SparkNotes Blog

The Yankee’s Guide to Surviving the South

Yes, ColonelofGC messed with Texas. But put your sawed-off shotguns down, Southern Sparklers, it’s satire! –Sparkitors

The South is a wonderful place to visit—but only if you’re already living there. If you’re a Yankee traveling through God’s Country, then you’ll have a bit more trouble. If you want to get back to the North in one piece, here are the ten commandments for Southern survival.

1. Thou shalt not mimic the accent. If you come down South and try to fit in by saying something like “Howdy y’all! What’s for vittles tonight?” you’re going to get hurt. Badly. I mean, we may be stupid, but we can still tell you’re a Yankee trying to be a Dixie. Do us (and yourself) a favor and don’t try.

2. Thou shalt not steal a southerner’s significant other. Because dateable siblings are hard to come by.

3. Thou shalt not stop traffic to sit and stare at the coal train as it rumbles through town. Some of us have things to do, you know. This has happened to me more times than I can count. If you want to see the thing so bad, either pull over and watch it, or jump onto the tracks. Either way, you’re getting out of the road so I can get to school, you useless Yankee roadblock!

4. Thou shalt not ask anyone in Georgia about General Sherman. You’ll get beat with a cattle prod. Seriously. Wait, I dare you to do it. I really do. Film it, too, so I can prove my point. If a Yankee brings up the ever-sore spot of the Civil War, and the total destruction inflicted by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named—HOW DARE HE? They’re all on him like flies to horses. Yes, all of them, ’cause if you’re born in Georgia, you automatically have the sixth Sherman Sense. Even now, some guy is sitting with his wife in their living room in Georgia, calmly reading the paper, and…he’s suddenly thrown it down and is clutching his head!

“George, what’s wrong with you?!”

5. Thou shalt not make anyone mad. All it takes is one. You make one mad, they’ll all come after you. Kind of like wasps, but with sawed-off shotguns. And we’re talking about 50 siblings/cousins/half siblings apiece here. It’s like the Sherman thing, but remember, we’re all related. (See #2.)

6. Thou shalt not talk about gun control. Whatever you do, do not ask about gun control. Break into a house first, and then ask. I’m sure you’ll get a good answer; if you’re a smart Yankee (which is a given, because Dixies are the stupid ones, remember?), you’ll learn pretty quickly.

7. Thou shalt not trespass. For God’s sake, don’t trespass. When the sign says “Trespassers will be shot, survivors shot again,” it’s NOT a joke.

8. Thou shalt not use southern slang incorrectly. You’ll forever be known as “that one idiot.” If however, you use a southern phrase correctly, then you’re breaking rule #1. Just don’t talk at all, and we’ll leave you be.

9. Thou shalt not help yourself to our food without invitation. But hey, go ahead. But you’ll be three sips into a jug of sweet tea before you know what’s hit you.

10. Thou shalt not argue. Southerners are ALWAYS right. Remember, your survival in God’s Country depends on the understanding that you’re a Yankee, and therefore too backwards and stupid to survive on your own. Arguing with a Southerner is the same as you bursting into the middle of town shouting, “Go ahead and channel your uncivilized angry energy into your fists and connect them to my face and vital regions! I AM YANKEE.”

If we dared say half the stuff the Colonel says about Southerners, we’d already be on the business end of a shotgun. Think you could survive the South?

Related post: Snow in the South

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