We live way out in the country – twenty miles into town through the beautiful countryside, and only one stop sign! Sometimes, I may not see a single car, though I’ll see plenty of cows, chicken houses, deer, armadillos, skunk, raccoon, once even a mountain lion.
“Beautiful day, ain’t it?”
“Have a good one.”
“All’s right with the world.”
Sometimes, a slight nod of the head might accompany the fingerflick, then I know that driver is a particularly friendly person.
It took me a little while to get the hang of the fingerflick. When I first moved to Arkansas, I’ll admit I was a little embarrassed to reply with my own, awkward flick, so I’d just return a nervous smile.
When at last, I loosened up some, I started waving in reply. Well, that obviously exposed me as an outsider. Finally, I decided I needed to get with the game. When a car approached, I’d shake out the nerves in my hands.
And the driver gave me his fingerflick. “Good morning!”
Then, slowly, slowly, my stiff pointer finger would rise off the steering wheel. “Have a good day!”
I knew I’d finally become a real Arkansan the first time I made the fingerflick first, and was only slightly less-than thrilled when the other driver returned it.
It seems such a silly little thing, until I travel somewhere else and share our Arkansas “hello.” Most of the time, I don’t get a response. Those are the times I appreciate the simplicity and friendliness of our curious phenomenon, the Arkansas Fingerflick.