One of our longest supporters, Othurme, is contemplating an excursion away from the Left Coast and visiting the South. I am not sure if it is for research purposes or maybe he is just a thrill seeker, but either way, I support this journey.
Liz and I both were born and raised in the South, Mississippi to be exact. When people talk about the “Deep South” that is us. I don’t really fit the Southern mold, but I have caught catfish with a cane pole, I’ve been cow tipping, and I even had a crush on my cousin. So in the nature vs. nurture debate, I might be screwed.
Othurme is visiting Hilton Head, South Carolina. I’ve never been there, but I am sure it is nice. They are sure to have many stereotypical Southern activities for all the tourists to enjoy. I am going to give a list of all the things that are must do’s in the South. I will also include a list of what not to do as well. I’d hate for Othurme to go and get himself lynched while on vacation. Everyone is welcome to print this up, laminate it and put it in your car, just in case you ever take a wrong turn and cross the Mason Dixon line.
Things to DO in the South:
1. Go to a Waffle House.
Nobody cooks better artery clogging, fat inducing food like these guys. It’s a Southern institution that might very well have been a Yankee strategy to kill us off, similar to the CIA introducing crack in the inner cities.
2. Get you GED.
It doesn’t really matter if you already graduated from High School or actually have your PhD in Particle Physics; this is a Southern tradition that gives cause for many families to beam with pride when one of their own achieves this milestone. Go ahead, I bet you will feel some Southern pride when you open your mail box back home, two weeks later, and grab the document that allows Southerners to be eligible for Wal Mart employment.
3. Eat something pickled.
To really appreciate this you need to visit a small, “Mom and Pop” gas station in the back woods. It’s easy to spot what is pickled; there should be a collection of jars on a counter filled with a hazy pink fluid and some mysterious floating objects. It is one of those floating objects that you seek. Common objects pickled: (listed in order of popularity) Pickled Eggs, Pickled Sausage, Pickled Pigs Feet, Pickled Pork Rinds, and Pickled Pig Lips. I don’t know exactly what the pig did so long ago to deserve this pickling treatment, but I bet he regrets it.
4. Think you are better than someone else.
This is a true Southern past time. You can base this sense of superiority on race, sex, religion, money, NASCAR preferences, the list can go on forever. Just remember that since your laminated advice card was invented by me, I am better than you.
5. Kill a lower life form.
Other states may say they hunt, but not like the South. Men hunt, Women hunt, and little kids hunt. I had friends that would show up to school after having spent the previous four hours sitting in a cold, rainy field hoping to kill something. I went to nursing school with a female who, on the weekends, would go into the woods with her friends hunting rabbits, but with only a spot light and a golf club. That is a true Southern woman.
Things NOT to do in the South:
1. Bad Mouth George W. Bush.
I mentioned before, that I spent a short time working in Tupelo, MS. Nothing got me into more trouble than my dislike for Dubya. Sure the war may be going bad, the politicians are getting caught in scandals, and the First Amendment is being raped, but Dubya is a good Southern Christian, and that is all they need to know.
2. Laugh at a Mullet.
You thought the Mullet hair style died in the eighties? You believed only butch lesbians and Joe Dirt would wear their hair like that, well you were wrong. The lady ringing up your RC Cola and Moon Pie at the Piggly Wiggly will not know what you are laughing at, and if you call her a lesbian, she and her fifteen kids, that are probably loitering out front, will chase you down and give you a good Southern ass whoopin’.
3. Have sex with your cousin
Once you cross the Mason Dixon line and enter the South, one of the first things you will feel is a stirring in your loins when you think of an attractive relative. I don’t know why, but it’s true. It could be something in the air, the water, or maybe it is a strange gravitational anomaly that is attracting Southerners to their own relatives. No matter what the cause, fight this urge. When you get back home, it will be very awkward, especially, if said cousin later gives birth to a three eyed baby.
To a true Southerner this is such a rare occurrence it will make you stand out like a sore thumb. If you go jogging down the street, for example, you will most likely cause mass hysteria because everyone is going to assume something really bad is chasing you. Maybe you are being chased by a herd of stampeding cattle, or possibly a pack of crazed, homosexual liberals has migrated down from up North. They won’t know and are unwilling to stick around to find out.
As you can see there are many cultural differences between the Southern states and the rest of the country, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit. Just get all your immunizations, put on some overalls, and come on down. With this handy guide you should fit right in. I wouldn’t mention you are an outsider though. It is about to be tourist season, and in the South that means they can hunt tourists.