I made a friend laugh yesterday. He called me on the phone and this is what it sounded like:
ME: Hello, this is John.
HIM: Hi, John. This is Steve.
ME: Steve S., well, my lord.
(laughter erupts on his end)
A coupla' months ago, I said well, shucks in a conversation and a young lady immediately started smiling at me and said did you hear that? to the other people in the conversation. It was as if I was a three year old who'd just done a calculus problem or recited the Gettysburg Address in Arabic.
I'm from the south. Notice, I didn't say I'm a product of the south because people from the south don't refer to themselves as products. People from the south are people who are from somewhere. And we know it. We're from Dallas or Baton Rouge or Memphis or Little Rock or Gum Springs or Dangerfield or Branson or Oxford.
People from the south also speak in a way that's different from here, out west. Much of the language I hear these days out here, out west, is a strange form of psychological thievery. Two examples for you. 1)Just yesterday, I heard a lady say this printer has issues and several weeks ago, a guy told me he was working through some issues. Issues. My lord, if I've heard one person out here use the word issues I've heard a hundred. Issues; a word that sounds a lot like products. People from the south don't have issues, they have lazy-ass husbands who've been laying on the couch for three months after getting laid off at the plant, or alcoholic mother-in-laws who keep butting into their ever-lovin' business, or white-trash-tramp homecoming queens who've stolen their little Jimmy's heart, or '72 El Caminos with cracks in the cylinder block. Issues. My lord.
2)And people out here, out west, keep talking about the need for closure on something. Yes, Donald just needs to get closure on that so we can move on as a company. Or, Well, Mary really needs to get closure on Joseph's death; he's been gone for three years now. Closure. A word that sounds a lot like issues and products. First of all, people from the south know that you can close the barn door when it's open or close your account down at the First National, but when it comes to the human heart? Good luck. Having big old open gaping holes in your heart is what keeps life interesting and makes for prize winning fiction from people who grew up in the south and then move out west. Keeping stuff open, as opposed to bringing something to closure, keeps you getting up every morning; it gives you something to look forward to and talk about down at the cafe or in the automotive section at the Wal-Mart. Living a life where closure is a premuim is about as attractive as living a life with no regrets, which, by the way, you can find out how to do in a slick little book by some pretty-boy preacher from Houston whose wife's face is stuck in an eternal smile. Shucks, you get closure on everything then you might as well cross on over Jordan's stormy banks - cause you're done. Finis. Kaput. (Two words I've learned since moving out west). Closure. My lord.
Kinda missin' my people today. Wanted them and you to know.