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Friday, January 31, 2014

Living Among Southerners, a Survival Guide

A Yankee Who Refused the Neighbor's Pound Cake
As part of my on-going public service to Yankees who have transplanted to the South, I offer the following survival guide.  Many Yankees who live in Atlanta believe this is the South.  It is not.  It is certainly further South than, say, Miami, but Atlanta is not the South.  Nevertheless, many Southerners do live here, and if you travel from Atlanta sixty miles in any direction, you will find yourself in the South.  By and large, Southerners are gentle, docile creatures.  However, they can be dangerous if riled.  Avoid the following common pitfalls.

When seeing anyone, anyone, whether it be a cashier, a cop, or just some stranger walking a dog, you are expected to make eye contact, nod your head, and greet them.  You do not need to stop what you are doing or engage in actual conversation, but you must say something along the lines of "Hey," "Hi, there," "Nice day," or "How's it going?"  IF YOU FAIL TO DO THIS, YOU WILL BE HUNTED DOWN AND KILLED.

When dining at someone's house, the cook will make a remark such as, "I just hope it's fit to eat," or "The gravy came out a little thick."  On no account are you to agree with her, rather you are to rave about the deliciousness of everything - even if there are beets - and to get second helpings of everything no matter how full you are.  IF YOU DO NOT DO THIS, YOU WILL BE HUNTED DOWN AND KILLED.

When in your car, you must keep your radio volume at such a level that only those inside the car can hear, provided the windows are up and the top is not down.  Other motorists should not be able to hear what you have on the radio at stoplights or gas stations, no matter how much you enjoy the song or how much you want to share it with the world, or how great you think your sound system is.  FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ACCEPTABLE VOLUME WILL RESULT IN BEING HUNTED DOWN AND KILLED.

If shown pictures of someone's infant, you are to behave as if you have just seen a child of unearthly beauty.  Comments such as "Your kid looks like a monkey" even if meant in a joking spirit, even if technically accurate, must be avoided at all costs.  If you wish, your voice may rise an octave above its natural pitch and you may resort to baby talk to describe this wondrous infant, but I repeat - all negative comments, such as "Do you know who the father is?" must not be said aloud.  IF YOU FAIL TO COMPLY, YOU WILL BE HUNTED DOWN AND KILLED.

If a neighbor brings over a pound cake or a casserole or any comestible whatsoever, you are to accept it with a pleased smile and comments such as "It looks wonderful" or "You shouldn't have."  You may not ask questions such as "Is this gluten free?" or make personal comments such as "I don't do carbs," or "I'm lactose intolerant" or "I'm diabetic."  You are to take the food into your house with every sign of delight and later are to comment to your neighbor how delicious it was.  FAILURE TO DO THIS WILL RESULT IN BEING HUNTED DOWN AND KILLED.


  1. Not only does this list provide an outline for proper Southern behavior but it includes appropriate measures to be taken should an individual fail to comply; furthermore the list should be distributed widely in the North and in other countries in an effort to civilize the world.

  2. Excellent advice for our manners-impaired Northern brethren. In the interest of full disclosure, however, let me point out that not every single slight will automatically result in a hunt-down killin'.
    For certain minor social infractions...saying something like: "That sure is a nice pick-up truck! It's a outright damn shame it doesn't have the Hemi engine!" for example...will only result in the immediate rolling up of sleeves and a knock-down, drag-out ass-whoopin'. After several tumbles around and through the neighborhood, with assorted gouges, kicks, cusswords, and a few good concussions along the way (based on how many good-sized limbs might be within reach), the exhausted and bloody participants will then sit with their backs against the pick-up truck and split a case of cold beer...pounding each other on the back and talking about what a good time they had just had beating each other silly.
    And it'll be Bud, Miller, or PBR like the good Lord INTENDED folks to drink after a good, hearty butt-kickin'. Asking for any o' that sissy beer WILL result in a hunt-down killing.

  3. Even if there are beets? Dayum. Mebbe I'll take the chance that the first shot is just a warning, and keep running.