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The Dollar General Store

 I was in Arkansas for one day on business last week. Known as the Natural State, Arkansas is my kind of state. During my stay I visited Hobbs National State Park and toured War Eagle Cavern. My cavern guide was an Arkansas version of Jesse Pinkman with a goatee. Only he was also super smart, which so far, two seasons in, Jesse isn’t. I was enthralled. This guy was so passionate about his job he made you want to trade-in your key card for a high tech software company for a miner’s hat so you could spend the rest of your life spelunking with Jesse from Arkansas. I forget his real name.  Most importantly, he took me up close and personal to bats in their natural habitat. You’re probably saying, so what, I’m sure you can see plenty of bats in natural caves. But here’s the thing. No, you can’t. I’ve toured plenty of caverns and typically, they’re too high to see. And I can say this with all authority because Arkansas Jesse (we’ll just call him A.J. from now on) confirmed this. Here’s a picture of one of them. IMG_4432

Bats are not photogenic and I’ll admit right now that bat doesn’t look like something you’d want to cuddle up with at night, but in person, she did. She was all soft and furry-like. I can also say with all confidence that’s a she because A.J. explained that there are thousands of females for every one male. Spare me the “that’s one lucky male” jokes. I’ve heard them all from Todd. A.J. even found us a male to compare. This is him. Notice he’s more brown than the female. A.J. has skills.


I recently learned from a friend of a friend who is a bat scientist (there’s no other scientific name for them according to Google) that all 8 of our Ontarian species of bats are at risk. No, they’re not getting swept up into wind turbines as I suggested, they’re actually dying out from a mysterious fungus called white-nose syndrome. Why should you care about that? Bats eat thousands of moths and other insects a night. Birds don’t even come close to this much insect control, so unless you want a moth flying into your mouth every time you open it, you should probably care.

A.J. also showed me schools of giant carp, like the ones you see the Duck Dynasty guys catching with their bare hands. I told you A.J. has skills.

After I toured the bat cave, I explored Hobbs state park. As usual on these trips, I was running out of daylight to take pictures in. As I parked the car and strolled down the roadside to take pictures, I was thinking to myself, this is probably how people go missing in Arkansas when people go missing in Arkansas.

On the way back to my hotel, I stopped into Joe’s Smokin’ BBQ for dinner, where I swear I was served by the woman with the horribly neglected child in Breaking Bad who crushed her husband’s head with the ATM machine—minus the meth marked face. Wow, two Breaking Bad references in one post. She even said stuff like, “Watch out or I’ll break your other leg,” to the teenage regulars you could tell ate there just to experience her humour.

Before I did anything in Arkansas, I hit up the Dollar General Store and left a hundred bucks poorer. Ladies, they had full support push-up bras there for 5 bucks. After sheepishly waiting out the camouflaged guy in front of me so I could ask if I could try one on, I bought five of them. And six pairs of panties that will cost you 10 bucks a pop at La Senza.

When I asked Todd how he liked one of my Dollar General Store bras, he said it looked like it might be a cup size too small. “My cup runneth over,” I replied.

Yesterday I discovered all my regular bras were dirty so I put on one of the Dollar General Store ones that egads, hadn’t been washed yet, and went to work. At about 11am I messaged my co-worker to let her know I was feeling self-conscious because I smelled like a walking Dollar General Store. We laughed, but not out loud because it was over an office messenger.

Last night I put on a freshly washed pair of Dollar General Store undies and waited for Todd to discover them under the sheets. This took some coaxing and hinting but he finally found them. “Oh, tiger print,” he said. “Um, they’re leopard,” I corrected. “Well they’re both from the pussy family,” he said.

Moments later…”Did you get those from the Dollar General Store?” “Yes, but that doesn’t make them any less sexy.” We laughed…hysterically.


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