Archived Story

‘Far Wood’ – Uneducated seller or marketing genius?

Published 8:32am Friday, December 9, 2011

Heading back from Green Creek on a rainy and raw November afternoon, I glimpsed a parked truck filled with split oak on the side of the road with a professionally lettered sign attached to the rear which read, or at least I thought read through the windshield wipers,
“FAR WOOD”
Below, if a potential customer was interested, was the owner’s name, Darrell, and his number.
I couldn’t help noticing the parking lot in which this truck squatted sold tires, or, as I thought they should now be called:
“TARS.”
Naturally, Darrell’s sign was promptly recorded and uploaded onto my Facebook page and several people had a good laugh and many even knew of him.
When I emailed the photo to friends from other parts of the country and, actually, world, the reaction was completely different.
“This isn’t serious, right?” replied one.
“Now I understand that whole, ‘Deliverance’ thing,” said another.
“Exactly how bad is the southern public school system?” chided another.
That sort of irked me.
It’s the old refrain: if you sound southern, you must be uneducated. Ignorant.
Ahem. If I may point out the following:
Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar. Jimmy Carter graduated near the top of his class at Annapolis. Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Billy Graham~ not exactly idiots. We just tend to drawl because, well, not because we’re lazy or stupid, it’s just so damned humid here most of the time. Even my dog barks in two syllables.
But there’s something about the drawl that makes people smirch. And what I don’t understand is why those with English accents, particularly the very upper class English accents, are considered terribly intelligent. Because, really, how different is the pronunciation of several words?
An English woman, teacup raised to carefully blotted lips, might say, “I hear you’ve finished all your Christmas shopping! Isn’t that just su-pah?”
“Mmm-hmm,” you’d say. “And I got some supah deals, too.”
Continuing, the English woman might ask, “And I understand your father sells lum-bah?”
“Yep,” you might reply. “He has his own sawmill. Sells a lot of lumbah. For fence rails, posts…”
Even FAR.
But go ahead and think Darrell’s stupid if you want. Frankly, I think he’s a marketing genius. Who’s not going to stop and take a photo of his truck? Who’s not going to tell everyone they meet about that sign they saw in the boonies and bring back all their buddies, with empty truck beds to fill, to show?
And may I just add that, with Christmas in mind, even The three Wise Men, I think, must have been southern.
Surely you remember where they came from?

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