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While I was having dinner with a group of friends, the server leaned over the table, porcelain bowl in hand.

"Mashed potatoes?"

"Like someone would actually say no to that," I said.

"I would never say no to that," Brenda said.

"Or more cheese. Or tea," I said.

"Agreed," Brenda said.

"What are you two talking about?" Annie asked, breaking her conversation with Marie.

"Things we'd always say yes to," I replied.

We each stared blankly, compiling our mental lists.

Things I will always say yes to

Card games, board games

Porches, porch swings

Chocolate gravy and biscuits

White gravy and biscuits

Gravy of any kind (except giblet gravy, if giblets can be identified)

Bread and oil or butter

Black pepper

Sleeping beneath a quilt

Anything that nays, bleats, barks, meows, bellows or chirps

The snooze button

Faded blue jeans

A threadbare gray sweatshirt

Tom Selleck

A late-night movie, especially a Western

Anything written by Elmore Leonard, Samuel Clemens or Edgar Guest

Mowing a lawn

Being asked whether I have formed an opinion

Being asked whether a meeting should be adjourned

Cornbread dressing with an obscene amount of sage

Subway sandwich with an obscene amount of black olives

Old photographs


Carol Burnett

Nicknames, especially when incongruous ("Tiny" for a 2,000-pound bull)

Homegrown tomatoes, okra or collards

Farm sales with Uncle Ronnie

Milk glass

A rusty bucket

Anything monogrammed

Things I should always say no to, but can't be trusted to do so

Trivial Pursuit


A home permanent

A salon permanent

Hopping a fence instead of opening a gate

Smelling or tasting potentially soured milk

An educated country boy

A "start" from neighbor's flower bed

Hallmark Christmas movies

Knocking down a wasp nest

Hot sauce

Fast food

Square2Square bike ride

NAN Our Town on 08/09/2018

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