Sunday, August 3, 2014
Delta Is Ready When You Are
"When the 1992 presidential primaries moved South, the media was full of references to "the Bubba vote." Yet, when the primaries were in the East, nobody referred to the "Loud-Talking Yankee vote." When they went to the Midwest, there was no mention of "the Frozen Fools vote." When it was time for the California primary, there was nothing said about "the Nut and Fruit vote."
Just the South. And I'm always a "Southern columnist," or "Southern humorist," or "that redneck from Atlanta."
Ever hear of Mike Royko being referred to as a "mid-western columnist"? Or Dave Barry, of The Miami Herald, a "Cuban columnist"?
If you're Southern, it's always going to be mentioned. "Why don't you people forget the Civil War?" I've heard so often from Northerners. Well, why don't y'all leave us the hell alone and stop thinking of the South as an odd appendage? How about stopping with the stereotyping already? The "Bubba vote," indeed.
I had a man write me a letter years ago . . . He had been called "Bubba" by family and friends for thirty-five years. He came from a small Georgia town and had gone to work with a large national firm in Atlanta. His boss . . . had been transplanted from New York [and said he] could no longer use the name "Bubba.' "He said it sounded too "Southern and ignorant."
[I] was incensed that the son of a bitch from New York City would say "too Southern and ignorant." What if the man had been named "Booker T."? would that have been too "black and ignorant"? What if he had been named "Dances with Fat girls"? "Too Indian and insensitive to persons of size?"
So I told the Bubba who wrote the letter to tell the jerk who wanted him to drop his name to kiss his ass and see if he could find a job with a firm that wasn't being run by a lot of Yankees who looked down on Southerners and had their heads in their asses (cranial rectitus).
Another wrote, "I was transferred to Atlanta from New York six years ago. Every time I return to Atlanta on an airplane, I expect the stewardesses to say, "Welcome to Atlanta. Set your watch back two decades." A woman wrote, "You Bubbas are all alike. All you can think about is football, beer swilling, and hillbilly music."
My response to the first writer was, "Oh yeah? Every time I fly into New York, I expect the stewardess to say, "Welcome to New York. Get off the plane at your own risk." To the other, I responded, "Read this: Delta is ready when you are."
"Too Southern and ignorant . . ." It makes my blood boil."
(I Havent Understood Anything Since 1962, And Other Nekkid Truths, Lewis Grizzard, Villard Books, 1992, pp. 146-147)