Saturday, August 17, 2013

Honey Boo Boo, Duck Dynasty, and the CEE Ment Pond

I live in the South. I love it here despite the fact some of the population comes across as dimwitted ignoramuses, a favorite word of my late great mother-in-law, Evelyn Hatcher Brooks Causby born and raised in lower Alabama. I don't watch Honey Boo Boo, but, in truth, I don't much care if people do or not. It's entertainment....just not entertaining to me. That doesn't mean that anyone who watches...shouldn't. I just can't imagine why someone would think that a little girl whose behavior is questionable and her mama's behavior is...well, just not worth watching. I think people like to see people acting dysfunctional so that they can justify their behavior...which is better than Honey Boo Boo's mama....oh, and daddy. Truthfully, I know they love their little girl, and let's face it, they are making money acting a fool (as we say in the South).

Then, there is Duck Dynasty. This is about a family that has made gazillions off duck hunting and such paraphernalia. I have to admit that I've watched this and have laughed myself silly. The thing is, this is a savvy family of intelligent, some college educated people who know how to work the public. They have perfect comedic timing, know when to have a stoney expression, and generally look like they're having fun in the process. I'm sure this show is adding to their coffers, and as long as Uncle Si does his thing, people will watch. I don't watch it all the time because I just can't take such a steady dose of unkempt looking men and some of the family religiosity, but it's okay to laugh at these people every so often.

I have always had a real problem with TV and movies that depict southerners in a negative or unintelligent light. Truth be told, many people believe that everyone, and I do mean everyone, who lives in the South is like Honey Boo Boo's mama and daddy. I remember when The Beverly Hillbillies hit the air waves. All the Clampetts on that show was depicted as unintelligent, uniformed people who didn't even know what a swimming pool was. It was called a cee ment pond. As a teen-ager, I couldn't stand the show. Strangely enough, my daddy, who was born in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains, loved it. It was his favorite show. I just couldn't understand this. It made folks from the mountains appear to be backward doofusses and my daddy was neither backward or a doofus. But the Pa Clampett and granny did give out some sage advice sometimes.

It's kind of like how some folks believe that all Native Americans, as shown in old westerns, smoke peace pipes, live in teepees, hunt wild game on horseback, kill people traveling in covered wagons (?) and greet everyone with their right palm up while saying, "How." People tend to like to classify other people who are unlike them and don't live in their area.

When I was visiting out West one time, our family stopped at a Denny's to eat breakfast as we made our way to Vancouver, Canada. Now, I love grits. I always have; however, grits is not part of the Northwestern diet, so imagine my delight when I saw that grits was on the menu. I immediately ordered them along with my eggs and toast. Eagerly scooping my spoon into the bowl, I knew almost instantly that what I was about to put in my mouth wasn't grits. Sure enough, it was cream of wheat. Now, I like cream of wheat...with butter and sugar, a little cream, maybe some cinnamon. BUT, grits is made from corn and corn only. A purist puts butter and salt on it, maybe a little pepper. Silly restaurant. It tried to pull a number on me, but it didn't. So if you're a southerner traveling west of the Mississippi River, watch out for restaurants trying to foist cream of wheat on unknowing customers who have ordered grits. And by the way, grits is singular.

I have traveled all over this country first because I was the daughter of an Air Force officer and later as a person married to a person who likes to take road trips.Truth be told, other than accents, I have found that most people are pretty much a like. They are friendly (mostly) and most love where they live. So, we folks from the South might talk a little slower and move through life a little more laid back, but we are not ignoramuses, and not all our children are like Honey Boo Boo. Some like to swim in a cee ment pond and say "Yee doggies!"


Jim said...
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Jim said...

A fun read and oh so true. When I first moved to S FL I couldn't figure out why I was getting such strange looks till I figured out it was my accent -- it was the first time all those Yankees from New Jersey had ever heard a genuine Southern accent!

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I was born in Bronx, NY and lived there the first 16 years of my life. OK,OK, I know you are picturing someone brassy, who murders the English language, and chews gum with her mouth opened. Not so, m'dear. I went to a school that made us take a speech class where we repeated "How now, brown cow" over and over again and if that didn't work, the nuns would beat the accent out of us. Also, if we were caught chewing gum, they made us put it on our nose and walk around like that till we went home. I only suck ladylike mints now.

I really don't think I talk New Yorkese anymore, but every now and then, usually after a glass of fine wine, I just might say choucklate.

When I think of southerners, I think of friendly.

I liked TV when we only had 7 to 10 stations and the shows had scripts. Now we have hundreds and there is nothing to watch. It is dysfunctional TV.

Coleen Brooks said...

My mom was born on Staten Island, NY. I love New York City. One of my favorite places.