The lost art of conversation

After a half-day of snow and ice-covered roads south of Chicago, the green and lack of white as we entered Alabama was, to say the least, a welcome change.
I really was beginning to mellow out as we rolled into the rest centre along the interstate.
I hustled into the restroom and had just settled onto the seat of the stall to commence an important operation when a southern voice inquired from the adjoining stall, “How y’all doin?”
Normally I don’t carry on conversations of this nature. In fact, the whole art of conversing while in the john seems to have disappeared along with the three-holer outhouse. But I thought this obviously friendly southern soul deserved a response (besides, I was still elated to be out of the snow for a few months).
“Fine, How about you?” I shot back, wondering mildly how far this southern hospitality went.
“Great! What y’all up to,” came the friendly reply—quaint and to the point.
Again, I was reluctant to reply, but didn’t know how to properly break off the conversation at this point, so I replied back hesitantly, “Travellin’, same as you.”
“How’s about I come on over there?” was the neighbouring response.
I freaked out. Who was this? The FBI running a sting operation or one of the stars of the movie “Deliverance” on his way over to make me “squeal like a pig!”
“Not now, I’m kinda busy,” I managed to stammer, desperately trying to speed things up and make my escape.
The reply from the other side of the barrier brought things into focus.
“Listen, Bud, I gotta call y’all back. The idiot in the next stall keeps answering all my questions.”
What now? Hide in the stall until my neighbour departed or make a quick break for it right now. Who said I can’t move fast?
Besides, the next rest stop is just another 40 miles south!

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