A Hellacious Belle’s Guide to the New South: Talkin’ the Talk

~My theme for this month’s Nano Poblano challenge is Motion~

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It’s the oddest thing.

For people who, as a rule, talk pretty slow and sometimes move even slower,  Southerners seem to pack a lot of action into their vernacular.

You see, I don’t just up and go to the store, I’m fixin’ to go to the store – by adding the helpful phrase “to fix,” I imply that I somehow prepare myself mentally, physically and spiritually to journey to Publix verses you Yanks just getting in your car and driving over.  Way more descriptive action = same result.

As Southerners, we may drawl our responses, but action bristles through our patois: dogs hunt, cousins kiss, possums are treed, biscuits are buttered. There are frequent calls to action: “Smile before your face freezes and you’re stuck like that forever,” “Do be a love and fetch my pocketbook,” “Eat that chicken! Folk are starvin’ clear around the world,” “Reach that there glass of wine and bring it to your momma.”

And then there are the idioms; truly enough literary motion to exhaust any listener:

“He’s so confused he don’t know whether to wind his butt or scratch his watch.”

“That room’s so small you couldn’t cuss a cat without getting hair in your teeth.”

“I’m feelin’ fine as frog’s hair, split three ways and sandpapered down the middle.”

“Run with the big dogs or stay on the porch.”

“Hon, you are barkin’ up the wrong tree.”

“He’s busier than a cat covering poop on a marble floor.”

“That skeeter’s so big he could stand flat-footed and screw a cow.”

A Southerner could be all relaxed and chillin’ on the porch swing, sipping some sweet tea or a coldbeer, but their conversation might as well be benchin’ a hundred in the gym.

“Afterwhile, we’ll mosey over.”

“Scamper off, littl’un.”

“Stop diddlepoopin’ around.”

“She is havin a hissy.”

“He was sweatin’ like a whore in church.”

While you surely  hear about all this activity, you actually very rarely see it.

Which is, I suppose, one of the things us folks down South do best, and that’s talkin’ the talk.

Just giving you some ponderin’ for your Monday.

I’m headin’ out now, seeing as I got more goin’ on than a one-eyed cat watchin’ two mouse holes, but you be sure and have yourself a nice day.

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A Hellacious Belle’s Pictorial Guide to the New South: F is for Frog’s Hair #AtoZChallenge

F

F is for Frog’s Hair

/frɒɡz hɛ-əh/

If you realize that you’ve never noticed hair on a frog before, that’s because it’s so very fine it can’t be seen.

 (ahem)

Down South, we use this as a common measure of an extreme level of “fineness.”

“How y’all?”

“Fine as Frog’s Hair!”

This can be further expounded (for things of an amazing and exemplary fineness):

“How y’all?”

“Fine as Frog’s Hair, split 3 ways!

(Now that’s pretty fine.)

My daddy, a very positive and cheerful guy, takes it one step further.

“Hey Jim, how y’all been?”

“I been fine as Frog’s Hair, split 3 ways and sandpapered down the middle!

“What do the old folks say,
She’s finer than frog hair split four ways” – Shooter Jennings, “The Deed and the Dollar.”

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A Hellacious Belle’s Guide to the New South: E is for Egg Salad Sandwich #AtoZChallenge

E

         E IS FOR EGG SALAD SANDWICH

/ĕg săl′əd samĭch/

 

An icon of Southern porch and picnic cuisine, the humble Egg Salad Sandwich gets a ton of press this time each year in its role as a snack stand staple of the Master’s Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia.

Along with its buddies, the Pimento Cheese Sandwich, the Master’s Club Sandwich and the Master’s Bar-B-Que, this (surprisingly) reasonably priced sammy has become a cult favorite with the golfing crowd and a legend of the Augusta culinary scene.

Since the Augusta National Golf Course refuses to release the exact recipe of the eggy tastiness lurking between two pieces of white bread and tidily wrapped in green cellophane, a slew of copy-cats have emerged; each claiming the key to making the perfect Egg Salad.

So if you’re bored, actually into golf or just want to see a really pretty golf course, put the Master’s on your watch list this weekend, pop into the kitchen and whip up some of these practically authentic treats (sand traps are optional.)

Oh, and brew up a jug of sweet tea.  Nothing washes down an egg salad sammich better.

Unless, of course, it’s a cold beer (/kōld’bir/  – said as one word, accent on the first syllable).  That works, even gooder n’ better.

KISSIN’ COUSIN TO THE MASTERS EGG SALAD SANDWICH

6 hard-boiled eggs, shells removed

1⁄3 cup or slightly more, to taste, of Duke’s Mayonnaise

3⁄4 teaspoon yellow mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Chop the eggs in a large bowl until just slightly chunky. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Serve on white bread.

“Oh man, Friday, I really wanted an egg salad sandwich and I was just obsessing about it and I was like, ‘Man, I’m gonna make one of those.”Andy Stitzer, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.”

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A Hellacious Belle’s Pictorial Guide to the New South: D is for Drawers #AtoZChallenge

D

D is for Drawers

/drôrz/ or /drôr-ahz/

Drawers may be where you store your unmentionables, but in the South, it’s the unmentionables themselves.

The use of the term “drawers” instead of “underwear” most likely originated in 16th century Europe, but eventually packed up its own drawers and journeyed to the Southern U.S. to settle comfortably into our everyday speech. It is said to derive from the act of putting on your underpants – you “draw” them up your body.

Sure, people in the South use the words “boxers,” “panties,” and “tighty whities,” but saying “drawers” is a lot more fun.

“Well, calm down and keep your drawers on.”

“Did you bring you a set of clean drawers?”

“I swear, she’s not got a lick o’ decency.  She’s got no drawers on a’tall under that dress.”

“Put your drawers on, and take your gun off.”– Blondie, “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.”

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A Hellacious Belle’s Pictorial Guide to the New South: C is for Crepe Murder #AtoZChallenge

C

C is for Crepe Murder

/crāp məd’ah/

Crepe Murder: the unspoken crime of the South.

Crepe Myrtle are beautiful flowering bushes and trees with lacy blooms that range in color, much like Azaleas, from snowy white to the deepest red.  They’re hardy, love warm weather and mild winters and tend to be very easy to grow, so they’re very commonly found in the Southern states – almost everyone I know has at least one Crepe Myrtle growing in their yard.

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Crepe Myrtles in Spring

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A wall of exquisite blossoms

Unlike Azaleas (which people tend to let run rogue), for some reason, it’s commonly believed that Crepe Myrtles must be pruned every year to insure full flowering.

And some people take to this with the twisted enthusiasm of a serial killer.

The result, ladies and gentlemen, is known as “Crepe Murder.”

Tragically, most horticulturists agree that it’s a purposeless crime. They say that pruning, especially severe, accomplishes nothing but wounding the plant. Crepe Myrtles will flower and grow just fine without any “helpful” human hacking.

 

 

“Maybe he murdered Myrtle; that would’ve done everyone a favor. . . .”
J.K. Rowling

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