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You know you live in a small town if....

Bullwinkle

Cyburbian
Messages
176
Points
7
I just answered a phone call that turned out to be a wrong number. BUT, I knew the guy who called me, I knew who he was trying to reach, and I had the correct number. That is the definition of a small town.

Got any small town stories?
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,298
Points
52
Hehehe ...

1) I'll have people call me from out-of-town, checking on nearby relatives. "I haven't heard from Aunt Peggy in a long time, and I wanted to see if she was allright."

2) The usual "you shouldn't be doing [function in your job description]. There's more important issues, like [function not in your job description]." For instance:

a) Getting blamed for a recent fire death (literally, two hours ago) because the water pressure at the hydrant was low. "Hey, you're the planner, and you plan things, right, so why din't you plan for better watter pressure?" Of course, because the fire happened in the historically African-American area, I'm also a racist.

b) The usual complaints about code enforcement, when somebody gets a letter from me about a junk car. My code enforcement duties end with big things that look ugly. However, I get people who want to debate me for what seems like hours, wondering why I'm not doing enough about dog poop. My typical answer -- "I went to a very selective high school, spent several years afterwards to earn my bachelors and MASTERS of URBAN PLANNING, and spent months studying so I could pass a professional certification test in URBAN PLANNING, and you want me to FOLLOW STRAY DOGS ALL OVER TOWN TO MAKE SURE THEY DON'T POOP ON ANYONE'S LAWN?"

In the past week, about half of my work has been spent on work normally outside the scope of a professional planner's responsibilities. The Town Manager and mayor know that the moment I'm handed a dogcatcher's net, I'll drop it and quit, right on the spot.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
33
Yep..

My dad grew up in a tight-knit neighborhood on Milwaukee's west side. When he got married to mom, he bought the house he grew up in from my grandparents. They moved to the east coast 3 years later after I was born. We later came back to Wisconsin, but never returned to that neighborhood.

This year I joined a new bowling league. After one of the nights, I stuck around chatting with the team mates, the youngest of which is 3 years older than I am (he's my sister's age). A few beers later we realize he grew up a block from that old neighborhood house of ours, went to kindergarten with my sister, and his dad was my dad's barber. Now, 30 years later, the 'old neighborhood' is starting to reunite...

Sounds like a Lifetime TV Special in the making...
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,985
Points
29
Smallville

I had just moved into town and was going around getting the utilities turned on or changed into my name. After the gas company paperwork was finished I drove over to the water/ electric company across town. As I'm walking in the door they greet me by name and already have the paperwork filled out and waiting on a signature. Spooky!

The other example was having this one single woman put out the "Don't touch him - he is mine " verbal scent on me and then having what little dating opporunities there were in town dry instantly up overnight.
 

Mary

Member
Messages
127
Points
6
These all happened to me...

When I moved into a small town a lady wanted to know where I had decided to live I gave them the area of town and the lady wanted to know which house I was living in and then gave me information on the house I never really wanted to know.

My name was in the local paper twice before I got to town.

Someone trying to tell me how cosmopolitan the place was, not small town or narrow minded at all, pointed out to me that there was one guy in town with long hair and his responsible position; and that the mayor had lived with his wife for three years before they got married and he was still elected.

I had someone I was riding with honk at someone on the street and then laugh because the person wouldn't know who it was as there was another person in town who owned the same kind and color of car.

And yes just like Dan I had lots of people telling me how my time could be better spent doing things that weren't part of my job.

Of course there are others but that gives you the idea.
 

kms

Cyburbian
Messages
5,768
Points
29
If someone in our town is cited for something, like having an uninspected car on their property, it only take 20 minutes for that person to drive around town and report everyone else in violation of the same ordinance.

The first time I voted in this town, which was a few months after we moved here, the old ladies at the polling place new who I am, and alerted each other that I was there to vote. Funny... old ladies don't whisper quietly.
 

Mastiff

Gunfighter
Messages
7,181
Points
30
Hot Springs!

About nine miles up the road from town, they have a wonderful hot springs with 4 or 5 pools, easy access, and even a view...

But, the townfolk here don't really approve because of the "clothing optional" aspect, and that many of the "Eugenies" come up to use it. (Myself, I don't mind naked U of O women.)

Soooooo... What happens? My boss laughs at me because people keep coming and telling him people have been seeing my car up at "the hot springs"... Yeesh. I even wear clothes!

Ah well, I'm going up there no matter who likes it!
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
5,392
Points
31
Ok, so today I took a call from a miffed real estate agent that was losing a sale because there were goats next door. Goats are allowed for milk production if the owners need goats milk. I guess thats a small town
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,078
Points
33
I live in the old M____ place. You know, they had three kids, and the one lost an arm in a farming accident? Yeah, just about every house or other building in town is referred to by who used to live there or what business used to be there. What is worse is when I start referring to them the same way.

Mastiff - Myself, I don't mind naked U of O women.
A couple years ago I spent two weeks hiking in the Oregon mountains. One hike ended up at a great hot spring. As I sat soaking, fourteen, er - seven of those attractive U of O women arrived, lost every shred of clothes and joined me in the tub. I didn't mind at all. Decades from now, old and enfeebled, my mind all but gone, I am sure I will still be able to picture it as clearly as that day.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,298
Points
52
Okay ... I think I've got all of you beat.

By the way, the referendum was voted down. The residents want their dirt roads to remain dirt.

(Is it my imagination, or are there more upscale dirt-road towns than meet the eye? I can also think of Windermere, Florida; Cherry Hills Village, Colorado; some of the towns north of Albuquerque; and the Las Alturas area south of Las Cruces, New Mexico.)
 

IPlan

Cyburbian
Messages
60
Points
4
Small Town

The first place I worked was a small town. If I would go for a walk at night, first thing the next morning our public works supervisor would come in and tell me where I had walked the night before. Scary thing, he did not live in town, people would just tell him when he picked up his coffee.
 

biha

Cyburbian
Messages
25
Points
2
Try growing up on Fishers Island, a small outpost of New York State located off the coast of Connecticut with about 200 year-rounders. I graduated in the top 50% of my high school class, and also with the highest GPA in my class (of two). One time at college I called home, only to have the phone answered by the next door neighbor who heard it ringing. My parents were away, but hadn't bothered to lock the door, the logic being that if the neighbors wanted something and found it locked, they'd think my parents "standoffish." Keys are left in automobile ingnitions since there is a greater chance of them getting lost on a beach than used to steal the car. Anyway, where would a car thief take it? To the ferry boat slip where the boat crew knows all of the island residents on a first name basis? One day my Dad and I took out the Boston Whaler to troll for blackfish and were hit by a rogue wave from a passing ferry boat. It damaged the engine and we limped into a marina in New London, CT. When we got there, it occured to us that we had absolutely no identification or money on us, as on the island, if we needed to purchase something, we just signed for it and got billed at the end of the month. Sadly, this is all changing, as mainlanders are buying up the year-round homes when they come on the market, using them as second homes. Wages, especially in the winter time are hard to come by for the locals, and they can't afford to buy into a real estate market dominated by New York investment bankers looking for a holiday home.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
29
My first planning job was in a small town in California when I was 19 years old. I was interning that summer writing the Parks and Recreation Element for the town's General Plan. One of the first things I did was put together a survey requesting some anonymous demographic information, which also requested the opinions of the survey takers on recreation facility needs, funding strategies, etc. The bottom of the survey had a blank area for comments. I remember getting a lot of the surveys filled out with notes at the bottom like "who are you, and why are you here?", "you are just a student, what do you know", and "you aren't from around here, are you?"... I even had some people call up the office before filling out the survey to make sure I was legit and giving me the third degree. I downplayed my roots (being born and raised in Los Angeles)... since I think the general populace would have had their collective panties in a bunch.
 
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