Fred and Lamont are eating me out of house and home. They have this voracious appetite for timothy hay. There are local and online stores that sell the hay. However, the local stores have a lower quality and you can’t inspect the online products. My concern for the boys is twofold: First, I want good quality hay for them that contain both flowers and the leaves of the timothy stalk. Second, the boys are sensitive to hay dust. Lamont’s sinus infection was aggravated by hay dust.
Being a concerned mom, I decided to reach out to local farming suppliers to get some better hay for my greedy boys. Yes, I was also looking to save some money. This is when my ‘hay call’ happened…
Farmer: “Joe’s Farm Store*,” a deep southern voice rang out over the phone. (*The actual name of the store has been changed…)
KA: “Hi,” I spat out, “I’m looking for some hay for my guinea pigs.”
Farmer: “Dat’s off…” he shot back.
KA: “Huh?” I asked, “What do you mean? Off?”
Farmer: “Y’all don feed pigs with da hay…” he tried to explain to me.
KA: “No, not pigs…” I explained, “Not bacon pigs, guinea pigs…”
Farmer: “Well, it don’t matter if day from another place…” he drawled out, “I’m telling ya miss, pigs don’t eats hay dat much…”
KA: “Ok,” I started again, “Do you sell timothy hay?”
Farmer: “Yaaa,” he drawled out in a response.
KA: “How much is it?” I asked.
Farmer: “How much?” he asked back?
KA: “Yes, how much?”
Farmer: “Miss, I needs to know what you want…” he growled with impenitence.
KA: “I don’t know what you mean…” I sighed in complete confusion.
Farmer: “Ok, miss,” he spoke with measured patience, “Let say you need two? Three?”
KA: “I just need one,” I said with hope.
Farmer: “Allll riiiiggghhttt…” he drawled, “Now I can helps you…”
KA: “Good!” I exclaimed.
Farmer: “You gonna need us to drop it dere?” he asked typing at a keyboard.
KA: “No,” I said thinking, “I can come to you and pick it up…”
Farmer: “Ok,” he confirmed, “You gots a truck?”
KA: “Nooooo… Why?” I inquired. Something was off…
Farmer: “It’s ok, we got strang…” he assured me.
KA: “Strang?” I asked.
Farmer: “Ya, we got strang…” he added smiling with his voice.
KA: “Oh, ok,” I sighed giving up on the line of conversation and the meaning of ‘strang’. “How much?” I added.
Farmer: “Y’all said one!” the farmer exclaimed.
KA: “I did!” I raised my voice back. “But you never told me how much it’s gonna cost!”
Farmer: “Oooooooo,” he sighed in realization of the question. “Hold on…”
* I was put on hold and forced to listen to the local country station. Have I mentioned that the local country station is really bad…like aweful…*
Farmer: “Yes, miss?” he asked when the line became active again.
KA: “I’m here…” I sighed.
Farmer: “Ok, It be two fidy …” he said typing at the computer.
KA: “Two dollars and fifty cents?” I asked.
Farmer: “Noooooo…” the farmer laughed, “Two hundred fidy dollars…”
KA: “How much hay are you trying to sell me?!?” I shouted with outrage.
Farmer: “Uhhh, a starndard order of 100 bales of hay…” he shouted back.
KA: “For two guinea pigs?” I asked.
Farmer: “Miss,” he sighed, “Ya don feed hay to pigs… You wants it or no?”
KA: “Uhhhhh,” I let out, “No, no sir… Thanks for your time…”
Farmer: “Ok,” he sighed. He was clearly disappointed.
KA: I had to make up for my misunderstanding, “I’ll stop by to look at the hay before I purchase, ok?”
Farmer: “Yes, miss,” he said clearly perking up.
We said our proper goodbyes and I thanked him again for his time. As I hung up the phone, I realized that I had the entire conversation wrong from the start. The farmer wanted to know the quantity of hay that I wanted but I wanted to know the cost of the hay. I looked over to the boys’ cage to see them staring at me. “Yes,” I said, “that was your mother being silly…” Fred chuffed at me. “And, yes,” I added, “it was because of you two…” Lamont let out a small week. “Yes,” I love you enough to make a complete fool of myself…again…