Southern Visitation Rules

If you are going to live, or visit in the south, you need to know the rules. In an effort to help outsiders understand the rural Southerner's mind, the following list will be handed to each person as they enter a Southern state.

1. That slope-shouldered farm boy did more work before breakfast than you do all week at the gym.

2. It's called a "gravel road." No matter how slow you drive, you're going to get dust on your Navigator. Drive it or get it out of the way.

3. The red dirt - it's called clay. Red clay. If you like the color, don't wash your car for a couple weeks it'll be permanent. The big lumps of it, they're called "clods."

4. We all started hunting and fishing when we were seven years old. Yeah, we saw Bambi. We got over it.

5. Any references to "corn fed" when talking about our women will get you whipped - by our women.

6. Go ahead and bring your $600 Orvis Fly Rod. Don't cry to us if a flathead breaks it off at the handle. We have a name for those little 13-inch trout you fish for - "bait."

7. Pull your pants up. You look like an idiot.

8. Men, if you want to wear earrings, pierce your nose and whatever, and wear your hair long, go right ahead; but if we call you "ma'am," don't be offended.

9. If that cell phone rings while a bunch of mallards are making their final approach, we will shoot it. You might want to ensure it's not up to your ear at the time.

10. That's right, whiskey is only two bucks. We can buy a fifth for what you paid in the airport for one drink.

11. No, there's no "Vegetarian Special" on the menu. Order steak. Order it rare. Or, you can order the Chef's Salad and pick off the two pounds of ham and turkey.

12. Tea - yeah, we have tea. It comes in a glass over ice and is sweet. You want it hot - sit it in the sun. You want it unsweetened - add a lot of water.

13. You bring Coke into my house, it better be brown, wet, and served over ice.

14. So you have a sixty-thousand dollar car. We're real impressed. We have quarter of a million dollar combine that we only use two weeks a year.

15. Let's get this straight. We have one stoplight in town. We stop when it's red. We may even stop when it's yellow.

16. Our women hunt, fish, and drive trucks, because they want to. So, you're a feminist. Isn't that cute.

17. We eat dinner together with our families, we pray before we eat (yeah, even breakfast), we go to church on Wednesdays and Sundays, we go to high school football games on Friday nights, we still address our seniors with "yes, sir" and "yes, ma'am," and we sometimes still take Sunday drives around town to see friends and neighbors.

18. We don't do "hurry up" well.

19. Greens - yeah, we have greens, but you don't putt on them. You boil them with either salty fatback or a ham hock.

20. Yeah, we eat catfish, bass, bream, and carp, too. You really want sushi and caviar? It's available at the bait shop.

21. They are pigs. That's what they smell like. Get over it. Don't like it?  Interstates 65 and 75 go two ways - Interstates 10, 20 and 40 go the other two. Pick one.

22. Grits are corn. You put butter, salt, and maybe some pepper on them. You want to put milk and sugar on them, then you want cream of wheat - go to Kansas. That would be I-40 West.

23. The "Opener" refers to the first day of deer season or dove season. Both are holidays. You can get pancakes, cane syrup, and sausage before daylight at the church on either day.

24. So every person in every pickup waves? Yeah, it's called being friendly. Understand the concept?

25. Yeah, we have golf courses. Don't hit in the water hazards. It spooks the fish and bothers the gators - and if you hit it in the rough, we have these things called Diamondbacks, and they're not baseball players.

26. That Highway Patrol Officer that just pulled you over for driving like an idiot - his name is "Sir," no matter how young he is.

27. We have lots of pine trees. They have sap. It drips from them. You park your Navigator under them, and they'll leave a logo on your hood.

28. You burn an American flag in our state, you get beat up. No questions. The liberal contingent of our measure want to stop this. There is now a $10 fine for beating up the flag burner.

Now, enjoy your visit... I emphasize - "visit."