(Note: Readers of Daniel Is Funny, Pfafftown is the town I grew up in. I hope that helps to make the decision behind creating this list make more sense. I didn’t just pick a random small town and decide that that one would be perfect for satirizing a common type of online article.)
Pfafftown, famous for being both the “NYC of the South” and the best place to scream where no one can hear you, has a lot of features that average, non-Pfafficists wouldn’t get. Here are ten things that you understand when you grow up in Evolution’s Pinnacle, USA.
1. That One Tree In C.G. Hill Memorial Park
In the southeast, when a duck has to shit, it goes to C.G. Hill Memorial Park. There is so much feces littering the running path and picnic area, that you’d swear the ducks had finally figured out that they were homeless. At the back of the lake, there is a tree that was struck by lightning, leaving it hollow on the inside. Since North Carolina can’t go through anything substantial without turning it into a Jack Tale, a man hid his cow and calf inside the tree to save them from Union soldiers during the Civil War. Apparently, couples now call it the “Loving Tree,” which makes sense, because, along with the local Subway, it remains one half of the two best dating spots in Pfafftown.
2. Explaining How To Pronounce “Pfafftown”
Words are hard. Have you seen people deal with the latest Hobbit movie? With that, you have five letters and a thousand different ways to insult people who like dragons. Pfafftown has only six letters, since every time you spell it out to people, you say “P-F-A-F-F-Town, like a town.” Even this doesn’t stop their “Pefaff…fafff?” vendetta against vocabulary, so eventually you give up and just say you’re from Winston-Salem.
3. The Intersection Of Seward and Balsom Road
Google Maps makes it look like this turn is relatively close to a 90 degree angle, but anyone who’s actually used it knows that taking it will stop momentum completely, and that it can’t be finished in less than 30 minutes.
4. The Store On Reynolda Road That Constantly Changes Its Businesses
Just before you drive to the town of King and Old Richmond Elementary School, on the left there sits a building that has had about one hundred different owners in the past ten years. Will it be a store for animal feed? Will it be a flower shop? Will you be able to buy only a little gravel there, or all the gravel there? Every time you return home for Christmas, one of these questions is answered with a yes, while the others remain a “Soon….”
5. Being Annexed
I switched from North Forsyth High School to Ronald Reagan High School between my sophomore and junior years, because of a mix of the allure of a new school opening, and annexation. Jealous of Pfafftown’s wealth and popularity, North Carolina has cut into it, and changed its boundaries multiple times. Many were forced to change schools and leave the people they grew up with behind, in order to fill up a new building that had a 2007 graduating class of almost eight people. Jokes on the school system though, because when I switched schools, I wasn’t leaving any friends behind.
6. The Reagan High School Mural That Looked Nothing Like The School Itself
In my Senior Year of high school, the students and faculty received the generous donation of a wall painting of the school that must have been created while the artist was looking at a picture of a different school. From a distance, Reagan High School looks like an Amityville Horror sequel, but you wouldn’t know that from this mural. Featuring a flag pole that doesn’t exist, and a cheerfulness about Pfafftown that is pure fantasy, the mural maintained the notion that, if you are over forty, Pfafftown is this beautiful wonderland of low housing prices, where you never have to worry about actually liking your kids, because they’ll want to leave your house as soon as possible anyway.
7. Old Richmond Grill
For a town in the south, you’d expect way more Miss Elsie’s Southern Family Cookin’ Home Cookin’ Golly Gosh Family Cookin’ and places like that, with the same “Green Beans or Okra, and you can only CHOOSE ONE” sides that every other place that uses southern family heritage as a selling point puts on their menu. But Pfafftown really only has one good one, and that’s the Old Richmond Grill. A Double Bacon Cheeseburger might not sound too extraordinary to people who have had Double Bacon Cheeseburgers before, but you really have to try one at the infamous O.R.G. Old Richmond Grill is the best “southern-style” restaurant that doesn’t try to drill into your brain how important the owner’s grandmother was.
8. Family Video
This came late during my stint as a Pfafficist (a title which will catch on, I promise,) but on a road devoted primarily to competing gas stations, and subsequently failing gas stations, Family Video saved the day by promoting cheap movies, and by constantly seeming to need employees. I’ve never seen a building need workers for that long. They hired for so long that it made it seem like they were using the Great Wall of China method of construction, where everyone who got tired was just used to fill in the cement cracks. While it might not be a small business, Family Video makes you feel at home, that is, if your home is constantly filled with countless children screaming about The Hunger Games, and knocking over racks and racks of DVD’S with abandon.
9. Explaining That Pfafftown Is A Real Place
I’ve never heard of a place that so many people thought wasn’t real. If someone asked me where I was from, and I told them “Oh, Middle Earth,” they could say “Hey, wait a minute. That sounds like a book thing…”, and it would be cool, because I’d be lying to them, hoping to soon get out of this Tate’s Bar conversation. For some reason, people lump Pfafftown in with Alderaan since, even when taken in a fictional context, it doesn’t exist in their minds. I then have to tell them that it’s right outside of Winston-Salem, the city in America that is top ranked for most “Oh, I drove through there.”
10. Leaving Pfafftown
This has been weird to write. I started out wanting to do something full of snark and irony, and I ended up with sort of a love letter to Pfafftown. Do I, deep down, love Pfafftown? No. Eighteen-year-old me wouldn’t allow that. Later, Pfafftown! I’m out to make my fortune at a place that’s not SUPER BORING. Besides, Lewisville is where all the jobs are at anyway.