Friday, May 30, 2008


I think that many people who don’t live in small towns think that nothing very interesting ever happens in them. These people use words like “sleepy” and “dull” to describe small town life and they often think that the inhabitants of small towns are unsophisticated rubes.

Clearly, they never met Crisco.

Let me explain. See, a few nights ago, I was two towns over having a frozen treat at Tony’s Ice Cream (makes Haagen-Dazs taste like Winn-Dixie ice milk, but that’s another story). After I wiped the final drips of butter pecan away, I wandered outside into the gathering twilight. I wasn’t really paying attention to where I was going; I was happy just drifting along under the clear night sky. Suddenly, a tall, rawboned man reached out a ham-sized hand to keep me from walking straight into him. I was embarrassed and stammered an apology for being so moonstruck by the beauty of the soft spring evening, but he just waved me off and said, “Now, miss, don’t you fret none. I get the same way when I’m working. You just have to kinda take in everything, don’t you? And it still runs over the edge of the cup.”

Turns out I had just run into (literally) the great up-and-coming installation artist, Crisco. He was in town planning his next huge scale project, which involves wrapping the local Sun-Drop bottling plant in thousands upon thousands of Moon Pie wrappers. I didn’t catch it all, but there was something about making a statement about consumerism and Southern identity and I don’t know what-all.

I tried to interject into the admittedly one-sided conversation. It sounded so similar – had he ever heard of the Bulgarian installation artist who made a world-wide name for himself with his colorful huge scale wrapping projects involving islands, buildings, and Central Park? Although I’m pretty sure that guy doesn’t carry a Cheerwine bottle with a paper napkin shoved down it to catch the residue from the pinch of Skoal he had tucked into his lower cheek, giving him the look of a plaid-draped squirrel.

He looked surprised. “Sounds like this fella is trying to rip off my good name and work. I’m Crisco. There’s only one of me, no matter what this European might try to say. Wanna Moon Pie? I need the wrapper.”

Only in a small Southern town.


Elizabeth said...

I do think the world needs a monument to Moon Pies, so I salute Crisco!

See you in Arkadelphia!

amnbdad said...

That's a cool story.