Friday, June 17, 2011

A Tasty Trip Down South

Since Monday I have been trying to reach the Little Debbie factory store in Gentry, AR, because they donate snack cakes to churches doing camps and VBS and such. One of our previous churches had Oatmeal Cream Pies running out our ears from June through December, so we knew it was worth the drive to go. However, no amount of punching the numbers for the Cake Donation Line would get me through to a person. It took my mother calling the number and letting it cycle her through the menu twice before she got fed up and punched zero when it said, "If this is an emergency please press zero to speak to a person." I guess the prospect of not getting free snack cakes sometimes merit emergency procedures. The security guy she spoke to gladly transferred her to the donation guy who said we were the 134th church that had asked for donations this year. And it said it kind of not nice. Now, here's the way I look at it: If you give donations, lovely and thank you so much. If you no longer wish to give donations or choose to cut your donations after the 4,000th Swiss Roll, so be it, just politely tell people you have given your alottment for the year. There's no need to be hateful, Little Debbie Dude. Then when Mom said we needed snacks for 60 people he sighed annoyedly (Is that a word? Eh. Who cares if it isn't.) and said, "That's not even a case, ma'am." Mom said, "Okay, make it 100." Another sigh. "That's not even worth your drive." Mom said, "Okay, then I'll take more." He harumphed and said, "Well, sure. Everyone will take more!" My mom, being the darling she is, just said syruppy sweetly, "Sir, after church camp we will have Vacation Bible School and you know what, 300 would suit us just fine!"

This morning the kids and I left the house around 8 to drive the hour and a half it would take to get to the hills of Arkansas to pick up our 300 servings of Little Debbie goodness. I figured they'd give us some pumpkin rolls with persimmon icing or something after Mr. Crankypants' attitude yesterday, but hey, they're free and kids at camp will eat pretty much anything, so on we went.

The girls didn't even get dressed for the occasion and chose to travel in their pj's. Abby even took her pillow and slept most of the way. Sam sat in the front seat with me and we chatted and talked excitedly about camp and summer and the sleepover he's attending tonight and how I am totally jealous he's going to see Green Lantern without me. The road went from nice, wide highway to narrow, winding and scary. I didn't say anything, but I'm sure the folks who were following me were saying things. About my driving. And possibly my momma. One particular curve sent Sam grabbing for the armrest and sent Abby sitting bolt upright. Kady just went, "WHEEEEEEE!"

It was just as we crossed the state line into Arkansas a radio commercial came on with background music of a more hillbilly persuasion than we are used to. Sam reached over the touched my arm and whispered, "Drive faster, Momma. I hear banjos." That sent us three girls into a laughing fit like no other. We also passed Connie's House of Products which made us all howl with laughter. What a name. Not "House of Amazing Bargains" or "House of Stuff You'll Put in a Garage Sale Next Summer" or even "House of Awesome", but simply "House of Products". I guess it's up to you to decide what kind of adjective to put on those products.

When we got to Gentry we found the store easily enough, drove to the back of the store, backed in and I got out to ring the buzzer. I was standing facing the buzzer, waiting for someone to come out of the building I had just rung. Instead some dude with a perm came up behind me and said this very startling, low "Hellllllo". I nearly wet myself right there in Gentry, Arkansas. He ushered me into the little storage building and asked who I was with. I said told him and he said, "Wow, are you Baptists congregating somewhere next week? I have seven Baptist churches picking up stuff today! I've never seen the likes of it!" I just said, "Oh you know Baptists, we like to eat." He wasn't amused. I refrained from any further Baptist jokes, such as those regarding dancing. I just loaded up my 300 units of cakey goodness, thanked him and got the heck out of there.

Of course, any town that has a Sonic in it has to be visited by me and mine and after a sweet tea, Powerade slush, Dr. Pepper and a Coke we headed back to Oklahoma. We stopped in Grove in search of a store a friend told me sold henna because the kids wanted tattoos before church camp, (Yes, I know. No, we really are Baptist. Really.) but the guy was out and will be for two weeks, so we came back home henna-less. Never fear, though.....I own a whole bunch of Sharpie markers in various shades, so they will go to camp with semi-permanent tattoos after all. No, they won't last as long as henna, but they'll do for now.

Bub's Not of This World ink

I think my next tattoo will be on the inside of my wrist (much to my mother's horror), so I'm playing with various designs until I decide on something. My kids' initials in birth order spell ASK, so I'm trying to work that into something. Kady wants an ice cream cone. I am so glad 9 year olds can't really get tattoos. Imagine her being 87 years old with an ice cream cone tattooed to the inside of her wrinkly ol' age-spotted arm. Of course, unless I get a boob lift soon, that ladybug on my chest is going to morph into a caterpillar in a decade or so.

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

You just made my morning with your tale of traveling to Gentry! I grew up there and could visualize your entire drive. TGFS (Thank God for Sonic!)

We....the people

Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...