Why Southern Lunatic Murderers are Superior

I am moving. After saying, "I am moving," for, what, over five years now? I am actually doing it. Moving. Home. I've been up here with the Yankees for half a decade, and finally, finally, I am going home to Atlanta. Now Chicago is great fun. And despite what I learned at the snuff-stained ankles of my Granny, quite a few of the Yankees I have met are not terrible evil people with secret devil tails hidden in their pants. But it's very different up here. Very different. In fact, moving home is probably going to be as much of a culture shock as moving here was in the first place. This is due, mostly I think, to the weather and the landscape.

In Atlanta, the oppressive heat slows everyone down. All you want to do is sit in a heap and suck down Juleps. And the terrain is hilly and the streets go in circles and all of them are named Peachtree Something. So you can't go from A to B in a straight line. Ever. So people tend to meander, slowly because of the heat, and in circles because of the landscape. And this form of locomotion shapes a Southerner's style. We are polite, we will chat with total strangers about anything, we drive Yankees crazy because we will stand in line at the Target for 30 minutes while the lady ahead of us shows the cashier pictures of her grandchildren. We smile at everyone on the street and say, "Well, hey there," as we pass.

Moving to South, you have to learn another language. We pull at our vowels and torture them into long multi-syllabic strings. And we never, never say what we mean. If you ask a Southerner "Can you lend me your mower?" he might answer, "Hmm, well, let me think on that. You surely can but I need to get a bit of mowing done myself first." This means that the man will eat his own children before he'll let you even lick the tip of that mower with your needful tongue.

In Chicago, it is really (really) cold and flat. And in Chicago the streets go in a perfect grid. So everyone travels from A to B as quickly as possible, to get out the cold, and by the most direct route. You can see where you are going across the flat earth, so Yankees tend to be more goal-oriented. When I first moved up here, I was once mistaken for a prostitute because I said hello to a total stranger on the street.

Chicagoans tend to speak in abbreviation. Even though the grid of streets ought to make navigating the city a breeze, I was constantly lost the first year I was here. I never understood the directions. Here, if you ask someone how to get to the store, they bark out, "Straight up Halstead, Left on Bellamy, Right on Roscoe, two blocks up on the left," and march away. Ask a Southerner the same question, and he will say, "Well, now, sugar, you gonna need to go up a ways down this street here, till you gonna see that big red barn of Jim's with the hole in the roof where the lightening whipped in there and killed that cow he loved....pretty little cow....Then you past that a ways....."

Even our crazy homeless murderers have very diffent styles. Once Lily and I were eating at The Golden Nugget at around 2 AM, and a Yankee Crazy Homeless Murderer was there. He had long snarly brown hair that he was kneading like it was dough and he sat at the table beside ours, munching at his food and talking under his breath. He never met our eyes or directly addressed us because Yankee rules state that that would have been rude.

Instead he just kept up a muttered monologue about what he was going to do to us when we left the shelter and safety of the pancake house. It went something like this: "Hmmm pretty, thinking you so pretty, I see the two girl HA HA! dead, yeah Hmmm, I rape you good HA! Take you money Hmm Hmmm think you so pretty in you skirt, ha see you two girl dead HA! The streets better pay me gonna rape rape gonna kill kill hmmm HA! HA! HA! They girls I see better give me a dollar." Total fruitcake, but a YANKEE fruitcake.

Then last time I was down home I met ANOTHER crazy homeless murderer. But this one was Southern. He came sidling up to me, crabbing along until he had worked himself into orbit around me, and then he said, "Hey ma'am now I don't wanna scare you or nothin' because I sure don't aim to rape you or kill you, OH HO! No, not me, not going to rape you or kill you HA! Just need a dollar and then I won't. I never would, why not give me the dollar hmmm, not a raper or a killer, no HO HO! No Raping. No Killing, may I please have a dollar????" He, of course, made direct eye contact and spoke slowly and apologetically. Actually, his right eye made direct contact while his left went wandering around off to the side. Creepy. But inherently Southern.

So I'm going to go home. And I'm going to have to learn all over again that the waitress isn't being nosy if she asks me what I do for living instead of what I want in my coffee. Home! Home! Where the men all call me little lady and the crazy murderers say, "Sorry bout this ma'am" while they goozle out your liver.