Here are a few things that I have noticed about my new home in the South.

1. On my way to work in the mornings I have to drive through several school zones. This sucks on a number of levels. Now don’t get me wrong, I like kids as much as the next person, but there are no kids! It would be cool if there were a bunch of cute little ones to look at, walking down the sidewalk hand in hand with Dad (or Mom), their striped knit scarves blowing in the wind. But the thing is, I never see any kids. Never. It’s like they don’t really exist and all of the speed limit signs with flashing lights and Nazi crossing guards (to be discussed later) are just for show. People (that I am inevitably stuck behind) drive 5 measly miles per hour in all of these clearly marked 15 mph zones. I am tempted to make a sign that says, “Yo! Slow Driver! It has a ONE before the FIVE!” I guess I’ll get to work on that – where’s my poster board?

2. I work with some really southern belles and one of them tears apart the English language on a regular basis. Of note is this little gem which she has said more than once:

“He come to the libeary.”*

Pity to poor under-used “came” and unacknowledged “R”.

3. People around here like to park on their lawns. Why? I don’t know. It seems to me that their driveway would be the logical place, but I guess it must have another purpose.

4. As mentioned in #1, we have a lot of Nazi crossing guards around here. They are old and crochety. One in particular is a retiree who has been known to step out into the middle of the intersection the very second that the light turns yellow just so he can yell at the unfortunate driver who may already be halfway through the light (which, I might add, is her** legal right). He shakes his gray head and mumbles visibly about her as she drives away. He seems to be shaking his head and waving his fist in the air a lot more than a nice old grandpa crossing guard ought to.

5. People call McDonald’s MacDonald’s.

6. Roadside vendors call tomatoes ‘maters. As in, “you gotta try these ‘maters. They’re the best ‘maters in tayown (town).”

7. Two and a half hours is pronounced, “two er and a hayaff.”

*libAry? libarry?

**The driver was a she, but not me. And I should also point out that there were No.Kids. around when this happened. Was he just criticizing her driving? Last I checked, that wasn’t in the crossing guard job description.