For my readers who read my last post I referred to a southern expression that I used quite a lot until recently that is until I found out that the expression I was so fond of using was a southern replacement for an expression that the rest of the nation uses that is in fact, a curse expression. This is an expression that I have not now nor ever have used when speaking Yankee. This new found knowledge forces me to never use the southern expression…………….sigh. Just because I won’t use this expression doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty folks here who do. That being said there are some expressions and are some actions that are taboo and MUST NEVER BE SAID OR DONE in my world.
Just in case any of my readers ever have their cars break down or become lost on their way to Florida and they find themselves in my world, it would be a good idea to know a few of the things that are not done here.
In my world, a normal greeting to one or two people is “Hey or hey y’all” when referring to one or two people. We will say “Hey all y’all” when we are referring to three or more people. Sometimes we will shorten our expression to a simple “hey.” What no one says in my world or the fields around my world is “Hey guys,” an expression used commonly in the north. Shoot not only is this expression not used here it’s not even understood. We ma’am ladies and girls in my world so to say, “Hey guys” to a group of girls or ladies immediately causes feathers to ruffle. I know that this is true because ten years ago my wife was substituting at a high school in my world. She was trying to get her students’ attention in a very noisy class. They were ignoring her as most students do to substitute teachers everywhere. To get their attention she called out, “Guys, hey guys may I have your attention please” or something like that. This was not a good thing to call out to teenagers who had never heard a Yankee accent before and then for the whole class to be called guys threw the class into an uproar. Having a substitute teacher is enough of a reason to turn a classroom into a chaotic mess but then to throw “the term guys” into the mess is like throwing a lit match into a pile of pine needles…………..brrr I happened to be walking by the classroom when all this was going on. It sounded like an explosion. I should have looked in to help her, but I was smart enough to walk on by though my wife wasn’t too happy about my lack of support for her when she later learned that I walked by her class during the worst of it. Even ten years later she is still upset with me. There are just some things you must do in the interest of self-preservation. In my world, it is better to yell “fire” in a crowded theater (if we had a crowded theater or any theater for that matter) than to yell “hey guys.”
If you are a Yankee and find yourself wandering around my world do not acknowledge that you are one or at the very least try hard not to sound like a Yankee. Keep in mind that there are enough people here who do nor know that the Civil War (or as they say here, “the illegal uprising from the north”) is over and hunting seasons overlap. I was able to sidestep this challenge by saying whenever I was asked, I had not always lived in California that before living there I lived in Washington State. They are curious here in my world but not too curious. Thank goodness for that because in the ten years that I have lived in my world I have never had to tell anyone that I was born in New York State. No, I lied once I told a therapist where I was born, as soon as I shared this confidential information with her she threw me out yelling, “I ain’t helping no Yankee feel better. Yankees are all sick in the head.” I thought that her comments were a little rough and for some reason I resented her tone.
In my world, it is never a good idea to to say out loud no matter how quietly, the word “Change.” No people in the entire United States are as allergic to change as the people in my world are. Spelling and arithmetic (math for those readers younger than 50) are not our peoples’ strong suits here so unlike the expression I began this post talking about change is thought to be a four letter word and should NEVER and I mean NEVER be brought up. People would rather see things, businesses, parks, and more die than change. Sadly they don’t see that dying is change. I witnessed this first hand when a lady named “Autumn” moved into my world and bought a small sandwich shop just down the road a spell. To everyone she met she said, “Hi my name is Autumn and I’m from California. There are so many things that need to be changed here and I am going to help make it happen.” This poor misguided lady and her store lasted for just fifteen months. Sadly the only change she made happen was when her sandwich shop was sold and it became a package store. My world is not a world that sits still for change. I suppose that’s why my world seems like a world that time has forgotten at least for the last fifty years or so.
To finish this post, I must share what not to do if you are a Yankee in my world There is something that you must never do for three reasons, 1. If you do this you won’t need to worry about telling folks that you are a Yankee they will already know 2. It won’t change the way we do things here no matter what you do. 3 The southern way is a lot more of a relaxed less stressful way of doing things than the way they do things up north.
NO ONE and I mean NO ONE should ever arrive on time for anything for any reason. In fact it would be a good idea if you were late for your own funeral, I myself plan to be several years late for mine. A good idea is to never arrive any earlier than thirty minutes after any appointment. I really enjoy this custom when I have to see my doctor or dentist. You Yankees don’t know how good it can feel when you arrive at your doctor’s or dentist’s appointment 30-45 minutes late and be escorted right in. I haven’t read a waiting room magazine in years. In fact, a few times my doctor has been reading his own magazines when I have stepped into his waiting room. One time I saw a doctor who had recently moved down here from up north. When I arrived he said, “You are late.” “Really what did I miss?” I replied. Apparently I didn’t miss much as he hardly had a thing to say as he examined me. He must have been having a bad day I guess. I didn’t go back to see him agin, I mean after all he is a Yankee. I ain’t having no Yankee doctor giving me a physical you never know where his hands have been.
I hope these warnings haven’t scared any Yankees from visiting my world but if you do don’t tell me where you are from I don’t wanna know.