I used to laugh at the “small town directions” everyone here uses. But eventually I started using them myself. It sounds crazy, but it’s the most efficient way to communicate out here. People know what you’re talking about.
1. “The Cenex.”
This refers to a small local chain of feed stores. It hasn’t actually been “Cenex” for like twenty years, but that’s just what people call it. If you refer to “Skagit Valley Farmer’s Supply” people will scrunch up their faces in puzzlement.
Also, you have to call it “The Cenex” not just “Cenex.” I don’t know why the “The” is necessary. It just is.
2. “The one by the blinking yellow light, not the one in town.”
This is me clarifying which Mexican restaurant I mean. There is only one blinking yellow light in La Conner, and in this context “in town” means Anacortes, the (slightly larger) next town over.
3. “It’s right next to that place that used to be a pizza restaurant.”
This is a classic example of small town directions: referring to businesses that have been closed for several years.
In The City businesses open and close so often that no one bothers to keep track. But out here, we remember who used to sell pizza, and where.