last year, and the year before, and the year before that. And I got points for watching 2.5 Men. We only watch reruns while we’re cooking– but the way the question was phrased, I had to answer yes.
Anyway– a score of 60 puts me somewhere in the 99%.
Here is where I am going to get picky. The range on score is ridiculous.
Interpreting Your Score Here are the scores that you could expect to get if you ﬁt the following descriptions. • A lifelong resident of a working-class neighborhood with average television and movie going habits. Range: 48–99. Typical: 77. • A ﬁrst- generation middle-class person with working-class parents and average television and movie going habits. Range: 42–100. Typical: 66. • A ﬁrst- generation upper-middle- class person with middle-class parents. Range: 11–80. Typical: 33. • A second- generation (or more) upper-middle-class person who has made a point of getting out a lot. Range: 0–43. Typical: 9. • A second- generation (or more) upper-middle-class person with the television and movie going habits of the upper middle class. Range: 0–20.Typical: 2.The scoring of the archetypes reﬂects a few r
I am not a ≥2nd Gen UMC person w/ the habits of the UMC. That much is certain. Although I do like nice things.
Here’s another picky point about the analyses and conclusions. Look at the descriptions. Watching television and [going to] the movies is a theme. But in the 25 question quiz, which has four categories, “Sports and Entertainment” has five questions, the fewest of the four categories.
I lost serious points in this category, and I’m gosh-darn proud of it. I am quite certain that my life is better for having never watched an entire episode of American Idol.
I began writing this around 8am. It is nearly 10pm. I have not yet gotten to the crappy old book titled “Rural Society.” I have said nothing of Stanley, Virginia– other that it has a bad reputation in Page Co. ~~ Dogs are fine. Thanks for asking.