Friday, October 28, 2011

The Way It Is: Mace, not to be confused with Maize

First OFFICIAL Boonville Daily News column.
I'M BACK!!!!!

Pink or black? Or did I want polka dots?
Rhinestoned was not an option, so I went with pink.
After my first brief but alarming encounter with the more nocturnal, big-city inhabitants, I was instructed to buy Mace.
Mace, the spray; not the stuff that grows in fields — that's maize. But I think I'd have a lot more fun slinging a fistful of hard, yellow kernels at the face of an oncoming assailant, though it would probably be less effective.
So there I stood, bewildered, in the aisle of some low-budget office supply store contemplating pepper spray canisters. Yes, an office supply store carried Mace — yet another sign the spray is a necessity.
The sprays were similar in make and ingredients, each being a combination of habanero pepper oil, the leg of a blue poison dart frog and something similar to the venom found in cobras, that when sprayed into the eyes of said bad guys, is promised to induce crying, sneezing and begging for their mothers.
Though the ingredients and expectations were the same, the canister color choices and size options made my shopping excursion a bit difficult.
"What's the pink one say to you," I asked the unsuspecting clerk, "Hey, I'm a girly girl, attack me, or yes, it's pink but I know how to use it."
The clerk's eye roll and gum bubble said she either didn't care or thought I was nuts.
This small-town girl had officially found herself doing the second thing she said she'd never do in life, right after completing the first — which was move to a big city — and that's buying Mace.
Since an ear of corn wouldn't fit in my purse, I went with the more compact option, a small tube of the pepper spray that connects to my key ring.
And hey, if the flip top, push button, pull trigger method of fire doesn't work I've got a bunch of small, pointed metal objects connected to the other end that I'm sure will do some damage.
Who says you can't take the girl off the farm?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hello Boonville!

Wrote this to introduce myself to Boonville. I find it funny I found myself another Ville to write in. Hope it treats me as great as Maryville did. Keep your eye to my blog and because The Way It Is is back!

Is this heaven? No, it's ... Boonville?
While I can say from 18 years of first-hand experience that Iowa truly is heaven — and please don't hold that against me — I'm convinced that if there were such a place in Missouri, I think Boonville would most likely be it.
Born and raised among the corn fields and rolling hills of the Heartland, this Iowa girl headed south for big-city opportunities — in Maryville, Mo.
Yeah, yeah, I know, Maryville is not a big city but coming from a town where four-legged creatures outnumbered those with two, Maryville was huge.
Stop lights, multiple traffic lanes and a Walmart were a sight for sore eyes.
A few years of city life, a college degree and a big-girl job later, I was uprooted and found myself in a two-bedroom apartment in Columbia. I blame the boyfriend.
For the first few weeks, I often found myself asking silly questions.
"Parking meters? What the heck do you do with those?"
While I did actually know what a parking meter was, the fact that the parking meters came with optional EZ Pay cards was mind baffling.
"Leashes? We really have to put the dogs on leashes now?"
And the worst realization, "$5 for a beer?!?!"
Shopping in boutiques, protesters, curbside jazz musicians and those pesky meter maids all took a bit of getting used to, but I have to admit it was all kind of fun.
So when I found myself interviewing for a reporter job at a small paper in Boonville — much like the one I came from — I could only breathe a sigh of relief, and fresh farm air.
The historic homes and businesses, unique charm and complete lack of hustle and bustle won me over in seconds.
Now, rear-end parked firmly at my new reporters desk, I look forward to exploring the great unknown of Boonville.
Thank goodness parking is free.