August 09, 2008

Retail store etiquette (Tennessee style)

Exhibit 1—John Deere Store

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is a tad bit different than Lynchburg, Virginia. And quite a bit different than Washington, D.C.

As an example—I present Exhibit 1, seen to the left. This is the front door of a John Deere store in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. I guess the first obvious thing that sets this apart from the typical retail store in Lynchburg is the fact that it is a John Deere store. Those are not all that common. But I'm sure there are some John Deere stores dotting the Virginia landscape somewhere.

But on closer inspection you'll see the small sign that has been attached just next to the door handle (so those who enter the store will be sure to read it). Yes, that sign does read: Please do not bring food, drink, or spit cups into the store. Yep - that was "spit cups."

How's that for different?


  1. This is a true story.

    I once pastored a church in a very small Texas town, located in a rural county, in which pretty much all the residents proudly considered themselves "country." On the mornings when the men's fellowship group met for breakfast at the church, for example, there was a long line of parked ranch trucks (most over 3/4 ton), none of which was a fancified "city truck." These guys' trucks were work trucks, no doubt about it. Each was truly a "man's man."

    Anyway, I also pastored an even smaller church ten miles up the road, and would tool on down the highway between services and arrive just in time to greet folks and begin the second service. (Unless, as occasionally happened, a train slowed the progress. But that's another story.)

    So one fine summer morning (read, hotter than the hinges of hades) not long after my appointment to the church, I pulled into the next-door parsonage driveway, ducked into the near entrance to don my robe, then walked back around to the main entrance. Greeting me there was not one, but two well-filled spit cups, discretely parked at the very edge of the concrete porch.

    Some Sundays, there'd be none, some several, but I decided to take it as a sign of respect for the house of the Lord that the gents (we had no female dippers that I knew of) left the cups outside. Would that they'd also done so with their coffee cups!

  2. I wanted to say something here, but I'm about ready to gag, considering the subject matter.

    I'd best go find another blog entry!


  3. Psalmist - that's a great story. It reminds me of Grady Nutt, a retired pastor who went into stand-up comedy. He told stories about the little country churches that he preached at as an itinerate preacher. Very funny stuff should you ever get a chance to hear it.

    Lynn - Since we got here to Pigeon Forge, we've actually seen quite a few signs like this. So you'd have plenty of opportunity to be grossed out.


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