Monday, February 21, 2011

21 FEB 11: Welcome South, Brother

Well, hey there! Here's a-wishin' you a happy President's Day, first of all. I know some of you Georgians still don't really want to claim Jimmy Carter as a President, but that's all up to you....

Oh - you've noticed somethin' funny about how I'm a-writin' here today? Well, there's a reason for that. And I'm a-fixin' to explain it to you, righ'cheer and now. It's 'cause after all these years, I'm finally, real-life and true, a Georgian. More'n ever before. And I didn't have to pick up one of them old flags sold from stands along the side of the road.

You see, I sat down and figured out some math'matics on this. And as of Sunday, I have lived in the South - and really in this here fine state of Georgia - for half-n my lifetime. Now you understand, that's a loooong time. Longer than a summer Sunday in a small Southern town -- 'specially when you can't buy a bottle of beer at the grocery store.

Now most of y'all know I was born waaaay up yonder there - in a place called Kansas. Contrary to what some you are a-thinkin', most of that state is NOT in black-n-white.

I lived out yonder there in Kansas for years and years - then lived for 'bout three years one state south of there, in Oklahoma. That used to be part of the South, in the ol' Blue-Gray football game o'er there in Montgomery. But if you talked with a drawl in Oklahoma, people would think you're from Texas and keep their distance from you.

It was 'xactly 26 years, three months and nine days ago when I drove Mama's ol' four-door Chevy Celebrity into Georgia for the first time. And that date was 'xactly 26 years, three months and eight days after I was born. Well, that's when they said I was born. Unless they doctored my birth certificate, like they thought I'd become a politician or somethin'.

Now put that all together, and you know what? I've been righ'cheer in Georgia half-n my lifetime. HOOOO-dee-hoo! That's somethin' to celebrate, now isn't it? Trouble is, that there Krispy Kreme doughnut shop they're reopenin' today doesn't serve grits.

And did y'all notice my big milestone just happened to fall on the national holiday of the South? Yup, Sunday was the Daytona 500 stock car race! And that there Aflac driver came close to winnin' the whole thing, didn't he? Even if the racin' looked more like "Dancin' with the Stars" all day long....

But you know, bein' a long-time resident of the fine state of Georgia has some obligations with it. And that gets to why I'm a-writin' here the way I am today. It's because I realize I have to sound and write as Southern as I really am. Otherwise, folks back up yonder will wonder why I don't.

So I've been a-workin' on a proper Southern accent, 'specially in the last year or two. To start off with, that means you say "Hey" instead of "Hi." And you surely don't say "Hello" to folks. I think they start saying that from the Io-way line up north.

And o'er the years, I've learned plenty of other proper Southern stuff. You don't add a pack of sugar to the glass of tea you pick up at the cafeteria. And you don't step on the gas pedal - you mash it. I think you're 'sposed to mash on that there computer mouse, too. But for reasons I can't explain, the Southern websites say "click" on stuff instead.

And 'nother thing I've had to learn is that here in the South, when college football season come 'round again, it's "us" against "them." It's personal-like. I heard ol' Larry Munson talk like that for the first time, and thought the water war was a real-life turf war.

But I have to admit to you, there are some other Southern things I still haven't done yet. I haven't spent any time in the pokey for playin' them gamblin' games. And I haven't risen up early in the mornin' time to go deer huntin' in the fall, neither. I mean, I have an orange outfit -- but the T-shirt says "Oklahoma State" on it, and it gets cold out there 'round five-30 in the a-m.

So if y'all happen upon me somewhere or other, don't be surprised if I start a-talkin' a little like the way I've written this here today. In fact, I may write like this a little more often now. It's all about a-fittin' in. Even if that good Georgia bar-B-Q means nothin' fits like it used to.

Now if y'all will 'scuse me, I need to high-tail it on to other stuff I've gotta do. And it needs to get done lickety-split-like....

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