Thursday, February 18, 2010

Southern Censoriousness

Northerners who move to the Deep South usually suffer abrupt culture shock. Things are different here. It takes some getting used to.

Most Yankee transplants try hard to be accepting of the differences, much as an experienced international traveler will try to respect the cultural differences he encounters when visiting, say, Morocco, or an aboriginal tribe deep in the rain forest of Brazil.

Sometimes, though, we can be too accommodating. This was brought home to us again the other day when we found ourselves in casual conversation with a pleasant, smart, highly educated woman who moved to the Pensacola area a few months ago with her husband and children. She's from a large city in the Middle West with big, brassy shoulders and, like many northerners, she isn't shy about saying directly and emphatically what's on her mind.

Somewhat weirdly, we found ourselves comparing notes over the frequency of dropped calls by Pensacola area phone service providers. She has cell service with Verizon. Her husband prefers an I-phone, which means he's stuck with AT&T.

"We also had a hard line installed at home by Bell South," she explained. "Right away, we noticed the voice quality was terrible. The line kept cutting in and out. Whole words and phrases -- completely blotted out."

She shrugged. "We didn't complain. We just figured it was some sort of a Southern thing. That they don't allow swear words, or something."

Dept. of Further Amplification
2-18 am

Hendrick Herzberg's reminiscence of a school incident that happened in 1959 while he was growing up "in a corner of Rockland County, New York" ["Free Holden Caufield!"] somehow seems pertinent. 1959 Rockland and 2010 Pensacola have a lot in common, it would appear.

1 comment:

neha said...

great entertainment post.thanks for post like this.

samui villas