We got a nice letter the other day from one of our readers down in the Gulf area of the county, a fellow who goes by the name of Burlap Earl.
What we like about Earl’s missives are his matter-of-fact tone and the down-home character of his opinions.
Earl writes the way people talked decades ago when I was growing up in the country with my Iver Johnson shotgun and my Ocean City spinning reel, Wilson baseball glove and Levi jeans.
To help outsiders understand the local Mountaineer’s countrified state of mind, the following list of suggestions should be handed to travelers when they enter the sacred boundaries of the Mountain State.
According to Earl’s point of view:
That stoop-shouldered farm boy has probably done more work before breakfast than you did all week at the gym.
We all started hunting and fishing when we were seven. If you have a problem with folks eating wild game or dining on a mess of trout, either get over it or move on down the road.
Any references to “corn fed” when talking about our women will get you whupped—by our women.
Go ahead and bring your $600 Orvis fly rod to the stream with you. But don’t cry if a bass breaks the handle off it.
Pull your pants up unless you want to look like an idiot.
Men, if you want to wear earrings, pierce your nose and whatever, wear your hair down to your waist—go right ahead—but if we call you ma’am, don’t be offended.
Let’s get this straight. We have one stoplight in town (three, really, now, I believe). We stop on red. We may even stop when it’s yellow.
Our women hunt, fish, and drive trucks—because they want to. So, if you’re a feminist, that’s okay with us.
We eat dinner together with our families, we pray before we eat, yeah, even breakfast, we go to church on Sundays, we go to high school football games on Friday nights, we still address our seniors with ‘yes sir’ and ‘yes ma’am,’ and we sometimes still take Sunday drives around town to see friends and neighbors.
We serve gravy with our eggs and sausage for breakfast. Maybe you should try it before you knock the people who have come to celebrate it as a family tradition
We don’t ‘hurry up’ very well, either.
And that West Virginia State Trooper who just pulled you over for driving like a NASCAR wannabe…his name is ‘Sir’…no matter how old he is.
And by the way, you burn an American flag in our state and you might get a fat lip. No questions asked. I’ve heard there’s a $10 fine for beating up a flag burner.
When a local youngster was asked by his youth minister to explain the difference between Saints and Angels, the boy came back with: “The Saints play football. The Angels play baseball.”
In history class, a similar young man was asked “Who were the two brothers who made it possible to fly?”
The boy answered, “Earnest and Julio Gallo.”
In biology class, the teacher asked him, “Where do babies come from”?
His reply: “Sheer carelessness.”
Think about it.
If they gave rewards for finding fault, some people would get rich quick.
And parking spaces must not be too hard to find. Look how many people can find them before you do.
Top of the morning!