Farmer H is no friend of the dictionary. Alas, had he only attended the same junior high school as Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, he would have been quite well-acquainted with Webster's. We had no shortage of them in my Social Studies classroom. That was the place where we were assigned our seats according to our test scores. I'm sure it goes without saying that little Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was always in the front row. Most of the dictionaries, however, were in the back row.
Oh, the dictionaries did not start out in the back row. They were delivered. By the hand of the teacher, who plucked them off his bookshelf and fired them like javelins toward the class ne'er-do-wells. "DICTIONARY TERMS!" I can still hear it now, that booming command, shot at the kids who were talking instead of listening, dooming them to copy an entire page from the dictionary before the class period was over. If the teacher was in an especially festive mood, he would allow them to take the unfinished page home, as long as the dictionary-termer returned with five whole pages the next day. Still, it was better than a visit to the principal's office if one was averse to the paddle, and to his parents finding out about the hijinks.
Alas, poor Farmer H attended a school where one could simply refuse to make a bug collection for science class, and the only consequence would be an "F". Perhaps Farmer H spent his dictionary time on girlfriends and cars and working an after-school job at a service station that paid all the candy and soda he wanted. Let it just suffice to say that Farmer H had nary a passing acquaintance with this fellow:
No, Farmer H could not even nod his head in greeting if they passed in the hall. A formal introduction would have been necessary to spare them both embarrassment.
So it may come as no surprise that today, on the way back from my doctor's appointment, Farmer H took a wrong exit. We drove. And drove. Not seeing any landmark that should have been as plain as the nose on Farmer H's face, with signs leading to it from all directions.
"I guess I really don't know where I am," said Farmer H as he drove farther and farther into nowhere, pointedly avoiding pulling over to ask directions. Eventually, we must have completed a great big circle, because civilization reappeared, and signs with arrows pointed us where we were going. It only took two wrong turns following the arrows until Farmer H was back on track.
On the way home after our little interlude, I asked Farmer H how much gas we had used in T-Hoe. "You know, after driving around while you were lost and everything."
"A quarter of a tank. And I wasn't LOST. I just didn't know where I was."
"Um. Isn't that kind of the definition for LOST? Not knowing where you are?"
"No. It's not the same thing. I knew I would find out where I was eventually."
We won't even get into our next conversation, involving Farmer H's buddy who was livid that a lady told him she was sorry, but didn't have the decency to apologize.