Thursday, March 31, 2011


Blogger has been quite willful this morning and really wants to print my post in one paragraph with no line breaks. I have partially whipped it so just forgive any strange characters in my post. Thanks.

No, I am not referring to my melodic singing voice. Those who have been here a while know the only use for my singing voice is for torturer. The Pentagon has me on their speed dial for resistant prisoners. No need for water boarding, just let Patti wail “Proud Mary” for 30 minutes and the strongest beg for mercy.

What I am referring to has it's roots the misconceptions that can arise in a small town that relishes in knowing all there is to know about everyone else. When I first moved here from Florida, I had no idea the amount of time my history would consume the lives of some local residents.
They all ready knew all there was to know about the ones who have always lived here. They know their kids, parents, grands and great grands. They know the stories behind all of them. Strengths, weaknesses, moments of pride and those of disgrace are common knowledge.
So they were a bit hungry when an old lady, alone, no family with her and no acquaintances in the town, bought that little house on the corner. What a challenge.

I was amazed when I would apply for utilities, bank services, drivers license, property tax payments, insurance and have recognition light up the clerks faces as I gave my name and address. “Oh yes, you are that lady from Florida--- or, didn't you buy from so-n-so?" I was stunned that so many people were aware of me.

I mentioned before about my neat neighbor Mr. C who has been a great help and friend since I moved here. Well I also forgot to mention that he is also pretty much the town information center. He knows where all the bodies are buried.The mystery of Patti plagued him also but he did have access to me and wasn't above interrogation.

One day as we talked over the fence, he mentioned some of the speculation as to why I had moved here. Some theories were flattering, some not so much but I found it all quite amusing.

Then he dropped one of the scenarios on me that totally lit me up. One of the suppositions was that I was in the Witness Protection Program. Oh my, I loved that one and I giggled as I told Mr. C not to necessarily discourage that version. I assured him it wasn't true but to have such excitement attached to a quite ordinary life, was irresistible.

That is when I secretly renamed myself, Patti “the canary “ in the spirit of “Carmine the snake”, “Charles the bug”, “Tony the ant” and now, Patti, the fictional insider who ratted on the mob and sang like a canary at the big trial. Almost believable since Florida is home to a lot of mobsters and I once lived in a busy drug entry part of the state.

Pretty sure he did not encourage that story however for no one seems to run in panic when I start my car in a parking lot. Good chance they are still wondering and since no one local reads my blog, it will probably stay that way.

Have you ever had an interesting if untrue story attached to you?? I promise not to tell.


  1. No untrue stories attached...that I know of anyway. I still live in the small town I grew up it or not, I'm an open book!

  2. Take the label and run with it. It could be a lot of fun.

  3. Being "Patti, the Canary" has a better ring to it than "Patti, the Snitch." You do tell funny stories!

    I was sixteen when my family moved from New Mexico to a very small town in Arkansas. We were the subjects of many tried-to-be-subtle interrogations by the pharmacist, grocery clerk, bank tellers, etc. My mother, in particular, was amazed (not necessarily flattered) by the interest shown in 'the new kids on the block.'

  4. Go for it, Patti the Canary! What a lot of truth within your lines.
    Yes, a few times, there have been whispers, carefully selected smiles, and blatant disrespect. Some folks just cannot sit still until they think they know it all and then 'let the neighborhood listen and believe what they want.'
    :> like Muffy says, It could be a lot of fun.

  5. When the world was smaller and we were fewer in numbers, I suspect this was true of most places. But now, most of us live in a world where you don't want to know too many of your neighbors for fear of their intentions, which is really sad.

    I like the label, Patti! And you did a great job of formatting, BTW.

  6. It always amazed me when we moved to a new place,that the locals couldn't wait to tell me the local stories. Finally it dawned on me that they were excited to have a new audience.
    Small town interrogations can be a daunting thing, even when you've nothing to hide. I'll have to think of a good one to tell..

  7. Sorry I am a pretty open book, despite some objection from my husband when I regale stories involving him; some of which I was not a witness, but his sister, who will be here soon, loves to regale family "history."

    Our town is full of stories I am sure, since it is a haven for retirees from far and near.

    The most rude things I know said about us is we are basically non-drinkers, which seems to be the badge of being "in" by those settled here before you.

    You should sit at our liquor store and watch the amount of beer that leaves daily. I bet it far outnumbers CoKe or Pepsi.

  8. Great post, Patti. I live in a pretty small town and it's very clique-ish. Well, I don't like cliques, so as you might guess I'm the outsider. Actually I find it amusing being an outsider when I've lived in this community much longer than most of the clique-ees. And it's one of those beer guzzling communities, too. Sorry, I might have a glass of wine occasionally, but I don't need to buy a 12-pack every day like some I know. It's really just a place to live where my hubby has an excellent job. We hope to move when he retires in a few short years. I had a good friend move here not long ago from a nearby town that she hated. What's funny is that I think the people in her former town are nicer than they are here!

  9. Love that story! In a similar vein, I used to run an ancient Jeep and had to motor to the other side of a town to acquire parts (long time ago) and the man in the depot wasn't very pleasant and had a sort of creepy way of asking 'Is that Miss, Mrs or Ms'. One day I replied 'High Priestess'.

  10. Patti, this is a great blog. I am happy I stopped by today. My husband had a Top Secret Clearance all his working life, and I like to tease him about being with the CIA. He swears he is not and never was with the CIA, but of course, he would say that. All I know is that he was not allowed to travel beyond Berlin for a long time which precluded our getting to Eastern Europe.

    As for my secret life, it's no secret. I like the idea of having this cache about you of being in the witness protection program. After all, it is strange you ended up in Arkansas of all places. Dianne

  11. Interesting, no. Ugly, yes! I lived in a small town once too and when they didn't have something to gossip about they made things up to gossip about. And trust me, if they decide it's the witness protection program nothing will change their minds. :) blessings, marlene

  12. I just love how you think Patti the canary...too funny.
    Sorry for your computer woes...I think they just get snippy sometimes and decide we need to be good or else.
    Yes, I do have a story about this big little town I live in. When I was 13, we moved from the valley to the heights (about 10 miles). The heights kids had already decided I was something I wasn't by the time school had started (from our move in July until Sept.) and I lived with the wrong information until I was in my 20's. The Olde Bagg

  13. I've had nothing like that but now I'm like the locals, why did you move there, since you had no family or friends there?

  14. No secrets here.....I rat on myself before anyone else can. I'd love to be the object of such intrigue!

  15. I like Patti the Canary! I think you've described life in a small town very well. It's interesting that you live in a small town but have a blog that is appreciated (I'm sure) worldwide. As for stories about me, my son's mother in law once tried to interest people in the idea that I was anorexic, but I don't think it that theory flew very far.

  16. I lived in a neighborhood for twenty years and hardly ever saw my neighbors, even those whose children played at school with my children.

    Now that I'm in a small town, I know and they know everyone's stories, true or manufactured, and they relish passing them on. Such an interesting contrast.

  17. I'm going to work on that question a bit. In the meantime we will continue to take day trips and stop for lunch in small towns for lunch. There is no thrill quite like ordering a burger while all the folks at neighbering tables are whispering.... "now who are those folks." :)

  18. I know what you mean about folks knowing your business. When we lived in Arkansas we once sold a log splitter to an elderly gentleman because he was stolen. When we went to the bank to cash his check the teller started questioning whether Mr. So and So really needed a log splitter since he was so old and did his wife know he bought it, all this before she cashed his check for us. Not sure she would have survived my wrath if she hadn't of cashed it.

    Oh our treasure bus was a church bus and when we moved to our neighborhood where we are now everyone thought Gary was a Baptist preacher, now they know differently. Ha.

  19. Oh, Patti! Thanks for making my day, as usual. I love your alias.

    I am sure that there are many untrue stories floating around about me, and maybe even some in Blogland, but I've tried very hard to forget about them. Even the one about me living on lakeside property turned out to be untrue!

    I love how you are having so much fun with the locals!

  20. I'm new - sent over by Kathy at Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy. One untrue story about me is when I started work at a new job and rumor had it that I was a single mom with three kids, so one man dared not date me because of my excess baggage as he called it. At the time, I was newly divorced, but no kids and I vowed I wouldn't go out with him if he was the last one on earth!
    And funny, I remarried and ended up having three children (and divorced again) so the story turned true!

  21. Wanda,
    I kind of envy you living in one town all your life. I moved so much I never got to find out how folks turned out.

    Muffy's Marks,
    Oh I did. It really tickled me.

    Or maybe Patti the Fink??
    I really don't think it is a mean thing, just curious. Can see a parent's concern however.

    Perhaps it is their way to find out if we can be trusted and will cause no harm. I really never felt any maliciousness from these people.

    Thanks, blogger fought me fiercely this AM. I have lived in large cities and had no idea who my neighbors were. Think I like this better.

    Hay, make it fun. I do have a neighbor who fills me in on everyone she can think of. It is never mean, just informative.

    I don't drink either but unknown to me when I moved here, this is a dry county so not many people do drink. A nice surprise for me.

    So sorry you also have a beer guzzling community. I really like my dry county. I'm sure people do drink, they just don't buy it here and there are no bars. I never see it.

    Sorry he was creepy for he obviously wanted to know your status to maybe ask you out but since he was creepy,'High Priestess'was perfect.

    Gee, he would have to say that or he'd have to kill you.LOL.
    Oh, I know my ending up here was fodder for the curious. My town has about 300 people in it.

    Well if they think I am mob connected, any local thugs should leave me alone. There is mean gossip and just curious speculation. Think they were guilty of the latter.

    Linda In NM
    Oh how awful to have a misconception follow you for all those years. Now that would make me a bit bitter.

    It was one of my original posts but in a nutshell, 3 back to back hurricanes, Florida land prices being thru the roof, Arkansas offering the best bang for the buck and being half way between my Ohio and Florida families. Plus I had moved a lot an knew a new set of friends was waiting for me in Arkansas. I was right.

    That is the best way. I also enjoy laughing at myself more than being the butt of someone else's joke. Beat them to the punch. Now a mysterious past is another thing.

    I'd be willing to bet she was on the chubby side. Those who can't lose assume those who are naturally slim, must be doing something not natural.

    I've had both situations also. Actually, I prefer this to the coldness of indifference. When you need them, they are right there.

    Do you ever drop some "Forget about its", just to stir things up? It is tempting. I do love to play a part.

    Linda Starr,
    That is exactly what I mean about knowing all about a person. Actually the teller was just looking out for the old fellow and wasn't about to let him be taken by those "city slickers"---you. Haha.
    That was funny about Gary being thought a minister.

    Oregon gifts,
    Luckily we are mostly anonymous on our blogs so they can't get too personal there. Thanks, they are
    generally good people, I just couldn't resist.

    Thank you so much for stopping by. Maybe you ought to look up that rumor starter. Seems they were a bit psychic.

  22. no, I haven't but gosh, yours is very funny!
    I really did think of the reference to 'canary' was a singer...

  23. Hi Patti. I have 3 blogging friends that I am on FB with, Lynn, Lisa and Becky. The are all writers too, and I know they will love you, so I sent them your blog link. I'm glad that Lynn has already had the chance to visit.

    P.S. - I loved your comment about the lake in our yard; I was just thinking about some other things that have happened over the past couple of months in other areas that had happened ... nothing to do with current readership. :>)

  24. So funny. What a great story and it sounds like a great town. Have fun with being the mystery lady!

  25. I think I'm too uninteresting for that.

    Back in the day, when my sis and I were the new girls in town, a very small town, we heard all kinds of stories that all the guys were all trying to meet us. It was all very high school...

  26. So you was da one who ratted on Carmine the Snake.
    Well, ya done good. He desoived it, da rat fink.

    See around, Patti, ya sing real pretty.

  27. I love it! No, I don't think there's been any mystery about me... but then again maybe there is but nobody is asking? :-)

    A little mystery can be a wonderful thing. It's great that everybody is wanting to know about you and think you're worth knowing.

  28. Tracy,
    Thanks, that is why I put the disclaimer at the beginning. My voice is notoriously bad.

    Oregon Gifts,
    Thank you for the shout out. Both Lisa and Lynn have stopped by.
    So glad your waterfront property was temporary.

    Thanks. It really is a great town. There is no meanness here. The people are just curious.

    Retired English Teacher,
    Trust me the boys were interested. I was a "new kid" most of my life and really enjoyed the attention that status got.

    Oh my that is funny. You are just kidding right? :))

    Thanks. Don't be too sure. I would not have known had Mr. C not told me. Maybe you could let it leak about being a 5-0 undercover??

  29. Witness protection! I love that story, Patti. I don't think there any "made-up" stories about me, and certainly none as interesting as Patti the Canary.

  30. I had to laugh at this one because I had the exact same thing happen when I moved out here to the wilds of Utah. Nearly everyone in town is Mormon and when I didn't show up at church, the talk started....

    I do love my neighbors now and there are so few of them that I have to treasure each one!

  31. Oh yes....I have! LOL! To long to tell her..But it was very interesting how people treated me when they thought that I was someone I was not....
    It is strange about small towns and the people who feel the MUST know everything about everyone...! It is as f they have nothing better to do---and, maybe, in truth, they don't...!

  32. robin,
    Thanks, I have really been enjoying the notoriety.

    Rocky Mountain Woman,
    Oh I'll bet that caused a stir. I agree with you though, these are some of the nicest people I have ever met, they are just curious.

    I do hope you post about that time. Sounds really interesting.
    Soon maybe???

  33. Patti the Canary! :D It sounds so sweet and pretty - it suits you!

  34. Oh my goodness, Patti... what a great post. I have laughed out loud... seriously, as I read about Mr. C and all your intriguing tale.

    I too live in a small town, and as a foreigner, you can imagine all the questioning, etc. I'm a US citizen but I'm a native from Colombia, from a city of more than 2 million people.

    Well, in this town, I have had people asking me how it is like to live in the jungle, or what I know about cocaine, or to tell them about Juan Valdez...LOL


  35. Actually I thought you were a double spy! Spying for two alien nations.
    No, Patti but this is a great entry! Your sence of humour is fantastic!

  36. I guess we have enough gossip here in our neighborhood. I don't know if I could handle living in a small town and having people know everything about

    When I was ten and in 5th or grade, I had a lie told about me and a boy in school. I didn't really even know the facts of life then, so I had very little of an idea what they were talking about. Luckily, we moved from that neighborhood soon after, and I didn't have to deal with lies - at least form that group.

  37. Patti, I have to tell you that nacodoches is I, Dianne (AKA schmidleysscribblins). See I am in some protection program recently introduced by my new computer software. You should know where Nacodoches (however spelled) is located for sure.

  38. Dang! Two days and I can't think of a thing!

    I love yours though. You DO watch In Plain Sight, don't you?

  39. Linda G
    Aw, gee thanks. You are too kind.

    Hold my hand
    Oh my, they must be having such fun with you. Two million to small town, what a culture shock. Hope you let them think a doozy.

    Reader Wil,
    Now I really like that spy idea. If they get bored with the WP, think I will let Mr. C start the spy story.

    Now lies told about kids are not cool. Good thing you moved.

    I was pretty sure who you were but not positive. Thanks for clearing it up. Don't worry, I won't tell. Those of us in protection programs look out for each other:))

    Yep, I do watch that. I hope it comes back again this year.

  40. How funny Patti I hope the mob doesn't read your blog either. lol
    Yep that is exactly how small towns are with new comers. Goodness knows you being alone and all the way from Florida you were the talk of many a dinner table.
    I was 18 when we moved to this small town and at least I went to their small college where most of the students were from other cities so I blended in but my poor mom that stayed at home fussed at my daddy many nights for moving her into a town that did not except strangers.
    Love the Patti the Canary heaven knows if I moved there what would fly through that town....hahaha
    By the way why did you move there?
    Love ya

  41. Patti- you crack me up! Patti the Canary has a nice ring to it...go for that one.....make em wonder who you've been singing about!

  42. Patti, since I so enjoy your blog chirps, I'm buying that canary story.

  43. Canary? Eh? That's one that was used to describe me when I broke out in environmental allergies long before they were commonly known. Unfortunately it was more true than I cared for.
    Still I like your story much more. I have no idea what stories emerged in gossip behind my back but I'm sure there would have been plenty over the years since folks just love a good tale! Too bad folks in your town don't read your stuff. They are missing out :)

  44. Nope, not me, but I sure did get a great laugh out of Patti the Canary . . . and a sympathetic sign out of your initial "Ode to Blogger"!

  45. What a wonderful post. This is the first time I have visited your blog and yet this post made me feel like I have known you for year, witness protection program or not.--Inger

  46. Grandmayellowhair,
    Ha, I thought about the mob reading my blog and they might think I was one that got away. Pretty sure they keep good records.
    In a nutshell, 3 back to back hurricanes, a torn up property people were eager to buy and Arkansas had the best bang for the buck of all the states with lots of natural beauty.

    Southwest Arkie
    Thanks, I thought it had a nice sound to it also. Beats Patti the fink.

    Thanks Marcia, if I can sell you, these folks don't have a chance.

    Goodness, you were a real "canary". Hope you came out of that OK.

    Thanks. Not sure I have won with Blogger yet. Each post is a pure struggle. Hope it is fixed by tomorrow.

    Canyon Girl,
    Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting. I welcome new friends and promise not to talk about you behind your back:))

  47. I am here for the first time. You got a nice space here. Loved your post. Have a nice day!