Wednesday, September 26, 2012

You Might Be Appalachian

It was a bad weekend. I sought comfort in soup beans.

If you know better than to correct me and ask, "Don't you mean bean soup?", you might be Appalachian.

Because I've seen way too many Jeff Foxworthy comedy specials and maybe, in a dark corner of my home library, have a book full of his redneck jokes, I've been compiling a list since I cooked those soup beans on Sunday night of how to tell if someone is Appalachian at heart. Many of us are one generation removed, and have moved into Yankee territory, but if you pay attention, you can still find us out.

You might be Appalachian if:

You didn't know your great aunt's real name until you saw it in an obituary because no one in your family pronounces names the way they're spelled. (My example: when my Mamaw died and her surviving sisters were listed in the obit, I asked my mom, "Sarah? Who's Sarah?" Turns out she was the woman I knew as "Surrey." Without a fringe on top. This also goes for my other great aunts "Berthie" and "Donie.")

 Your great-grandma was rumored to have been a half-blood Cherokee. (The amazing part here is that no one seems to make the connection that this would mean one of your great-grandma's parents was an actual full-blooded Native American, which is kind of a big deal if true, but no one seems to know or care which parent it was.)

You have ever been told you are descended from either a Hatfield or a McCoy, or Pocahontas, or all three.

You've ever given directions to your house and described your specific part of the county in a colorful term such as "up Stinking Creek" or "down in Scratch Ankle", and the person you're talking to needs no further instructions than that.

Your mailing address is a house number followed by  "_______________ Holler Road." And you can spot a Yankee a mile away if they say it as, "____________ Hollow Road."

Somewhere among your most treasured family recipes is your granddaddy's top-secret moonshine formula.

You have to drive an hour and a half to make a beer run in the closest "wet" county.

You've ever gone out to pick poke.

Your kin are buried in a cemetery up the side of a mountain only accessible in good weather with a 4-wheel-drive vehicle, but you haul yourself up there every year on "Decoration Day" just the same.

You've ever needed a translator despite the fact that you are technically speaking English. (Rule also applies to people representing us on reality TV shows who have to be subtitled.)

If I left any out, feel free to chime in in the comments. Keep it classy; after all, jokes about missing teeth and inbreeding are low-hanging fruit. Y'all.

No comments: