Most of you who’ve ever read my writings know that I’m a son of the South. A proud son of the South. I enjoy living here, I enjoy writing here, I enjoy raising a little hell every now and then here, and much much more. I personally think that the South has the best deal goin’ when it comes to climate, quality of life, business opportunities, and even college football teams. Down here, you can find a Dairy Queen Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard usually within a ten mile radius of wherever you are, and it’s really no different with chili dogs or barbeque, either. We have neat drawls that most people really enjoy listening to, and we also created the “up tempo” gospel blues that ended up becoming rock ‘n’ roll music. All in all, the South is truly the Elvis of the United States, and that pretty well sums it up for me.
Now, comes the hard part. The gut check kinda part. Given all that I just said, given all that I truly feel, feel really down deep inside, there’s one thing about living here in the South that really sucks. That really blows, in fact, blows more than a blue whale frothing up its personal chunk of the Pacific Ocean somewhere. What really blows about living down here is those rare moments, like right now, when we get a little snow or freezing rain.
There’s absolutely nothing like it. An inch of snow or sleet, hell, a half inch of snow or sleet, and we damn well shut down the place here. I mean it. People don’t go to work, people don’t go to school, and people don’t drive their cars much at all. Well, I take that last one back, it’d be more accurate to say that most people here have the sense not to drive their cars. Those that do are very easy to spot, you can pick out a lot of them from either the ditches their cars are deposited in or the tree trunks that their cars happen to be wrapped around.
That’s not the worst of it, though. Here, for some reason, just the mention of the word “snow” or “sleet” from the weatherperson’s mouth triggers the biggest “what in the hell” moment of them all, and that’s the mad exodus that everyone here makes to their local supermarkets in order to load up on needed supplies. Within a few hours of the upcoming snow/sleet forecast there will be no milk, flour, eggs, or any other well-known staple items available. We will absolutely clean them out of the stores, it’s like watching waves of human locusts as they feverishly attack the shelves. Even if the weatherperson forecasts just a day or even a few hours of lousy weather, we will stock up our shelves and pantries like a six month siege of the worst possible weather is about to set in. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out that in past years some of the major supermarket chains actually paid off some of these local weather forecasters so that they’d predict icy weather, as it’s windfall time for them every time a few flakes of snow hits the ground. It’s kinda like we feel that the snow or ice is going to deprive us of our right to shop, so we proceed to lay in a supply of food that should sustain us until Prince Harry wears Depends. Or until Britney Spears earns her PhD. You take your pick.
There, I feel a bit better now, kinda like a drug addict must feel when they finally admit their addiction out loud to someone. The South truly isn’t perfect, this weather snow and ice thing is one of our major Achilles heels, I’ve said it. I freely admit that I’m in awe of my Northern-based brethren who drive about so effortlessly in the snow, sleet, and slush, and I love how they talk about a zero degree night as if it were of no consequence at all. I love their stories of forty below nights and using heaters that warm up the blocks of cars in order to get them cranked up on such cold mornings. Finally, I love their independence, can do spirit, and willingness to take on such challenging conditions.
But – as for me, a true genetic son of the South, please give me my golf in January, my central air conditioning, and my Krystal hamburgers. Also give me edible panties that melt, bug zappers, and guys who still hold doors open for ladies. Most of all, give me maypops, doodle bugs, and RC Colas. I have tons of northern friends, but I’m stayin’ put right where I am, thank you!