Thursday, January 12, 2006

All That's Missing Is Moonshine

You may think I'm kidding, but this is an actual picture from an actual article in today's Meridian Star. The article next to the picture informs the reader that the couple in the center had "a mock shotgun wedding" on December 22, 2005. And they took it to a whole new level by having the father of the bride actually HOLD A SHOTGUN in the picture.

I can't tell if the bride is expecting or not, but since they admitted before God and everyone - in the newspaper, no less - that they had a shotgun wedding, well...I'm just sayin'.

Those of you who know me understand that I'm not being catty or judgmental when I analyze this picture. I love these people. I'm fascinated by these people. I want for them to invite me to dinner and tell me their stories, and I want, more than anything, to attend their weddings.

This picture is yet another reminder that there is a completely separate South from the one in which I live. I love to visit The Other South from time to time - but, truth be told, I forget about it here in the land of soccer moms.

The Other South is the one news reporters like to feature after tornadoes and other natural disasters (I'm thinking of Elise and Tracey's story of a man talking about seeking shelter in a culvert and consequently losing his leg). And honestly, I think if I were a reporter I'd interview people from The Other South, too - because they're just much more entertaining than the rest of us.

A few years ago, after a series of tornadoes here in the Birmingham area, one of the local news stations interviewed a woman who lost her home. They inquired about the well-being of her relatives, and she mentioned that her mother had passed away during the storm. Very sad. And then they asked if she had found her brother, and she said, "Oh, yeah, I found him."

"Where?" asked the compassionate reporter.

Gesturing with her head, she matter-of-factly said, "Dead, over yonder in that ravine."

I know. It's sad. But gosh dog it's funny.

It's not funny that she lost her brother. It's funny that she felt no need to sugarcoat the issue, no need to beat around the bush. THAT's the part of The Other South that I adore.

Yesterday D. and I were at a hospital here in B'ham because he was having some tests done, which basically means that I sat in a waiting room for three hours and listened to other people's conversations.

I had forgotten how hospitals really attract an almost surreal cross-section of the human condition. Because we live in suburbia, I am sometimes a little culture-shocked when I see Real Alabama in action. Culture-shocked, but totally, 100% entertained.

Here's what I learned yesterday at the hospital, because these were the things people were talking about in LOUD voices, ACROSS rooms, while anyone who wanted to hear could just tune right in:

1. One elderly woman had twins "and they died" because she has a blood vessel wrapped around her kidney.

2. Another woman, from Talladega (and it's pronounced "Tal-ah-deeeeega," not "Tal-a-day-ga"), was there with a friend who is "eat up" with cancer and was "having some fluid drained."

3. The woman who is "eat up" with cancer couldn't in fact have fluid drained because "I just had a cup of fluid in my side, and that's not enough."

4. The woman from Talladega doesn't like her grandchildren and hopes her children don't move nearby because she "ain't gone keep 'em."

5. They should've done a PET scan (I don't even know what that is) on the cancer victim from Talladega because "them CAT scans don't catch nothin'" - but "them PET scans will flat find some cancer."

The Other South, my friends, is alive and well.

I wouldn't have it any other way.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that she ain't wearin' white probably confirms all speculation.

1/12/2006 05:45:00 PM  

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