When I told my classmates where we were moving, the general consensus was, “Where?” That was a question I continued to answer throughout my residency. Guys, it’s a small town.
But then something really strange happened when I moved to Tampa for my last two years of college: almost everyone I met knew where Perry was. Do you know how weird it is to tell a person where you’re from and then begin your spiel about where it is in relation to Tallahassee, only to be interrupted by, “Oh, I know where it’s at” so non-nonchalantly, as if I had said I was from Seattle or Las Vegas? And to top it all off, these are the most random assortment of people ever. Here is just a sampling:
1. The lady who cut my hair at Fantastic Sam’s. Okay, first off: Poor college student + student discount coupons = DON’T FUCKING JUDGE ME, K? ANYway, her husband had a hunting camp in Perry, so she was familiar with the place.
2. My former parish priest. Or the Toupster, as we all called him. And when I say, “we,” I mean Arleen and I. Behind his back. Because we weren’t sure how much of a sense of humor he had when it came to himself. Although thinking about it, I’m pretty sure he probably wouldn’t have cared. But it’s a moot point now. Moving on.
When I told him where I was from, he was all, “Oh, Perry-dise!” like he was intimately acquainted with it. I was all, “The hell?!” because I had no connection with this man other than he was the priest at my church and he used to be the priest at Arleen’s church back in the day. Apparently, on vacations as a kid down to see relatives in Clearwater, he and his family would stay a night in Perry. So that was his tie to my hometown. Currently, he the most random out of all the random people who know about Perry.
3. A media rep from Atlanta. She knew where Perry was from driving through it as well. You might think she would oust the priest as the most random person of all, but she was Southern, so I really wasn’t all that surprised. Southern people just automatically know where other Southern people are from. It’s like a sixth sense. They also automatically know your family’s history as soon as they find out your mama’s name. If you’re Southern, that is. If you’re a “Yankee,” well, then eff you. And if you’re from out West, that’ll just confuse them as they can’t readily categorize you as either “Southern” or “Yankee.” Unless you’re from California. Then you’re a hippie.
Guys, Perry is obviously the most popular city in the United States. It’s the haps. And I get to travel up there this weekend for my 10-year high school reunion. Don’t be jealous. I just hope my reunion is as eventful as Martin Blank’s:
But since I’m not a hit(wo)man, probably not.
Geez, this was a random post. And I’m not even drinking.
Edit: Now that I think about it, the priest said he was from Louisiana, so that’s another instance of a Southern person automatically knowing where another Southern person is from. Which means I’m right and should get the Nobel Peace Prize for proposing this great social theory.