I had the idea for a series of very short stories I would call "It's Okay. I'm from Arkansas" a few years ago on an ill-fated "family reunion" we "good" Hutchinses held in Branson Missouri. There were 12 of us on the trip. Mom, Dad, my sister, Patt and me, and our three boys, and my brother and sister in law and their two lovely daughters. After a weekend of shopping and a "Hee Haw" type musical show, it was left up to us (Patt and I) to decide where to eat one last time before heading home.
We decided on an Irish Pub located around the Promenade there in Branson, much to the chagrin of my mother and sister. I checked with my brother to make sure it was okay if Patt and I ordered a pint of Guiness. He said he didn't mind. I was worried that our drinking a beer would cause an uncomfortable situation with he and his daughters. It did not...an uncomfortable situation with my sister and mother was, of course, inevitable. "What are you drinking?" they asked. "Root beer", I said.
We had all finished eating our meals. Every plate was still half full. Mine because I ordered too much, my sisters and mother's because they would not admit they liked it even if they did. The waitress came out to present the check and asked if we would like "To Go" boxes for our left overs. Mom and Sis said "no" because we were going to be driving 6 hours home.
Patt and I said yes. But since no one else wants their left overs, we would take them all. "Just bring out a garbage bag. We'll fill it up to feed the pigs when we get home." The waitress smiled and said "Sure!"
I glanced down the table at Mom and Sis to be met with looks of incredulous disgust - shock really. I looked at them and said in my most reassuring, sarcastic laden tone:
"It's okay. We're from Arkansas!"