The fella that runs the local feed store is a Cajun from Ville Platte, Louisiana. He moved up here to Arkansas because the woman he met in the personal ads said she could abide thickets and pine trees but would not tolerate bayous or raising a coonass baby.

I stopped by the store yesterday because I needed some laying pellets for my chickens (they’ve been ornery and have taken to squatting to no purpose). When I got to the counter to buy the chicken feed and some of that pastel taffy they keep by the register, the Cajun was giving directions to a bewildered insurance man.

“Can you tell me where I can find Maximillian Fontenot?”

“I bleeve so. Max Fontenot?”

“Yes. He has a claim on an auto accident and I need to see the damage.”

“Mmm hmm. I know bout it.”

“Can you tell me where he lives?”

“I kin tole you but he ain’t home, no.”

“That’s fine. I will wait.”

“Lessee. He don’t live up town, no. He stay out west o’here. You go fo bout two mile back tward de ribbah, and pay tention, you, cause dem side roads covered up wit brush an easy to miss.”

“Which road am I looking for?”

“You lookin’ fo de road he stay on, no?”


“Dere be a yaller house on de lef pass a lapitation gas station and…”

“Excuse me. What kind of gas station?”

“It be an old lapitation station. Roof fallin down. Vines cuttin trew it.”

“Oh! Dilapidated!”

“Das wut I says, no?”

“So look for a yellow house after the vacant gas station. Then what?”

“I don’t say it be vacant, no. They’s a man wut stays dere.”

“Well, I go past it and look for a yellow house anyway.”

“Fontenot don’t stay in de yaller house, no. You look for de next road pas dat.”

“Ok, so the first road on the left, past the yellow house just past the old gas station?”

“Dat Maximillian Fontenot road, yeah.”

“Thank you.”

“Hole on. Dat instruction don’t all de way right. Fontenot live mong some houses onced you turn lef oft de big road.”

“Which house would that be?”

“Lessee. Dey tree or two house out front. You gotta brought yousef roun behind dem and look fo de house wit de chinaball tree.”

“What’s a chinaball tree look like?”

“How you mean to fine a man and you don’t know a chinaball tree?”

“I’m unfamiliar with that kind of tree. Is there any other marker that would tell me that was Fontenot’s house?”

“Hmm. Don’t know bout dat. But it be de only house back dere.”

“Thank you. I think I can find him.”

“I doubt dat.”

“Why’s that?”

“You specify you lookin fo Max Fontenot?”


“I been tole you he ain’t home, no.”

“Any idea where he might be?”

“I speck I do know, oui. I’m Max Fontenot. Watchu want?”

Brandon Meeks

Brandon Meeks is an Arkansas native. He received his PhD. from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He serves his local parish as Theologian-in-Residence. He is also a fan of Alabama football, old folks, and bacon grease.


  • Paul Yarbrough says:

    Nothing like a good story.

  • Casey Chalk says:

    This is fantastic. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Steve says:

    Good Lord man, that brought tears to my eyes. A body needs a laugh

  • William Quinton Platt III says:

    I cry because my kids only hear stories like this…they don’t live it, like I did.

    Max will have that insurance man laid out on a pallet for the evening.

    Then Max will head out for a few hours ’round midnite and come back about 4 in the morning.

    This will bother the insurance man if he wakes up…feeling nervous about being in a strange house without the owner about, but the insurance man won’t wake up.

    When he does wake up, he’ll be seven again and wondering how he got there and when…minus all the siblings and cousins strewn about.

  • John Marquardt says:

    Here in Japan, where few streets are named and the buildings on them have no numerical order, the giving of directions can be quite comical. Yours, however, tops them all. A real hoot . . . and my wife and I thank you for making our day.

  • Julie Paine says:

    My husband spent time in the south and fondly remembers getting directions like this. Brandon’s stories always make me smile, laugh, and even cry. Ever since the webinar I always wish I could hear him tell them live.

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