Here’s five signs that I was in a Fleet Farm store, and thus somewhat out of my usual suburban element, yesterday afternoon:
1) Lem brand “hog ring pliers” – I can picture these being used –maybe to poke a hole for a piggy i.d. tag to be put in its ear– but I can’t picture actually doing it.
2) Ball brand preserving & pickling salt – Canning: not something my Jewel foodstore or Target back in the Chicago suburbs specializes in.
3) cow lick tubs – I only connect cowlicks with unmanageable hair.
4) “powder milk” – and here I thought Garrison Keillor hade made up that that phrase, in inventing his fictional Powdermilk Biscuits ads.
5) “Daddy’s Hands” -a saccharine country song playing on the in-store P.A. system – In the spirit of the “tough but with a sweet center” image that unsophisticated rural American men cultivate for themselves, plus the “can do/doin’ fer ourselves” useful handyman vibe, we have this song. I have a weird love-hate relationship with this rural image of American maleness, just like my love-hate relationship with country music.
More on country music: At the Wild Rose Days festival last Sunday, I did a karaoke version of Johnny Cash’s song “Boy Named Sue”. The real live country fans and camoflauge-clad Wisconsin onlookers didn’t know WHAT to make of me. Plus I was wearing a Boston Red Sox shirt, a sure sign that I was a poser, not a true “local boy”.