Thursday, March 19, 2009

How Iron Acres Got Its Name

It truly amazes me how life imitates art. Take for example Iron Acres. It was named after the 60s sitcom Green Acres, which was about a couple from the city who long for the peace and quiet of the country only to find chaos. I never watched the tv show when it was on the air. I was in my high school intellectual stage and above formulaic physical comedy. I really wish I had paid attention.

I was raised in a big city in Texas. Now, when I say big city I really mean it. Population was about 2 MILLION. A BIG city. With freeways and rush hour traffic and all that.

My Dear Professor was raised in a small south Texas town. Population about 3 HUNDRED. By small I mean everyone knew everyone. You were not allowed the extravagance of anonymity.

We met, fell in love, and married in the big city. But when I was in that intellectual phase in high school I longed for country life. I had a picture of the country as bucolic bliss, that is, until Truman Capote wrote that book about the two guys who murdered a whole family on a Kansas farm. After that I decided the big city was fine, thank you very much.

Shortly after we had purchased our country paradise in the Frozen North, but before we moved here, I had the chance to watch an episode of Green Acres. My eyes were opened. I had a sense of dull forboding about the move. Then we unpacked and that foreboding became a reality.

Iron Acres
(that's me on the porch, and my Dear Professor showing off the mule)

Everything was fine until the night I drew a bath and to my horror saw the tub fill up with tomato soup. The tip off should have come when we were shown the small array of tanks and filters and pumps and injection systems that stood between the water as it came into the house from the well and the spigot in the kitchen. But I was young, relatively speaking, and inexperienced and didn't realize that the presence of a miniature municipal water treatment plant in the basement translated to something was SERIOUSLY wrong with the water coming out of the well.

Since then I have had a crash course in water treatment and we have dug a new well, which is a trip in itself--have you ever had a conversation with someone who does "water witching" for green fees at the local municipal golf course? We have also made peace with the, ahem, eccentricities of country living. One of the annual rituals of Spring is skunk breeding season.

Anyway, just for grins and nostalgia's sake, I was surfing the net the other day and caught bits and pieces of an old Green Acres episode. I was stunned by the comparisons between that series and the life we now live:

Green Acres Cast of Characters vs Iron Acres Cast of Characters
a highly educated lawyer--check (in his former big city life, my Dear Professor was a lawyer)

a domestically challenged exotic and fashionable wife--check(well, at least the domestically challenged part)

eccentric neighbors--check(I guess I haven't told you yet about the woman at the end of our road who unsuccessfully tried to electrocute her husband by rewiring the washing machine)

locals wary of anyone with a college education--check(this is coal country, anyone who has a white collar is automatically suspect)

a highly evolved pig--check(a friend has a highly evolved sow named Spots whom I have attended in birth twice--the sow, not the friend. Baby piggies are SO cute!)

comp ia ga

The resemblance is uncanny. I never realized we were living in Hooterville!

(Is it just me, or do you hear the theme from Twilight Zone playing softly in the background?)

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