Saturday, October 4, 2008

notes on my vacation down south

i went to the florida panhandle -- aka the redneck riviera -- for a vacation in late january of this year. some older relatives invited me down to check it out, especially because it would be the last time they would go there.

the weather was supposed to be at least warmer than indiana, but it was rainy, overcast and highs were in the 40s. because of the bad weather, i left a couple of days earlier than i had planned.

a cold spell must've been going through the south at that time. while i was driving through alabama, i heard this on the radio:

"arctic cold today. highs of 39 and wind chill of 33."

i'm thinking -- what the hell? you damn dixie sissies.

i think that's one reason why the south lost the civil war. johnny reb's in the field up north, freezing half to death, and he says -- "hell, it's too damn cold. i'm gonna quit fighting. let the negroes go free."


there's been some racial changes and progress in the south. i stayed in a couple of motels on the way there and back and the managers were black.

but the housekeeping staff wasn't black -- it was hispanic.


but this one black guy i met in a restaurant told me he didn't like me because i was from the north.

he said, "you're a honkie AND and yankee."

i said, "hey, cut me some slack, man. i had an ancestor fight for the union in the civil war to free the slaves."

he said, "that doesn't matter. i lived up north for a while before i moved back. down here, i know which white people hate me just because i'm black. up there, i don't."

he had a point.


i was driving through alabama on i-65 and noticed the predominance of red clay and pine trees.

i also saw a sign on one side of the road near an exit. it said:


on the other side of the road near the exit were two signs. one was for an adult book store, the other was for a strip club entitled the booby boutique.


i also saw a sign in alabama off i-65 that said:


i found that interesting.

if the sign meant the united states of america, well ... in the 1860s, alabama tried to leave the united states during a disagreement called the civil war.

and now it wants to stay.

another proof that just as every radical becomes a reactionary and every horndog and slut become puritans, rebels become part of the respectable establishment.

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