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Small Town Living

April 23, 2010

Filed under: observations,Uncategorized — admin @ 9:20 am

I live in a small town. It’s the kind of place where clocks don’t really matter. We have a small shopping area with a pharmacy, which includes the post office, two restaurants, a grocery store, real estate office , a bank and a hardware store – not to mention the gas station across the street.

Most of the businesses have signs in the windows suggesting they open at 9:00 a.m. It’s a very loose interpretation of time. If, for some unknown reason, you need something that early you’ll probably find yourself waiting at the door for the owner. No one seems to mind if it’s 9:00 or even 9:15 when the store opens.

That’s the price you pay for knowing the comforts of small-town living where everyone knows your name and the police chief doubles as town manager. The fact that we have a monthly newspaper may tell you a bit about the pace of life around here.

Biggest news recently was last weekend when an errant, and apparently drunk, ‘out of town’ driver drove into the telephone switching box on the main drag. Suddenly 900 homes had no landlines at 5:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning.

At 9:15, when a neighbor came by to ask about my service, I used my internet-based line to call the phone company. I began the slow climb up the AT&T phone tree finally reaching a live person to explain that I have no service. After a pause I was told that the earliest they could have someone out here was the following Tuesday.

“No,” I replied, “You don;t understand, someone ran into the main switch box and there are probably many folks without service so I’m sure you’ll want to work on it sooner.”

Suddenly I was on the phone with Lilly Tomlin’s “Ernestine” character from the 70’s. “Gee,” he said, “We don’t have many calls about it.”

Sorry, I lost it, and screamed into the phone, “That’s because they don’t have phone service…” and hung up.

I called the police and they said they had already called their emergency number and the situation would be addressed. Crews were out later that day.

These are the joys of small-town living.

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