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A Southern Revenge

Here's a fun string of thoughts. P. is a work place friend, maybe a little more than that. Put fondly, he is a lab rat, one of the technicians working on the molecular side of the lab, indoors, in A/C. He's from Chicago, here only for the work. He's got that Chicago edge to his personality: sarcasm and the acid base pretty constant in his wit. To me, sarcasm, viewed as a rhetorical device, should be used sparingly, this for the greater zing-pow effect. Not a regular diet. Took me awhile to warm up to P. But so far as I'm concerned he's proved his heart in the big way. Probably I returned to work too soon. Out for a cumulative total of less than 4 months when most men are out a year for bladder cancer surgery. That wouldn't include the 2 other surgeries and the chemo in my case. Still, I've needed help with field work, needing someone to lift off the heavy supers of honey so that I can get down into the bottom brood chambers. When asked, P. never said no to my request for help. Not once. I only learned later that he has a phoebia about bee stings. He has always been nervous but he has always been there to help. A mensch. Recently his wife with the youngest of 6 children moved down from Illinois. Girl still in school. Move made not out of choice but out of economic necessity. Always the base line driver. I've made a game out of observing new comers to the Deep South, especially from the North. Either the graft takes, culturally speaking, or it doesn't. That simple. Southern ways, manners, customs. The high flounce of Southern personalities. The way Southern women draw out and carress their vowels and put the damper on all hard consonants except when they are pissed. How a single syllable word, like !@#$, for example, becomes 2, as in sheeeeit, accent on the first syllable. The way a Southern banker can sweet talk you into heaven while divesting you of your portfolio. Anyway, this morning, and with a measure of anticipatory pleasure, I asked P.: So how are things at home after the move? He releasd his breath rather dramaticly, said his wife is having some difficulty. Sweet Jesus, a good Southern boy, must have been standing right next to me, 'cause I divined what was coming. P said that, back home, his wife could go into a store and, at the most, be asked by the cashier if she wanted to open a new C.C. account. But here, she goes to a store and the cashier says things like, "Oh, I just bought one of those too and love it." Too personal for his wife who has come to dread the encounters. Still sweet Jesus, that good Southern boy, must have been at my side. I said, "You know, man, I used to get irked by you Northerners who come down here bitching and moaning the while. Then I got it. Irritatin the hell out of you people is our revenge for losing the war." P. got a belly laugh. I think he's secretly wanting wifey to head back north. In his case I think the graft is taking.

Jul/27/2013, 1:19 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson

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