"No one likes a copycat..."

I had a friend who almost drove me to the brink of insanity. He did everything the same way I did it. The same damn way. He even combed his hair like me. But to be fair, I've decided not to tell you his name, or else he might get pathetically embarrassed. And we wouldn't want that.

Anyway, one day the friend I was just referring to, Andrew Milligan Kerley, said to me, “Hey, are you going to the roller derby costume party?”

Going? There was no question about it. In fact, I'd spent five years perfecting my outfit for it — which was top secret. I was going as the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz.  And the reason I'd chosen such a costume was because Molly Baker was famously going as Dorothy.

And I loved Molly Baker.

“You bet your donkey I'm going,” I told Andrew.

“You bet your donkey I'm going, too,” copied Andrew.

I placed my hand on his shoulder. “Don't copy me, Andrew, it's rude.”

He placed his hand on my shoulder. “Sorry.”

I sighed and shook my head.

So did he.

The night of the skating party, kids dressed

up to beat the band. There were costumes of all shapes and sizes. Robots, sailors, princesses, cowboys, and soldiers.

And then I saw her. Molly Baker. She stood in the corner, looking as cute as a stick of butter, the spitting-image of Dorothy.

But before I could even lace up my skates, something shot past me. Andrew Milligan Kerley, pathetically dressed as the Scarecrow. He rolled right up to Molly and made a grand bow.

Later that night, I sat outside on the curb, mumbling obscenities to myself. Words that would've landed a boy in prison. That's when Andrew's daddy pulled up in a rust-covered Pontiac.

He hopped out, stumbling like a fool. He took one look at me and giggled. “Hey, boy," he said. "Your momma sent me here to pick you up, you little brat.”

Then, he fell limp against his truck and lit…

Children used to be taught that “chair” had one syllable. Well, anyone from the Yellowhammer state knows better. It has two. So do words like: floor, fire, and bed.

I saw it on the news; they've started teaching Southern English in grade schools. It's only fair. Because ever since the Army wore knickerbockers, kids have learned Yankee-Doodle English.

Children used to be taught that “chair” had one syllable. Well, anyone from the Yellowhammer state knows better. It has two. So do words like: floor, fire, and bed.

Let's talk about cussing. Northerners don't cuss right, they use the the F-word like an assault rifle. But when a Southerner swears, it sounds a lot like Andy Griffith reading the Psalms.

How about the S-word? Southerners finesse it. "Shee-yet." When Yankees use it, they sound like Hitler giving a wedding toast.

Furthermore, the S-word doesn't mean the same thing down in Dixie. Here, it means something akin to, "We missed you at the men's fellowship last night.”

There are also words in the deep South, commonly slurred so fast you might miss them. Words like, "fittna." Example: “I'm fittna go home in a few minutes.”

The word: "ah-ite." Example: “Sister So-And-So has been sick as a

dawg. Gaw, I hope she's feeling ah-ite.”

Or: "mo-kana." As in: "My pants aren't white, but mo-kana grayish."

And the onomatopoeic: “Pssshht.” Which means: “You are dead to me.”

Then there are words whose Southern definitions are unclear. Words like, "yonder." In Georgia, for instance, yonder means: wherever the hell I point.

And: "just the other day," which refers to any date occurring after the birth of Christ.

Also, I'm tired of jokes with the cute catchphrase, “bless your heart.” Contrary to popular belief, that's not a backhanded insult. God no. A real Southern jab goes something like: “Isn't she just precious?” Or: "Oh, I love your haircut, it really slims your face." Or the worst Cotton State insult of all time: "That poor girl, we pray for her in Bible study every week."

Which is downright god-awful.

And you better hope to hell it ain't…