Petticoat Junction

Did you ever wonder how streets, sub-divisions, and strip malls got their names? Me neither. But it’s obvious some building contractors either have no sense of creativity or they’ve been smoking something other than tobacco. Here are two of the local misnomers;

Hidden Lake Road meanders through a neighborhood crowded with cookie-cutter houses. Don’t blink, or you’ll miss the small, man-made mud hole the size of a kiddy pool. Another of my favorites is Walnut Grove Health & Rehab. There is not a single walnut tree within two miles of this place, let alone a grove. It makes me wonder about the accuracy of the health & rehab part.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, one person who you’ll never have to worry about being mislabeled is our hostess Long Tall Sally Wisoff-Fields.  If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF  Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright - Jennifer Pendergast
copyright – Jennifer Pendergast

“Gary had quite a reputation as a skirt-chaser before we got married. Everyone said he had a one-track mind.” Joyce took a sip of her coffee.

“We barely left the hotel room the entire week of our honeymoon. The way he kept chugged along, it was hard to tell if he was a man or a machine. For years, he couldn’t walk past me without patting my caboose.

Then, shortly after his sixtieth birthday, he started showing signs of depression. When I asked him what was wrong. He pulled down his boxers and said, ‘Behold, the little train who couldn’t.’”


62 Comments on “Petticoat Junction

  1. Hilarious Russell, I tell my grandkids that all the time “I think I can, I think I can.” Holy Moly this is funny! Good job Russell! Nan


  2. Russell do you realize you’re going to give many sixty-year- old men a complex. I’ve heard that there are some who can still chug along. Funny stuff. 😀 — Suzanne


  3. i’d say you outdid youself again. have fun reading your story. got my full attention (sorry, gary) and my train of thought never wavered from its tracks.


  4. Dear Gary,

    I understand that Joyce bought tickets for another train. She said she preferred the new seating arrangement. Sorry about your derailment.


    LT Sally


    • Dear Sally,
      I appreciate the condolences. Who would have ever thought Joyce just loved me for my body? Perhaps I’ll change my name to the Incredible Mr. Limpett.

      – Gary


  5. Oh, poor Gary, I guess he isn’t going to need to visit Dr. Yung or Dr. Patrick 🙂
    P/S I’m proof that some men can still chug along past 60. My Dad was almost 62 when I was born.


    • Ha, I’m glad you mentioned Dr. Jung & Dr. Patrick. That is a true story.

      Yes, a lot of men have fathered children way past sixty. The right woman can have a lot to do with raising the drawbridge. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s not terminal – all that’s needed is something blue in the fire-box. (That’s what I’ve heard, anyway). Good one. 🙂


    • Yep, they’ve got a pill that can turn a limp strand of spaghetti into a diamond-cutter (at least that’s what I’ve heard).


  7. Great story again, Russell. Re your intro – has it occurred to you that the pond might be evidence of a poorly-drained lake that will some day swallow the houses? And that the walnut trees were probably cut down and sold for furniture making? Call me cynical if you like, but that’s my theory.


    • I’m sure there never was a lake there. The mud hole was an addition by the contractor under his definition of the word “lake.” There may possibly be a picture frame made of walnut inside the Health & Rehab center, but then again, probably not.
      However, I’m sure both those locations appreciate your line of thinking. 🙂


  8. I’m having a hard (yes, I said hard, that should make laugh for a ten count) time trying to figure out how you twisted that tale out of that picture. Obviously, your imagination is fully working.

    I figure that nut-less places are called names like Walnut Grove because once there was a grove of walnut trees. Then, they were all flattened to make way for development.


    • I kept thinking about the little train that could–then went the opposite direction.

      You’re right about the names. Take paradise, put up a parking lot.


  9. I had fun reading the tags before hitting ‘comment’ and wondered just what you had come up with this time. Perhaps he needs to switch tracks and find a new caboose… hilarious Russell, great writing as usual.


  10. Ewwwww…..

    Which came first (no pun intended😀) the ED, the depression, the exhibitionism or the false sense that people want him to pull down his pants unnecessarily?


  11. Oh, this made me laugh, Russell. I love all the references to trains. Funny that it would end with someone pulling his pants down. What an original story for the prompt!

    I think some names of places are just random or based on a theme that has no connection to the place at all. We have all English names where I live. I guess someone thought that would be cute.


    • Just think of it as show-and-tell, Amy.

      As far as the naming convention, I see themes used a lot too. I know a neighborhood where all the streets are named after songbirds. What’s next, serial killers?


  12. How you got this from the picture is a mystery, but very original indeed!
    I enjoyed this story!


  13. Brilliant, Russell! Brilliant. I’m late getting to this this week… lots going on, but this is so well done. Your usual humor and wit is there, but the subtlety of the puns is really masterful. You make me smile every week! (as I make so many grimace).


  14. A true to life story for everyone our age, Russell. Once upon a time the train went roaring into the tunnel, like in the movie North by Northwest. Now the only direction is due south. “I know I can’t, I know I can’t, I know I can’t …”


    • Great analogy, Perry. Maybe we could make an anti-porn movie with aging male stars who can only talk about how great in the sack they once were.


  15. That’s one thing that’s gonna get you down if you’re a guy like Gary. I love Joyce, who seems to be totally on board with her husband’s ways. Let’s hope he finds some little blue magic to get them both back on track.
    Great story, Russell.


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