I’ve been getting into my standup comedy recently. I especially like the expat comedians and the provincial comics (sorry if I have just insulted a whole group of comics). There’s something very funny about people talking about their homeplaces and being Liverpudlian/Yorkshire/Indian/etc and fitting in here. I don’t have the courage to do standup so, presented here in the safety of my own blog, is my wannabe standup routine.
First, in all fairness, I have to take the mick from my own country, and specifically the South. Or as some call it, the Bible Belt.
I grew up going to a little whitewashed country church. Max capacity 100, or 120 when the deacons got the folding chairs out for Christmas and Easter. Southerners love church.
Almost as much as we love going to football games. AMERICAN FOOTBALL not SOCCER, that is.
The New Orleans Saints, our local NFL team, were notoriously terrible for decades. But we were proud of them, in a notional way. They were so bad, there was a point when fans would come to games and wear paper bags over their heads with eye holes cut out.
Because they were too embarrassed to be seen.
But still wanted to go to the game.*
Like I said, we love our football.
We are also very friendly (they don’t call it “Southern” hospitality for nothing). We have no qualms about asking a stranger all about their family and where they grew up and we’ll go to great lengths to find somebody or other that is a mutual friend.
The scary thing is you usually can.
Yard art is another important feature of Southern life. You’ve got your tasteful refurbished cast iron sugar kettles turned into water features, your sundials and bottle trees and your ‘Gone fishing’ signs.
Then there are the plastic pink flamingos, the giant inflatable Santa/Frosty/Rudolphs at Christmas, and another Christmas favourite (true story) the decorative gutted deer hanging up with white and red lights festooned appropriately.
Deer hunting is an important touchstone in the year for some folks. The hunting season coincides with the college football season in the autumn, so that is generally a busy time of year for us.
The other seasons might be described as Azalea / Hay Fever season (Spring), Gallons of Iced Tea season (Summer) and Glasses of Iced Tea season (all year round).
So drink iced tea, attend church and take up football and hunting, and you’re well on your way to mastering Southerner 101. And I haven’t even gotten started on the food…
The final post in this series and first of the New Year will be some gentle ribbing of the muddy island I now call home. In the meantime, I wish you a very Merry Christmas!
*For the first time in my life, I am paying attention to NFL this season (thanks BBC’s NFL This Week). The Saints are currently a meh 5-8, but apparently Drew Brees is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Who Dat!