[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f you don’t know Greensboro, it’s a town of about thirty people, a steeple, a few chickens, a barbecue trailer, and one cat named Wampkus.
Wampkus had a special way of looking at me, like he wanted to kill me.
Jamie and I stayed at a nearby bed and breakfast, because my wife believes hotels are oversized litter-boxes with poop on the sheets. The couple next door to us was from New Jersey.
At breakfast, we couples could hardly understand each other. Every time my wife said something with her thick Alabamian accent, they exchanged confused glances. And since I happen to speak fluent hand gestures, I agreed to serve as translator. But whenever I attempted translation, my wife swatted me and said, “You’re mumbling again, dammit.”
And so, I’d look at Wampkus, whose expression never changed.
We learned the New Jerseyans were miserable up north. They hated gray skies, cold winters, and crowded suburbs. And even though they didn’t say as much, I suspected their Yankee food was objectionable, too. Nothing but stews, raw veggies, and stale pretzels.
The couple’s kids are grown, they’re lonely, and looking for Southern real estate. “We want a fresh start,” said Mister New Jersey. “Where the people’re friendly, where we can get assloads of sunshine.”
Assloads? Where was this man’s mama?
After our meal, Mister New Jersey shook my hand and said, “Howwzit you guys say goodbye down South?”
“See ya’ll later?” I offered.
“Nah, I thought it was, ‘yawl come back now, you hear?’”
Jamie scoffed. “Jeezus, no. We don’t say that stupid Hollywood stuff.”
My wife will not tolerate the notion that all Southerners speak like Forrest Gump’s grandmama chawing a wad of peanut butter.
And so, we bid the New Jerseyans farewell. We all got into our cars to leave. I waved goodbye to hateful little Wampkus. He licked himself.
Jamie cupped her hands over her mouth, and without thinking, she hollered, “Y’all drive safe now, you hear?”
Even Wampkus smiled at that.