Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's the SOUTH. We're not SUPPOSED to be prepared.

If I've heard it once I've heard it a hundred times. "*Scoff*, you Southerners shut everything down at the first snowflake."

It makes me shake my head. Why wouldn't that be the case, is my question. OF COURSE we don't know what to do!! Of course we shut it all down! This kind of winter storm happens once every decade or two. We had one in 1973, and one around 1986. I don't remember about the 90's, so if we had one it wasn't severe enough for me to recall it.

Noooo, we don't have the equipment to deal effectively with it.
Noooo, a great percentage of Southerns do not know how to drive in it.
Noooo, our school buses do not have extreme cold cranking capability and motor warmers and more importantly, bus drivers who are trained in driving a 39 foot yellow children hauler in ice an inch thick.

Know why? It's not our lifestyle. Know what? We adapt well when it does happen. Know what else? We don't make fun of folks who come down from New York and eat fried chicken with a fork and knife, and we don't make fun of folks who come down from New Jersey who screw their face up and say "GRITS! What the heck are GRITS?!", and we don't make fun of folks who come down from Manhattan and say "Man. I have to DRIVE everywhere down here," or "Car insurance is HOW MUCH?" or "OMG the bugs down here, ack!" or "Holy crap the humidity down here is unbelievable!" or "I never had allergies until I came here."

We patiently encourage you along, giving pointers on successful, joyful Southern living, knowing secretly that you just haven't figured out yet that you're in God's country. We figure sooner or later you'll go grab a bite instead of going for a nosh. We hope you'll stop shlepping stuff and start totin' it. We cross our fingers that you'll begin standing in line instead of on line. We just know you'll come to ask for a glass of water, not wooda. Call it a fire hydrant, not a johnny pump. A hose pipe, not a wooda spigot. And at the top of the list, we desperately, with all the good Southern graciousness, gentle tact, and kindness we can muster, hope you'll stop referring to your Northern home (which you left for a reason, remember?) as if the fact that they know how to handle the cold up there is something for which they should receive an award. It snows and ices up there every day for months for cryin' out loud. I hope to hell they know how to manage it.

But if you don't, its ok. We'll let you stay. We know you just didn't have the privilege of being raised here, and we are sympathetic. As long as you appreciate where you are, we're glad you're here. And if you don't, well, Delta flies both ways, baby.