sl_2rf13for16cntrl0609_cvrsop_01Recently, I received an email with a link where I could go and find out how Southern I am by how I pronounce certain words. The contestant picks between sack and bag, soda and coke, creek and crick. Anyone who knows me won’t be surprised that I scored 92% Southern. I feel the other 8% is due to computer error or the survey’s lack of true Deep South credentials.

I’m from the Heart of Dixie and can’t hep it. I’m proud of the region of the country I was born in, proud of my heritage. I don’t wave a Confederate flag, but do consider myself a true son of the South. And there aren’t many of us left.

Snaggle-toothed racists and politically correct imbeciles have spent the last quarter century trying to make those of us from south of the Mason Dixon line feel ashamed of our birth place, and there is enough of that attitude around to slowly erode the true South. I see it more every day.

Restaurants now ask “sweet or unsweet” when you order tea. Servers call everyone “guys”. Grits are a substitute for potatoes. No one eats collards, neck bones, or pig’s feet anymore, and lard, fried pies and salt pork are considered poison.

If that doesn’t concern a true child of Dixie, NASCAR now races in New York, Las Vegas, and South Florida, hunters and fishermen are treated as criminals, and there are people living in Georgia and Alabama who openly disparage college football.

Men cuss in front of women and refuse to say “yes ma’am”. More and more of us are exhibiting behavior that casts serious doubt on our parents’ ability to raise children. I’ve even heard horror stories of unescorted women drinking in public.

But the worst and strongest indication of a disappearing South came in one of the least likely places imaginable. I was looking for something to read the other day, and noticed an old copy of Southern Living, that bastion of the Deep South attitude.

One of the banners on the cover mentioned exciting banana pudding recipes. If there is one thing which defines the South, it is homemade banana pudding. Few things in life are as sacred as a cook’s recipe for this dessert.

I am deprived of this delicacy for the most part. The Woman Whose Garbage I’m Responsible For refuses to create the dish; she considers bananas too mushy to fool with. Besides, she was born in Michigan.

I opened the magazine and began searching for a really good banana pudding recipe. I found a banana pudding cheesecake recipe, a rum banana pudding, a pound cake banana pudding, and some kind of sick joke involving blueberries. Nowhere did I see a simple, beautiful, recipe for plain ol’ banana pudding like my Aunt Dana used to create.

I hate to sound like an alarmist, but if we live in a world where Southern Living advocates adding blueberries to banana pudding, the terrorists have already won — or at least the Yankees.

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Mike Cox

Mike Cox

Mike Cox currently writes a weekly column in South Carolina for the Columbia Star called "It's Not a Criticism, It's an Observation." He is trying to grow old as gracefully as possible without condemning the current generation in charge to doom. Each day this task gets harder as the overwhelming evidence mounts. He currently has two published books; Finding Daddy Cox, and October Saturdays. His columns have won three South Carolina Press Association awards since 2003. Mike has three sons and two grandchildren and lives in Irmo, Sc, just outside of Columbia.