So how do you know you've driven into the rural southland? Well, when you are driving along and the local tractor dealer also has a second sign hanging from his tractor sales sign that advertises "Deer Processing Done Here," that's the first sign. The second sign is also compliments of a local business; the gun shop permanently advertises "Concealed Carry classes." Now silly sheltered me thought that if you wanted to conceal a weapon, you just hid it on your person but apparently you have to learn how to do this (and ostensibly the class grants you a permit for doing such upon successful completion--which reminds me to never tick off rural southerners since they have ready access to these ongoing classes). The third sign was the best yet for the naive suburban dance mom. I wondered at the rough leafy looking stencilling on the sides of some of the strangest tree houses I'd ever seen. Half a beat later (because I do possess a modicum of intelligence after all) I realized they weren't treehouses or playhouses for kids, at least not ones without guns. They were deer blinds or perches or whatever the heck you call them when they are put in trees or up a very tall ladder (the suburban intelligence doesn't stretch to knowing the proper name for them).
And before you other suburban or urban folks ask, all of this was on a major state highway, not tucked along the back roads of this county. Every driveway we passed had a pick-up truck in the driveway. I was starting to think that my minivan with my Yankee carpetbagger plates and the fancy, new police car we saw were the only non-pick-up or utility vehicle we were destined to see out there. I mean, after all, a minivan would look awfully silly with your hunting trophy strapped to the front of it, wouldn't it? But never fear, I saw another deer processing place (yes, two in less than 10 miles) and this one had the added benefit of being called "Stuffy's Taxidermy." I am not even lying.
Of course, I suspect that it's only in the rural south that a dance competition would be heald in an "Agri-Cultural Center." Oh, and Miss R.'s dances earned a platinum and 2 golds, so she was pleased as punch