Pull up your droopy pants

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 1, 2007

It’s been a few weeks back that I penned a column about things northern transplants should understand about living in the South.

We welcome all types here and once we “git to know ya” we will warmly adopt you as one of our own.

Of course we would like to see you adopt us as well. You can start becoming a true Southerner by eating pork barbecue (and like it) as well as ordering grits with your breakfast.

We love our pig-pickins’ down here below the Mason-Dixon Line. There’s no better smell than a whole hog roasting slowly over hot coals and then doused with heaping helpings of our secret barbecue sauce (don’t ask for the recipe).

And there’s nothing better on a cool morning that a steaming bowl of grits covered with butter. Serve that up with a thick slab of country ham, fresh eggs right out of the hen house, hot-buttered toast (with grape jelly or homemade apple butter) and coffee and one would think they have died and gone to heaven.

But, like I wrote a few weeks back, there are some things we just won’t tolerate. Mindful of that, we will insist that you follow the Rules of the South. They, in part, are as follows:

1. Pull your droopy pants up, you look like an idiot.

2. Turn your cap the right way with the bill towards the front; your head isn’t crooked.

3. Let’s get one thing perfectly clear; down here it’s called a “dirt road.” We drive our pick-em-up trucks on dirt roads because we dang well want to. And we’ll drive them fast on a dirt road as well.

But no matter how fast or slow you drive, you’re going to get dust on your Lexus if you drive down a dirt road. Drive it or get out of the way.

4. We have hog farms in the South. Hogs are not the cleanest creatures in the world, but that odor you complain about smells like money (or a pig-pickin’) to us. If you don’t like hog farms, then don’t build your house close to one.

5. So you drive a $60,000 car. We’re impressed. We have quarter-million dollar cotton pickers down here that we drive only three weeks out of the year.

6. Yes, every person in the South waves. It’s called being friendly. Try to understand the concept.

7. If your cell phone rings while a bunch of doves are coming in, we WILL

shoot the dag-gum thing out of your hand. You better hope you don’t have it up to your ear at the time. If it rings in church, it better be Jesus calling. 

8. Yeah, we eat rockfish muddle, catfish and crawfish. If you really want sushi, about the only place you’ll find it is at the bait shop down by the river.

9. The “Opener” refers to the first day of deer season. It’s a holiday held annually around mid-October (Oct. 13 to be exact for this year). We run dogs and we shoot deer. We don’t want to hear your “Bambi” stories. Her daddy’s head is mounted in someone’s living room and her mama’s tenderloins were real tasty barbecued on the grill.

10. We open doors for women. That is applied to all women, regardless of age or race.

11. There’s no such thing as a “vegetarian special” on the menu of a true Southern restaurant. Either order the country-fried steak with onions and gravy or purchase a Chef’s Salad and pick off the two pounds of ham and turkey.

12. Speaking of food, when we fill out a table there are three main dishes: meats, vegetables and breads. We use three spices: salt, pepper and ketchup.

13. If you bring “coke” into my house, it better be brown, wet and served over

ice. If you bring “Mary Jane” into my house she better be cute, know how to

shoot, drive a truck and have long hair.

14. College and high school football is as important here as the Lakers and

the Knicks and a dang site more fun to watch.

15. We have golf courses, but don’t hit the water hazards — it spooks the fish. 

16. Colleges? We have them all over. We have State Universities, Universities and vocational/technical colleges. Our students leave those places with an education plus a love for God and country and they still wave at everybody when they come home for the holidays.

17. We have more folks in the Navy, Marines, Army, Coast Guard and Air

Force. So don’t mess with us. If you do, you will get whipped by the best.

18. And, finally, turn down that blasted car stereo! That thumpity-thump crap ain’t music.

We don’t want to hear it anymore than we want to see your boxers or your cap turned sideways.