Giving Directions Country Style

There is a well-known old Louisiana Hayride routine that goes something like this. Tourist asks hillbilly, “how do I get to Little Rock? “After a series of “smart” answers Mr. tourist says, “you don’t know much, do you.” Whereupon the former retorts “I know I ain’t lost!” Country folks often have interesting if not peculiar ways of giving directions. We were in Louisiana some years back, looking for a friend’s horse operation. The “local” said “Go down to the Dummyline Road, turn right on the Chicken Farm road and it’s the first lane on your right.” None of the roads had signs with these names on them, you were just supposed to know, the local folks all did! Then there’s the Texas style “you go down this road about a mile and a half (it’s actually four) (and it feels like ten if you’ve never been there) and when you get to the end of the oil top (That’s pavement) there’s a white house with a red roof, where the black dog used to be. Well, you don’t turn there… ” Or, “at the fork in the road take the more used one, not the one with the grass down the middle.”

Where most folks would use terms like almost or approximately, In the country you hear “Purt nat but not plumb,” “purt’n’ly”, “near about” and “Plum Nelly”. But the all-time champion was the fella who said “go down the highway to the Red Hollow Road and take a left. No, that don’t work. OK, go down Frenstat road to 127 and turn… No, that don’t work neither.”

He paused and thought for a minute, then said, 

“Well, you just can’t get there from here!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *