Footmen of Dixie

[dropcap]G[/dropcap]od bless the South, and God bless its waiters and waitresses. Noble footmen of Dixie. There, I said it.

When I worked in a restaurant, I once served a Detroit couple. They were picky. I waited on them hand and foot, doing everything except pedaling a unicycle while juggling Ginsu chainsaws. They tipped me thirty-five cents and a Tootsie Roll. The manager shook his head and said, “Cheap yankees,they never tip.”

He was right, God love them.

You know what else northern suburbanites seldom do? They don’t sit on porches. My buddy from New Jersey thinks porches are for cigarette smokers. “Jersey houses don’t even have front porches,” he said.

This unsettles me, because folks like my wife and me are always on porches, even when we happen to live in trailers.

And well, the South has a lot of those, too. You might’ve seen some before. We’re not ashamed of our mobile homes. We think they’re sassy displays of ambulatory engineering. Especially my aunt Jessie’s old single wide, with its flamingos, and beer-can wind chimes.

Some folks think only stupid people live in trailers. Well, that’s ridiculous. We’re not stupid, just slow. In fact, it took me ten minutes to write this sentence.

My old Literature professor — a miserable buzzard from Chicago — tongue lashed me for being slow arriving for class. He yelled at me before the entire student alumni, “Don’t you know what time class starts?”

“No sir,” I said bone-crushingly slow. “You must’ve gone over that before I was here.”

So, he gave me a D.

Now there was a man who despised the South.

Too bad for him, because the best thing about the Land of Cotton is our slowness. We love naps, porch-sitting, and barbecues. Big barbecues with pork butt, baked beans, potato salad, and our drunk aunt Jessie. If you’re a northerner, you should come join our fun, you’ll love it. We carry on famously. All we ask, is that you help with the dishes.

Don’t worry about leaving a tip— God forbid.

But would you mind giving Aunt Jessie a ride home?