Country music is full of songs about living in small towns, the kind where everybody knows everybody and on weekends you drive up a dirt road to party with your friends.
But is that REALLY what living in a small town’s like?
I grew up in a small town in southern West Virginia. I still remember when the town got its first stoplight (still the only stoplight there to this day), and the Dairy Queen that came in when I was in middle school became the popular hangout – because it was the only restaurant in town (other than the Subway inside the gas station).
Chances are if you live in a town like this you’ve got plenty of your own “small-town” stories. The kind that may not make it into a country song but that define what it’s really like living in a small town.
And recently, a thread on Reddit asked users for the most “small-town thing” they’ve ever witnessed – and the answers didn’t disappoint.
Let’s take a look at some of the best:
“My town opened a strip club when I was about 18. My friends and I were all pumped to go, for some reason we thought it’d be strangers stripping and not Judy from math class and the blond Aubrey that used to work nights at Wendy’s.”
Ah yeah, that’s one of the problems with knowing EVERYBODY in town…
And another problem? Everybody in town recognizes you when you try to pull something dumb like this:
“A local bank was robbed and one of the tellers told the police to bring her a yearbook from about ten years earlier and she would be able to point the robber out. He had been in the grade before hers in school.”
Maybe should have gone outside of your town to commit that crime.
But on the flip side, sometimes knowing everybody else works out:
“Left the grocery store and forgot a bag. Another customer brought it to my house.”
Gotta take care of your neighbors. Groceries ain’t cheap these days.
“The traffic on the “main street” of my town is so sparse, two drivers going opposite directions can stop and talk to each other for a few minutes without causing any problem.”
Man I miss the traffic – or lack thereof – in a small town. Getting annoyed when you get stuck at the light is the biggest inconvenience you run into during your daily commute. Unless you run into that one guy who won’t stop talking while you’re getting your daily coffee and scratchers from the gas station.
“I no longer live there but recently got a call from my daughter. She had been stopped for speeding and handed over her license and insurance which happens to be in my mother’s name. The officer goes “Hey, you’re Donnie’s granddaughter! I ain’t gonna write you a ticket but I’m telling Donnie when I see him tomorrow cause we’re going fishing.” She replied “I think I’d rather have the ticket.””
Yep, everybody knows your business. And your parents finding out is worse than any punishment that the local police could give you.
But on the plus side, small-town cops are usually pretty chill:
“One police officer was known to carry trash bags in his patrol car. If he found teenagers drinking on a back road you had the option of him calling your parents or he could take your keys, you’d pick up all the trash and he’d be back in a few hours to see if you were sober enough to drive home.”
Although sometimes the small-town cops have their own dirty laundry:
“Known criminal ran for sheriff.
Numerous arrests (and convictions) over his lifetime.
His campaign slogan was,
“I know the jail inside and out!””
I mean, who better to enforce the law than somebody who’s been on both sides of it?
“My dogs got out while I was working. The police called my niece’s elementary school (she was a 5th grader) to get her to round them up and take them back home.”
Can’t get ahold of the parent? No problem, the kid can handle it.
“When we were kids my family hated doing any type of shopping with my father. Everyone pretty much knew everyone else but he used to be a teacher so he had some sort of relationship with everyone. We’d end up being in a single store for three hours because he’d end up catching up with pretty much everyone we encountered.”
I think everybody can relate to this one. Going to the grocery story with your parents always took twice as long as it should because you’d have to talk to everybody you ran into.
“Town drunk was paralyzed and used a motorized wheelchair to get around. I was driving home one Saturday night and said town drunk was passed out in his wheelchair doing circles almost directly in the town square. Had to call his brother who came and picked him up on a rollback truck. Strapped him down and drove off into the cold dark night.”
“Naw he’s good, just call his brother, he’s got a rollback so he can just load him up and get him home.”
“A buddy got a public intoxication charge on a mule.”
At least he wasn’t driving.
People who have never lived in a small town may not get it, but all of these sound pretty normal to me.
But what’s the most small town thing you’ve ever witnessed?