24 June 2006

You might be a Yankee if...

  • You think barbecue is a verb meaning 'to cook outside'.
  • You think Heinz Ketchup is SPICY.
  • You don't know what a moon pie is.
  • You don't know anyone with two first names (i.e. Jo Bob, Billy Bob).
  • You've never, ever eaten Okra.
  • You eat fried chicken with a knife and fork.
  • You have no idea what a polecat is.
  • Instead of referring to two or more people as 'y'all', you call them 'you guys', even if both of them are women.
  • None of your fur coats are homemade.

I clipped the foregoing out of a New England newspaper many, many years ago (I post it here only because it is so yellowed with age I'm afraid I'm going to lose it in the move to the new house because it may disintegrate at any moment). I clipped it because I thought it was funny. I had been in The South once or twice and thought I knew why: I THOUGHT it was making fun of Southerners. Now I'm not so sure.

Take the barbecue one, for instance. I didn't know until I moved here three years ago what barbecue - Southern barbecue - actually is: fabulous! It's some kind of meat that's been smoked (usually it's pork, but I've had beef and turkey as well) and is eaten on a hamburger bun with some kind of fiery sauce, pickles and - if you're a little out there like me - mayo. Usually, you get it with sides, which might include beans (sort of like baked beans, but a bit spicier), potato salad, green beans, etc.

In other words, 'barbecue' in The South is a noun bearing no resemblence whatsoever to the Yankee definition of 'barbecue' (Southerners use the term 'grilling out' for that). So when I first read that clipping, I assumed it was meant as a slight to Southerners. Now I understand. What it really means is: Yankees don't get it.

I hold up my mother as a perfect example of the ketchup one. She probably does think it's spicy.

As for moon pies, well, Yankees do have 'em. But we call 'em 'whoopie pies'. Yes, really. 'Nuff said there.

I don't know about the rest of it. Yet. Guess I haven't lived here long enough, but I suspect one day I'll discover some inside knowledge about okra and homemade fur coats that will have me rolling on the floor at myself and what I thought I knew... Yep. It's all about perspective.


Leslie said...

What is a polecat?

Bethanie said...

Heh-heh... that's one of things I'm still not too sure about... Haven't had one pointed out yet and, frankly, I'm afraid to ask The Husband for clarification...

Sarah said...

A polecat is a skunk. :)

Sarah said...

I love okra. I grew it in my window when I was a kid. Fresh okra, pan fried with a little bit of butter is such a treat. Now that I'm lazy, I will eat an entire bag of frozen okra for dinner... Or as much of it as I am hungry for. I'll make you some, Bethanie.

Bethanie said...

A skunk?!?? Really?? Wow! Mystery solved! Thank you!

As for the okra - um, I'll pass. Watching The Husband eat it is enough to turn my stomach.... I think maybe you had to have been born here for that one...

Bethanie said...

Mystery back on the table: The Husband says a polecat is a possum. ???

What gives, people?