If you’re going to go crazy, you should most definitely do it below the Mason-Dixon line.
For one thing, we value a certain amount of colorful lunacy in our relatives.
We’ve all got an Old Aunt Bidey with a “bit of the second sight.” Or an Old Uncle Beau, who still hides when the door bell rings because he thinks the “Revenuers” are after him.
It provides for much more interesting holiday dinners.
Plus, most Southerners tend to find a slight air of insanity attractive.
“Tall, dark and dangerous,” has fluttered many a belle’s heart and further terrified scores of Mamas (“and tell me, who are his people?”), maybe remembering an illicit tumble or two under a camellia bush in their own youth. The more mysterious, off-balance, irresponsible, flighty and unpredictable? All the more wildly desirable.
Maybe it goes back to Revolutionary and Civil War times when dashing pirates slipped through treacherous blockades at the stake of their very lives to smuggle in the bits of luxury needed to satisfy the sophisticated Southern palate: satins, silks, furs and cases of wine, whiskey and brandy.
And then again, maybe it’s just Nature’s way of weeding out the swampy end of the gene pool.
Famous last words of a Good Old Boy, “Hey y’all, watch this!”
Regardless, we love, admire and respect our nutty people in the south. (You may keep your own.)
They are part of the vibrancy and character of who we are. They are strong and richly colored threads in the tapestry of our tradition. They are our aunts and uncles. They are our brothers and sisters.
They are almost always our exes.
“I’m saying that this is the South. And we’re proud of our crazy people. We don’t hide them up in the attic. We bring ’em right down to the living room and show ’em off. See Phyllis, no one in the South ever asks if you have crazy people in your family. They just ask what side they’re on.” – Julia Sugarbaker, “Designing Women”