Advice for Northerners Visiting or Moving to the Southern States

If you are from the northern states and planning on visiting or moving to the South, there are a few things you should know that will help you adapt to the difference in lifestyles: If you run your car into a ditch, don't panic. Four men in a four-wheel- drive pickup truck with a 12-pack of beer and a tow chain will be along shortly. Don't try to help them, just stay out of their way. This is what they live for.

Don't be surprised to find movie rentals and bait in the same store. Do not buy food at this store.

Remember, "ya'll" is singular, "all ya'll" is plural, and "all ya'll's" is plural possessive.

Get used to hearing "You ain't from around here, are ya?

" You may hear a Southerner say "Ought!" to a dog or child. This is short for "Ya'll oughta not do that!" and is the equivalent of saying "No!"

Don't be worried at not understanding what people are saying. They can't understand you either.

The first Southern expression to creep into a transplanted Northerner's vocabulary is the adjective "big ol'," as in "big ol' truck" or "big ol' boy." Most Northerners begin their Southern-influenced dialect this way. All of them are in denial about it.

The proper pronunciation you learned in school is no longer proper.

Be advised that "He needed killin'" is a valid defense here.

If you hear a Southerner exclaim, "Hey, ya'll, watch this," stay out of the way. These are likely to be the last words he'll ever say.

If there is the prediction of the slightest chance of even the smallest accumulation of snow, your presence is required at the local grocery store. It doesn't matter whether you need anything or not. You just have to go there.

When you come up on a person driving 15 mph down the middle of the road, remember that most folks learn to drive on a John Deere, and that this is the proper speed and position for that vehicle.

Do not be surprised to find that 10 year olds own their own shotguns and are proficient marksmen. Or that their mammas taught them how to aim.

In the South, we have found that the best way to grow a lush, green lawn is to pour gravel on it and call it a driveway.

If you do settle in the South and bear children, don't think we will accept them as Southerners. After all, if the cat had kittens in the oven, we wouldn't call 'em biscuits.

And Here is Sm'ore Advice for Southbound Yankees

All good Southerners already know this, but in fairness to those Yankees (northerners visiting the South) or Damn Yankees (northerners who visit the South and stay) who may venture South, there are some things you need to know. Southerners who may have Yankees visiting this season, please pass this along.

Don't order a steak at a Waffle House. They serve breakfast 24 hours a day, so let them cook something they know.

Don't laugh at people's names. Merleen, Bodie, Luther Ray, Tammy Ann, Mari Beth, and Inez have all been known to whoop a man's butt for less than that.

Don't order a bottle of pop or a can of soda; this can lead to a merciless beating. Down South, it's called Coke, even if you want a Pepsi.

Don't show allegiances to any college football squad that isn't an SEC team. All the others are a bunch of candy a**es who get to play Utah every week.

Don't refer to Southerners as a bunch of hillbillies. Most of us are more literate than you (e.g., Welty, Williams, Faulkner), better educated, and generally much nicer to boot. We've got plenty of business sense (e.g.,Turner Broadcasting, MCI/WorldCom, MTV, and Netscape). Naturally, we can have lapses of judgment from time to time (e.g., Clinton, Fordice, Duke). We don't care if you think we're dumb; we know better!

We are fully aware that the humidity is high. Quit your griping, spend your money, and leave.

Don't order wheat toast at the Cracker Barrel. If you do this, everyone will know you're from Michigan. Eat the biscuits like God intended, and for God's sake, don't put sugar in your grits.

Don't attempt to fake a Southern accent. Nothing will incite a riot faster.

Don't go around talking about how much better it is back home. If you don't like it here, take your Yankee butt back home.

We don't play lacrosse, hockey or any of those other sissy northern games, so don't ask about the scores. We simply don't care.

We know how to speak proper English; we talk this way because we want to and we can. It's like playing jazz; you have to know how to do it right first.

Last, but by no means, least, DO NOT try to tell us how to bar-b-q. This could lead to permanent expulsion and revocation of your work visa. You're real lucky that we let you come down here in the first place, so don't push your luck!



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