The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

March 4, 2013

Chuckles: Growing up in a small town

By Cheryl Keenan


An observation — They say that when you have a baby, you lose 700 hours of sleep in the first year, but it’s worth it when they’re old enough to do the yard work.


That doesn’t sound promising — As a nervous flyer, I was concerned when the plane bumped down three times before coming to a stop in Chicago for a short stopover.

I was seated at the back of the plane, and heard one flight attendant say to another, “Wow! That was a bad landing!”

Imagine my horror when the other flight attendant replied, “Not for him, it wasn’t.”


Upgrades? — Traveling the West Virginia Turnpike, my husband and I saw a toll-booth entrance being ripped up, concrete roadway and all. We asked an attendant if some new convenience was being installed for the workers.

No way,” she replied. “They lost a quarter.”


Little Johnny at school — One day after school Grandpa asked Little Johnny what he did in school. Little Johnny said that he played.

Grandpa asked him if that was the only thing he did all day.

Little Johnny said, “No, we did something else and it was really important, but I don’t remember what it was!”


Just so you know — The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on my list.


Truth in advertising — An honest weatherman says, “Today’s forecast is bright and sunny with an 80% chance that I’m wrong.”


It’s a dog’s life — Anytime you think of your dog as a dumb animal, remember who is working so hard to feed him well.


Were you expecting anyone? — Two astronauts were in a space craft circling thousands of miles above the earth. According to plan, one astronaut was to leave the ship and go on a 15-minute space walk. The other was to remain inside.

After completing his walk, the first astronaut tried to get back inside, but the door was locked. He knocked.

Finally, after what seemed like hours, a voice from inside the space craft spoke up: "Who’s there?"


From the (Larry) Fox Files — During his physical examination, a doctor asked a retired man about his physical activity level.

The man said he spent three days a week, every week in the outdoors.

“Well, yesterday afternoon was typical; I took a five hour walk about seven miles through some pretty rough terrain.

“I waded along the edge of a lake. I pushed my way through two miles of brambles. I got sand in my shoes and my eyes. I avoided standing on a snake. I climbed several rocky hills. I took a few leaks behind some big trees. I ran away from an angry mother bear and then ran away from one angry buck.

“The mental stress of it all left me shattered. At the end of it all I drank eight beers and a tall glass of bourbon.”

Amazed by the story, the doctor said, “You must be one heck of an outdoorsman!”

“No,” the guy replied, “I’m just a really terrible golfer.”


Small towns — Nancy McKown of Fayetteville forwarded the following to me about growing up a few years ago in a small, rural town. I don’t know its origins, but the person who wrote it obviously was there.

You can name almost everyone you graduated with.

You know what FHA/4-H/ FFA means.

You went to parties at a pasture, barn, gravel pit, river bank or in the middle of a dirt road.

You used to “drag” or “cruise” Main Street or the highway.

It was cool to date somebody from the neighboring town.

The whole school went to the same party after graduation.

You didn’t give directions by street names but rather by references. Turn by the Nelsons’ house, go a block to the Andersons’ place, and then it’s four houses to the left of the field.

You couldn’t help but date a friend’s ex-boyfriend or girlfriend.

Your car stayed filthy because of the dirt roads.

The town next to you was considered “trashy” or “snooty,” but it was actually just like your town.

You referred to anyone with a house newer than 1950 as “the rich people.”

The people in the “big city” dressed funny, and then you picked up the trend two years later.

Anyone you wanted could be found at the local gas station, the Dairy Queen, bowling alley, or pool hall.

You saw at least one friend a week driving a tractor through town.

The coaches suggested you haul hay for the summer to get stronger.

When you decided to walk somewhere, five people would pull over and ask if you wanted a ride.

Your teachers called you by your older siblings’ names.

Your teachers remembered when they taught your parents.

You could charge at any local store or write checks without any ID.

There was no McDonald’s, but there was a local cafe.

The closest big city was an hour away.

Most people went by a nickname.

The guys kept their guns in the truck so they could go hunting after school.

Eight out of 10 high school boys could tune a car’s engine; four out of 10 could rebuild that engine.

There was a huge crowd in town on Saturday night.

Farmers could actually trade their eggs, milk, cream, chickens for groceries and other goods at some of the local stores.

You had heard of but not yet seen a TV program.

— E-mail: