NaFloScribMo hits the road and the Outlet Malls


I’m leaving in the morning for a Road Trip With The Girls to Branson for a couple of days of shopping frenzy. And while I realize there are all manner of feisty country music venues in Branson, I think it’s safe to say we’ll not be attending any of them. This trip has a purpose and that purpose is shopping. We’re focused.
Those Tax Stimulus/Rebate checks are burning holes in our handbags.
Picture this: Five or six writing professors in a minivan driving the tornado-decimated back roads of Arkansas en route to the half-price shopping mecca of Branson, Missouri. Look out, roadside yard sales. Clear the doorways, country flea markets. The shopping starts the minute we turn on Hwy 65 and won’t stop until we’re all dead broke. Or Wednesday, because this is only a two-day jaunt. There won’t be a single man in the car, so we can stop every ten minutes if we feel like it.
Outlet malls as far as the eye can see – that’s Branson. Forget the tacky ‘Las Vegas-South’ shows, we don’t have time for choreographed entertainment. We’ve got to spend Dubya’s parting gift.
I plan to come back with photos and fresh Overheard Conversations, so look out.

Overheard Conversation #1


4:00 at Hobby Lobby
“I don’t usually never do this kind of sewing. Usually do the high dollar stuff. Custom sewing. I don’t never do that three-dollar stuff or alterations. Don’t have no patience at all for them kind of people. They worry you to death. Only the high dollar stuff.” Pam wore a plaid scrunchie in her hair that perfectly matched the Christmas-plaid cats on her sweatshirt. The cats had little plastic pearl-eyes.

She shifted her enormous mass from right foot to left, positioning her right fist into a hip for counter weight. She had the practiced coolness of a woman who wears a lot of gold rings but seldom looks down at them.

“ This here’s just for some Christmas presents an’ stuff. I generally only do custom sewing for rodeo and pageants. I’m very familiar with sequins. Do ‘em all by hand. Only the high dollar jobs, though.”

Pam’s nonchalance became one of the finest things she had attempted this week. She breathed deeply the moment, hoping not to alter it by saying even one syllable too much. She let here eyes become disinterested and vague.

“ I also train rodeo queens,” she exhaled while picking up and discarding packages of uncovered, coverable buttons.

The small, bent woman with the scissors looked up from the table and nodded appropriately while systematically measuring and cutting a variety of polyester fringes for Pam. She meticulously remeasured each and taped the fringe just at the cutting point to prevent fraying.

She had to. That satin fringe was almost two dollars a yard.