Talk About A SMALL Town!!
-Fred Stock

        Had the occasion the other day to locate a friend in Pennsylvania. Looked at his address on an envelope and went to my Road Atlas to find his town, Turbotville. It wasn’t there. Hey! I searched the index several times to be sure I had the right state, the right spelling, the right… well, it just wasn’t there! Hmphhhh?!

       So I did what any red-blooded American does to find something today, I Googled “Turbotville!” And of course, Google found about 25 pages of listings, maps, travel advisories, weather reports, airline fare schedules, mileage charts, “meet a friend there” guides, and listings for such amazing things as local customs, shopping in Turbotville, things to do, sports and sporting events, nightlife, general tips on visiting Turbotville, even a packing list so you are prepared for all the gaiety and excitement while you are there. There was over a page of headings related to Turbotville! Great, I thought, it really DOES exist! Then I noticed the details…

       After the heading “General Tips on Turbotville” was a tiny entry “(0 reviews – 0 photos)” Gasp! Is my friend living in Limbo? Flashes of the Witness Protection Program in my id. Quick, look at another listing… how about “Warnings and Dangers in Turbotville”? “(0 reviews – 0 photos)” Oh, my! In fact, every heading on the page had the same suffix in light blue small font lettering; “(0 reviews – 0 photos)”! Good Grief!! Talk about anonymity! Yikes! What has happened to my friend? Tremble… Hotels? “(0 reviews – 0 photos)”!

       OK – type in some general phrases that usually get results… Turbotville International Airport; nope – not even a dirt air strip in the forest! But there is a railroad several miles north – no station, but at least a track! OK, let’s try “Travel Guide” return: “No entry – no picture available” Then I found a list of four promising headings; Members living in Turbotville, Photos, Videos, and Tips! Great! Try the first one (starting to get frantic now… at least a bit worried.) Search results: NO MATCHES FOUND! Try the second one… Photos. “THERE ARE NO PHOTOS OF TURBOTVILLE YET! Be the first to upload a photo of Turbotville! Great Zaggs! My chance at making History! I’d book a flight immediately but there isn’t any.

       Well, it was time to do something drastic! I dialed my friends number … I waited through what seemed an eternity of clicks and buzzing sounds, and finally, a fast busy. Apparently both lines into the town, ‘er, village, or is it just a gathering… anyway, both are busy or out of service. Perhaps they have been out of service for weeks and nobody noticed… Eeiiiiyyeeeee! That’s a SMALL small town!

       Lemme tell you how small Turbotville is; when you bring it up on MapQuest, and try to zoom in, the little star is in the middle of a gray area with no roads. The closer you get, the fewer details there are, and no streets at all! One of the advertisers is an Agriculture Center, whose address is marked by a flag symbol. Next to the flag symbol is the annotation, “approximate location”. What the heck is THAT? Wikipedia says something like “Turbotville is a borough in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 691 at the 2000 census”, not including farm animals. Then I found the answer to why it’s so small. The average household size is 2.49 people. There’s your problem! If you’re going to have a kid, have a whole one! There’s your trouble! Whew! Glad we solved that one! Is anybody there listening? Is anybody there? Anybody? Great Caesar’s Ghost! I feel so alone! (Note: I still haven’t found my friend. Did you just hear that Twilight Zone music?) –fhs