Friday, 28 November 2008

The Top Ten Positives of Alabama

This is the second of my series....where I'm making some folks happy with positive comments...rather than negative comments. Being a Bama-ite....I have the expertise to be kind and positive over the state.

1. If you said "I have a problem and I need your help"....then about fifty people would come out of the woodwork there in Bama....and offer up labor, chainsaws, rifles or a prayer. Doesn't matter if this is a hurricane on the coast or a 4-star tornado in the area....these people won't let anything dampen their enthusiasm over helping a fella out. The amusing thing....is that they will overlook your politics, your religion, your favorite NCAA football team, and your problems....to help you out in this moment of need.

2. They barely have a hundred miles of real coastline...but it competes easily with Florida and South Carolina in terms of beautiful beaches. When you run down to Fort Morgan....its like a five-star moment to stand around there near the beach.

3. Folks aren't in much of a rush....ever. If something doesn't get done today....it'll get done tomorrow, but it will be done in the end. If you told some Bama dude there was a damn rush on something....he'd just look at you....like you were the most foolish person on the face of the earth.

4. Catfish will be cooked to such a level.....that it'll make you weep. The coleslaw and hush puppies....will be a entire second course to the meal. If they happen to invite you over for a fish fry....don't expect nothing less than a five-star meal. Bama-ites know how fry fish.

5. Folks in Bama are of a forgiving nature. There are a few exceptions (like shooting your neighbor's dog or burning your mother-in-law's car while in a drunk rage)....but typically....after a day of simmering....Bama folks will just say that you were freaked out for a while or maybe a bit under the weather....and then just tell you that things are ok. I wouldn't push my luck....but if you do screw up a bit....don't worry like its the end of the world in Bama.

6. Conversations on a patio or porch...tend to center around simple topics....NCAA football, transmission problems, county fairs, drunk neighbors, revivals, Baptist ministers being fired, recipes for apple pie, septic tank repair, the latest from Fox News, and the weather. There won't be any chit-chat on economics, Venezuela, Jihad, Nancy Pelosi, or the David Letterman show. Folks don't argue much on porches or patios....although in the heat of an election season....they might actually admit that they are a closet-Republican accidentally....and then you offer up a shot or two of whiskey and admit you are a closet-Republican as well.

7. The Mississippi Delta of Flea Markets. No matter where you go in Bama....there is a flea market. On any given day of the week....except Sundays....there is a flea market within thirty miles of your house. The Elvis lamps, the old 8-track tapes, the horseshoes, and the 1977 Chevy transmission....are all on sale. You could spend fifty hours a week....traveling from flea market to flea market....and never see the end of the whole affair.

8. Lives in Bama tend to be lived like soap operas. Forget the afternoon soap operas and just sit and observe the local events and affairs of folks. Whatever you think of Hollywood....is repeated in Alabama...just at a more leisurely pace...and probably not mentioned in the local paper. If you need hints on whats happening....go chat with the local folks....and they'll gladly tell you the latest in gossip.

9. Nobody in Bama is an expert on anything....but then they all have a bit of knowledge that gets them to second base. If you gotta do a brake job....you call your cousin who comes over and with a six-pack....briefs you through the whole job yourself. If your water pump to the well is broke....then a neighbor comes over and gives you the twenty bits of information you need....to do the job yourself. All around Bama....there are fifty thousand Einstein's....just sitting in the garage or on the porch...waiting for their moment to do a brain dump to some fella. Need sixty-six recipes for pumpkin pie? Grandma has the entire listing and will personally write them for you over an entire weekend.

10. If aliens landed in Bama....they'd find a welcome sign. Most folks would readily invite any stranger up on the porch for a ice-tea....and sort out whatever problems or needs this person has. If you were of another planet....there might be a pause but then folks would get all warm and comfortable....and offer up some fried fish that night if you were staying that long. Bama folks accept strangers readily....even Yankees. There might be a pause....but its an anticipated pause....then things start to click. The limitation I see on welcome signs is Saturday afternoons in the fall....when Bama or Auburn football is on TV...and then its best not to invite yourself over.

So there....I've given you folks ten positives of the state. Maybe between this blog and the previous blog....with the negatives....things kinda balance out and I didn't make too many of weep over some criticism. Otherwise....have a fine Bama day.