Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Southern Culture

The Pursuit family made a trip south of the Mason-Dixon line this weekend, and as always it proved to be quite an experience. One part of my family hails from southern Illinois, and has since moved to Kentucky. We hadn't seen them in a couple of years, and when word came of an illness we wanted to pop on down for the weekend and do what we could to lend some support.

I always have enjoyed my visits down there because they have such a great, tight knit family that enjoy each other's company, and provide a strong support base. This is what family is all about, and what I think too many of us have gotten away from. Growing up in the urban north, our culture is so different. The family structure in many ways is much weaker, and our pretentions to sophistication can be as laughable as some of the more basic aires one finds in the south.

Two conversations make this point. The first involves a trip to Spain that the Pursuit family will be taking next year. The family was giving Mrs. Pursuit some good natured grief for scheduling a trip to a European country next year, especially one that took the cowardly approach to backing out of Iraq after their 3/11 attack. Thinking she would explain herself, Mrs. P said, "wait, you don't understand we won the trip in an auciton for our church's outreach program. One of the families has a condo there and they donated it as a bidding item". This, predictably, only served to heighten the mockery and secured our image as faux sophisticates.

The second conversation was shorter, but equally emblematic of the cultural divide. Mrs. P was having a chat with one of my cousins when I walked up and asked what they were talking about.

"Burnin' Stuff" was my cousin's reply.

Unfortunately, we could only spend two days down Kentucky way, but hopefully we'll be able to return soon. We had a great time, and I got a chance to remember how much I love this side of our family.

As for the sign above, I must admit I was completely stunned.....there are some things about southern culture I don't think I 'll ever understand. I get "dirt cheap", and realize it is a good thing, but I think I would find perhaps a better way to express the idea. More of my faux sophistication I suppose. Readers of this blog will also realize that although I don't smoke, I'm not against those that do, and I do find time to enjoy both beer and liquor. There is one thing I don't understand though.

Transvestite, hooker, poultry.

You might want to "click to bigger" to get the full view. How in the world does somebody who owns a "dirt cheap" liquor store sit down one day and come up with the idea that their store needs a transvestite, hooker, rooster as a mascot? I've never seen one of these, and I'm not sure they exist, but if they do, are they really the best guides to excellence in intoxicants and cigarettes?

Oh, wait a second that kind of explains it doesn't it?

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