A year and a half ago my husband and I relocated to northwest Arkansas. Cupped in the rolling Ozark hills, the area is home to the U of A Hawgs, Walmart, Tyson Foods, and some of the prettiest land east of the Mississippi. We bought season tickets to the Walton Art Center and, for the first time, had the opportunity to see high quality Broadway plays, dance performances and music concerts. The people are friendly and the livin' is good.
Our favorite part of living here though are those inevitable Arkansas Invites to a barbeque or potluck at 'The Farm'. These invitations generally come with ten page instructions for how to get to the country home of the party giver. The paved road ends in the middle of page one (generally at the intersection of Lee Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard) and is followed by, and I'm not making up much of this, instructions that include, but are not limited to:
Hang a left at the Baptist dunking pond. You'll see the bullet pocket sign nailed to the sweet gum that leans out over the gravel road. Do not follow the metal crosses nailed to the fence posts that point the way to the Chruch of God immersion pool. If you come up on a chain stretched between a windfall hickory and a chain saw art statue of Jesus, you're at our only gated community and y'all missed the turn.
At the purple house with the giant neon razorback on the roof of the barn, turn right. Use caution as the piglets like to lie in the mud holes after a good rain. If you do hit one of the little porkers, press the accelerator. The owner is generally settin' under the oak tree, a .30-06 balanced across his overalled lap waiting on some darn fool like you.
Bear left at the warning spray painted on a yellow sheet and stretched above the road. The threat says, 'Don't even think about coming any further,' but you don't need to worry. That's my uncle's house and he's invited to the party so he'll give you a free pass today. If he does happen to stop you, don't get out of your vehicle if he's drunker than usual. The goober's got a big ass dog named Hunter Thompson that he's trained to sic balls.
Slow down at the Pentecostal Church of the Risen and Trimphant Living Jesus. The field beside the church is chuck full of rare fainting goats. Honk the horn and the whole mess of 'em'll fall over on their sides. Wait long enough and every last smelly critter will resurrect and go on about their goaty business.
Do not veer to the right at the Nathan Bedford Forrest Museum of Fine Arts and Confederate Paraphernalia. The reason ought to be self-explanatory, but suffice it to say that a couple of Yankees a year disappear off the face of the known earth right around in this area. If you do happen to get caught in this vortex, drop references to the War of Northern Aggression and make mention of your personal deep mistrust of the Muslim currently holding the office of presidency of the great U. S. of A. It probably ain't gonna help you none, but, sure, give it a shot.
Directly after you pass the stone house with the 'Knife Sharpening and Dawg Training' sign, you'll come up on the Second Baptist Church. Keep going, that's not your turn. Go on past the Central Baptist and, pretty soon after the drive-thru liquor store, you'll come to the big brick First Baptist Church. You're almost there now. Another two blocks and you should see the placard advertising 'Gun Smithing and Meditation Classes - Tuesday nights 6:00 and Prayer Service with Child Care - Wednesdays 6:30.' This is the One True Baptist Church of Jesus Christ the Beautiful and Victorious.
Hang a sharp right and you'll see our house set up back in the pines. Honk the horn, we'll lock up the dogs.