Hicks of One, Half-Cousin of the Other

Because I was born in West Virginia, I endure my share of inbreeding jokes recited in various hyuk-hyuk drawls and rhetorical inquiries regarding my favorite Hee-Haw character*. And although I moved to the west coast when I was only a year old, I must confess that I have been fully educated in the Toothless Arts Ways of the South.

I am used to words like “commode” and “britches” being used in casual speech. I know the difference between a skillet and a griddle. I understand non-words like “ribey” and I know what “pulling the door to” means. I’m used to people considering potato salad a vegetable dish and I can describe the various distinctions between cornbread and hushpuppies. My mom still has a southern accent, so I'm never too far from my southern roots.

Needless to say, I have developed some pretty solid opinions regarding the South.

NOTE: I’d like to remind folks that I am a humor writer and am not to be taken too seriously when I’m trying to be funny. Please don’t flame me with “OMG NOT ALL SOUTHERNS ARE REDNEX, ASSHOLE!!!!!!” okay? I know this already. My family is living proof of it. Now, that being said…

1. Grits taste like shit. Worse, in fact. I’d rather eat shit than grits. I don’t know a single person who likes them.
UPDATE: Well, I guess now I know lots of people who like them!

2. Larry the Cable Guy is not funny and donning a Git-R-Done baseball cap lowers the wearer’s IQ by forty points.**

3. There is no acceptable excuse for hanging up a confederate flag. It means you are either a racist or a Lynyrd Skynyrd fan and I find both to be quite unforgivable***.

4. Few things look less macho than line dancing.

5. The term “y’all” is simply not acceptable when referring to a single person and y’all need to stop doing it immediately.

Okay, to be fair, I guess I ought to list off a few things I love about the South. I used to visit West Virginia pretty much annually growing up and while I definitely wouldn’t agree with John Denver that it’s “Almost Heaven”, there are definitely some things about it I adore completely.
1. Fireflies.

2. Porch swings.

3. Hot dogs come with meat sauce, standard. You want a dog without sauce, you better order it that way!

4. Vietti Pork BBQ (which I don’t eat anymore) is really good on a bun with slaw.

5. The word “slaw.”

*Grandpa Jones, but only because I had no idea what to make of the odd feeling I got from looking at Misty Rowe.
**This is no reflection on the rest of the Blue Collar Comedy guys. I think Ron White is a comic genius.
***Okay, fine; Simple Man and Gimme Three Steps are alright songs. You happy now, hick?

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About kirkstarr

I draw pictures for a living.
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27 Responses to Hicks of One, Half-Cousin of the Other

  1. Austin1234 says:

    Misty Rowe, good heavens:)Great post, old boy, excellent!

  2. AmyH says:

    Toothless arts. LOL!
    My family uses a lot words not heard outside of the Michigan countryside. When I went to college, I was accused of using made-up words. We had a dooryard, and it is indeed a real word and property feature, thank you very much.

  3. spooktastic says:

    oh man, i LOVE grits. cheese grits with extra butter with two over easy eggs mixed up with their yolks in there. mmm mmm mmm! but i do agree that y'all is not to be used in the singular. and and and…! i hate it when people contract y'all like ya'll. okay it is not ya'll. it is a contraction of you all, therefore the apostrophe goes between the y and the a…. argh!!! thank you for letting me get that off my chest.

  4. Auds says:

    I get really annoyed with people who try to tell me the Confederate flag has nothing to do with racism. OK, maybe you have separate reasons for liking the flag, but IMO it's akin to smacking a swastika sticker on your car and saying it's just a symbol for when Germany stood up for it's own beliefs, but you in no way have anything against Jews.** Like, I understand your round about way of twisting a symbol to fit your identity…but no.
    **An extreme example/metaphor/whatever.

  5. Erin says:

    My family being from good ole' West Virginia and Tennessee, I can relate. Now, I live in southern Ohio, so I smack dab in the middle of a dense Appalachian community that moved here two or 3 generations ago to get away from the coal mines and settled. Hell, my dad's father did exactly that and worked at a rubber factory here until in went under, quite a few years before I was born.so, if yanta(contraction "of you want to") flap yer jaws at me 'bout some good fixin's, y'all go right on, I knows all 'bout that.that hurt my brain to type.

  6. I say "y'all" but the company I work for is in Alabama and I talk to these people often (I'm a fellow Seattle-ite, sorta). It is so hard not to pick up the accent. I feel like Madonna when she moved to London. I'm a fraud! But y'all rolls off the tongue like bacon sticks to my ass. I have to go down there in July for the first time. Thanks for the primer, I hope you post more lessons for me. 🙂

  7. bouche says:

    Fireflies: indigenous to CNY also, but — y'all have none there? I'll have to send you a jar… I'll poke holes in the lid!I also have a porch swing. And have had a hotdog with meat sauce. Gotcha on 'slaw' – how do you like it…? With or w/o pineapple?BTW. Starbucks is touting Orange Mochas here, are they there as well? Perhaps they can make you a triple quad venti blah-diddy-blah** – I honestly forgot the name of that drink. In such situations, I resort to freestyle improv.

  8. Lurkertype says:

    Larry the Cable Guy is not only not a cable guy, not named Larry, but also not even Suth'n. So he's laughing behind the yokels' back when they talk about how authentic he is.I never understood why people call it "cole slaw"… what the hell other kind of slaw is there?Line dancing, chorus line… what's the diff?

  9. Bookmole says:

    I had to read "Grits taste like shit" twice to realise it said Grits, not Girls.

  10. Rev Stan says:

    Thanks, I think I've learnt something about southern stereo types now although the Larry the Cable guy thing went straight over my head. I spent three months working on a summer camp in Florida when I was a student and actually quite liked grits

  11. Budd says:

    It might be that your eating your grits plain. butter'em up and put in some salt and pepper.
    In TN we call fireflies lightening bugs.
    Larry the cable guy is a retard and not funny at all, except in cars. "pissed in cup!"
    Are there people that don't know the difference between a griddle and a skillet and cornbread and hushpuppies? My mammaw used to fry hers up as ho cakes and we would eat them with white beans with some fat back in'em.

  12. J says:

    This just made me smile. I might have to make my own!
    What makes my friends up north laugh is when I say, "All Y'all" And I think we're all on the same page with Larry The Cable Guy. But let's not forget the rest of the crew with their, "You Might Be A Redneck" and "There's Your Sign!"
    Ps: I like jam on my cracklin' cornbread and I don't ever wash my skillet. xo

  13. Cat says:

    1. You gotta eat your grits with Butter, Salt, Pepper, Sauteed' onions, and Cheese. And throw some good runny sunny side up eggs and tabasco in for good measure and stir it real good. YUMMY. The best hangover food in the world.2. Larry the cable guy is an ass. I totally agree with you there…and as a TRUE southern(coonass)girl I find him offensive to even be the stereotype…UGH.3.Don't even get me started on the Confederate flag…it makes me sick. We've got a LOT of KKK people around where I live and I flip them the bird everytime I see them. 4. Don't do the line dancing thing….but the Electric Slide..is a must at weddings..LOL.5. I probably say y'all a thousand times a day..one time whenI went to Chicago for a business trip I said it in a bar one night and 4 people almost fell off their barstool. I have a DEEP southern/coonass accent so I am sure it sounded like I was speaking a foreign language to them.

  14. Kirk says:

    Austin: I know, huh?AmyH: You are correct.spooktastic: Ha! Now I do know someone who likes them. Do I have to go back and change the post now? :)Auds: Somehow I knew you of all people would feel me on the confederate flag thing. And I think your swastika analogy is apt.Erin: Let me ask you, does your Monkey Bread have nuts in it? I can't imagine such a thing, but maybe it's just West Virginians who don't make Monkey Bread as a dessert item?G-Bee: I hear lots of people here in Seattle say "y'all". It does roll off the tongue easily. Fear not; you're nowhere near reaching the levels of poserdom Madonna has attained.Bouche: Please don't. I really don't need a jar of dead fireflies. They're no good to me if they can't light up and buzz directly into the side of my head like little kamikazes. There is no pineapple in slaw, as far as I am concerned. And yeah, my local Starbucks barista informed me of the new orange syrup; I'm stoked.LT: What other kind, indeed! Well, I guess Bouche knows of another kind with pineapple in. Sounds blechy to me.Bookmole: No, no. Girls taste awesome.RevStan: OK, two people who like grits. But let me ask you this: do you also like blood pudding? Marmite? Because, well… ick. 🙂 Larry the Cable Guy is an American comedian who pretends to be from the South but does such a terrible job at it that to most people he's a mockery of himself. Plus the fact that he's just not funny. He tours with some other more talented comedians to whom he owes his entire career.Budd: Three people who like grits. Wow. Yeah, most people in Seattle think a griddle and a skillet are the same thing mainly because flapjacks aren't the staple food they are in WV.J: Washing your cast iron skillet is actually a sin, right? And, yeah, it's not very cutting-edge to pick on Larry the Cable Guy, is it? It's sort of like beating up the nose-picking kid who smells like pee. I sort of feel bad now.Cat: Four, count them, four grit-lovers. You people.Coonass? o_O Is that a Texas term? can I start calling GW Bush a coonass? I would like that very much.And see, that's how little I know about hick-dancing: I thought the Electric Slide was a line dance! *rubs temples*

  15. Cat says:

    Coonass means I am from Louisiana…SOUTH Lousisiana..CAYJON' LOL… I am only transplanted to Texas…and as soon as my husband gets sick of being a Texan I am dragging his ass back to the swampland..

  16. SteveP says:

    I cast my lot with the grit lovers!Anyway, for me, the ultimate dog is one with chili (or meat sauce as you call it) AND slaw. They don't make 'em like that up North. Every time I get back to Virginia I buy a few cans of Castleberry's Hot Dog Chili (no beans) for the pantry. Can't get it where I live.And I agree that the misuse of y'all is just plain ignernt.One of the most interesting usages I remember from my days in Southwest Virginia was the use of "don't care to" as a positive affirmation. For example,"Would you like a piece of pie?""I wouldn't care to have one."Meaning: "Sure. I wouldn't mind having a piece of pie."

  17. Amanda says:

    Okay. So I'm the sixth (that's right, sixth) person you know who loves grits. With lots of cheese! The best breakfast in the world is grits with cheese, scrambled eggs, and sausage (patties, not links) all mixed in – with a dash of cayenne pepper.
    I hate that I can't get a good hotdog anywhere in Denver. The hot dog guys who supposedly sell the best hot dogs ever don't even have chili! What kind of hotdog is a hotdog without chili? My friends laugh at me when I tell them it's not a hotdog if it doesn't have chili. The best hotdog ever? Mustard, chili, slaw, and onions. Oh man…I can taste it now.
    I've been putting together "Mandi Kaye's Southern Dictionary" over at http://www.mandikaye.com and you've given me ideas for a few more entries. Thanks!
    I'm from NC (originally), and our monkey bread was definitely not a dessert – it had cheese and garlic in it!
    *sigh* I miss the South!

  18. GinBaby says:

    Huh. Well, I guess I fall to the 7th person you know who loves grits. I like them in all the aforementioned ways–with bacon and butter and runny eggs all over them–but, honestly, I love them most when you let them congeal (ooh, yummy, right?), then slice them up, saute them in a little butter and douse 'em in syrup.
    It might help if you stop thinking of them as "grits" and start thinking of them as "polenta." Same basic thing, but somehow if you call it "polenta" it's fancy. Pleh.
    I love the word "y'all" but have to agree that they need to stop using it when they're referring to only one person. The whole idea of having "y'all" is so that there is a distinction between second person singular and second person plural. I never heard anyone use it in the singular until I moved to Texas, though, so I blame Texas for this, along with so many other things.

  19. arbed says:

    haha, I had to read it THREE times before I saw "grits" instead of "girls"

  20. IG says:

    honey, add me to your growing list of grit-loving friends. i am a new convert — fanatical with a blog post to prove it. i say "y'all" every chance I get, and write it too — and I practice my Southern drawl all day long till my husband starts throwing things at my head to get me to stop. (i don't.) we just had a company luncheon today and were served two "vegetable dishes": potato salad and baked beans. LOL. gotta love the South.PS, imho if you think you don't like grits you just haven't been putting in enough cheese and garlic. remember, you want at least 1-1/2 rolls of garlic cheese in there. don't be shy.

  21. Rev Stan says:

    Yes us Brits. I assume they are different sorts of cooking recepticle.

  22. Rev Stan says:

    If you mean black pudding (congealed blood made into a sausage, sliced and fried) then yes and marmite yes (you either love it or hate it as the advertising says).

  23. Kirk says:

    Cat: You sound VERY proud. So proud, in fact, you should change your VOX username to "Coonass". :PSteveP: Yes, it's very important to designate that we are talking about a "Coney Dog" type hot dog, not a west coast style chili dog where the chili has beans in.Amanda: o_O Maybe it's just that no one has told them about chili dogs yet? I don't know… *shakes head*GinBaby: I blame Texas for lots of things. :Parbed: *waves* Thanks for dropping by! ^_^IG: Your link: I get the "You're Denied!" page… 😦 Probably knows I don't like grits… grit-lover solidarity is what it is! I am the the hominy-hating pariah! I am scorned for my views on corn!…or maybe you renamed the post? :PRev Stan: You are correct. A skillet is another word for "frying pan" and a griddle is a similar piece of cooking equipment, only with no sides.And regarding Marmite: my favorite author is Michael Moorcock (a Brit, as I'm sure you know). His wife is American and he once told this wonderful story about how she pulled a jar of Marmite from the cupboard and, assuming it was similar to American spreads, just slathered a piece of bread with the stuff. As the story goes, she went to great lengths trying to get that taste from her mouth.(For those not familiar with Marmite, it has a very strong flavor and is used rather sparingly. A little goes a long way, as they say.)

  24. Budd says:

    islandgirl you linked to a post about grits that isn't public.

  25. IG says:

    my apologies for the oversight, mr. starr. post should be available now. i think i'd hidden it for fear of offending my MIL, who prepared the rest of the (slighted) dishes at that famous feast.

  26. Red Pen says:

    Porch swings rock. 😉

  27. Scio, Scio says:

    I'm from the real Virginia. Your poor home state was naught but
    occupied territory, sir. Course, so's Northern Virginia.
    Damnyankees are down to Richmond.

    1. I like grits, with butter and salt. Also, butterbeans with fatback. Delicious fatback.
    2. Not impressed with Larry, he's a bit trashy.
    3. Freebird!
    4. 100% with you.
    5. Yup.

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