I ran by Kickin’ Chicken last night to grab a bite to eat. Coffee with J. went a little long. Our coffees usually do. It had been a long day, and despite my impoverished state, I was in no mood to cook. Sometimes a woman’s mood and her finances duke it out. Finances usually lose. I was walking out with what can only be described as the “food of gods” when I saw Him walking towards me. I cocked my head to the one side and stared. Shamelessly. I was stunned into silent bewilderment.
His black hat, bill adorned with a deer head, sat high on his pear shaped head. His skin-tight wranglers swished as he lunged forward. His tense gate indicated that he must have been suffering from an unfortunate incident involving some sort of 4-wheeler. Or maybe a bull. He cackled slowly at his companion’s wildly colourful language. “Heh. Heh. Heh.” In the cadence of his stuttered amusement, cigarette smoke pulsed through the spaces in his crooked, toothless grin.
And then he spoke.
In most cases, people with southern accents sound like they are talking in cursive. But not his accent. I will never remember what he said, but I will never forget the way his accent made me laugh. Out loud. I wasn’t laughing to make fun of him. I was simply laughing in amazement at this walking caricature of the classic back-asswards redneck. I never dreamed that they actually existed outside of some writer’s over-zealous need to stereotype my people. But there he was – an extraordinary example of what I try to convince my northern friends is only a myth.
I stand corrected.