Are we really that different?

I was sitting here nursing my youngest who is home sick and saw that Honda video. You know, the one that shows the family taking a road trip. And all of a sudden, they go from boring to rocking out to an a capella version of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train”. I noticed oddly there was one black child in the midst of this white family cruising America and joining in song. And then realized, “I was that kid!”

I live in the Mississippi Delta and have been told many times, “You must not be from around here.” I know there’s no harm in their statement. I know… I’m just different. Yes, I was raised in Upstate New York. Through the years, I have found many situations from my childhood parallel my life and experiences in the Mississippi Delta.

I found the following list in the Facebook Group, Things that you understand if you live in Upstate New York. If you too are currently living in the Mississippi Delta and are from Upstate New York, look for the similarities:

1. Your idea of a traffic jam is 10 cars waiting to pass a tractor on the highway. Seen this in both places!

2. “Vacation” means going to Syracuse for the weekend. We went to Corning or Buffalo.

3. You measure distance in hours. Still do.

4. You know several people who have hit deer more than once. Very common in both places.

5. You often switch from “heat” to “A/C” in the same day. Yep. Unless it’s the dead of summer when it’s always HOT!

6. You stay in your house most of the summer because you aren’t used to the heat. I think this is universal.

7. You drive at 55 mph through 10 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching.

8. You see people wearing hunting clothes at social events. I still laugh at this.

9. You install security lights on your house and garage but leave both unlocked. LOL!

10. One of your neighbors constantly has bonfires. That would be us. Yeah, we have a fire pit in the backyard.

11. You carry jumper cables in your car and your girlfriend knows how to use them. Better believe it!

12. There are 7 empty cars running in the parking lot at the supermarket at any given time. Usually in the no parking areas in the fire lanes!

13. Your idea of a huge party is one with lots of cheap beer and some people you go to school with. Trust me on this one. As a club owner, I see this all the time.

14. Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled in with snow. (It’s better than the gravel rocks they use to fill in potholes).

15. You think sexy lingerie is silk pajamas from Walmart. LOL!

16. You know 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, cold, construction.

17. It takes you 2 hours to go to the store for one item even when you’re in a rush because you have to stop and talk to everyone in town.

18. At least 6 people who you see a day have beards and stains on the front of their shirt.

19. Cows are just part of the scenery. Not so much in the Delta, but there is corn.

20. You or someone you know has a car that sounds like a big truck and can barely make it 20 miles yet no one says anything about it.

21. At least fives times in your normal travel day you will pass or be passed by a beat-up, old ass car that has had an attempted pimping out, such as a brand new oversized spoiler on a rust covered trunk, spinning HUBCABS, or everyones favorite, the performance exhaust on a car running on barely three cylinders. Wow!

22. You know that the phrase, “Goin up ta,” applies to going north, south, east, or west, up or down in elevation, and pretty much any other way you can travel. “Finna” and “Fixin to” applies.

23. The smell of freshly spread cow manure doesn’t bother you. There are hog farms. Same applies.

24. It’s perfectly normal for your life’s aspirations to be working for the county. Or the state…

25. Getting “dressed up” means tucking your shirt into your jeans and putting on clean work boots.

26. Halloween costumes are always designed around a snowsuit and winter boots.

27. You appreciate the delicacy known as Croghan Bologna, and serve it at all social gatherings.

28. On the same platter as the Croghan Bologna is a selection of flavored cheese curd, which you also love.

29. You know damn well that the Verizon guy didn’t walk through your town going, “can you here me now” because reception is, at best, limited. Hello, Cellular South… I mean C-spire! LOL!

30. Your proud of your redneck-ness and where your from. Oh, and by the way, I got my redneck card, because Rev. Billy Marquis said so.

31. You can name everyone you graduated with. Can’t really. I graduated with about 500. I think.

32. You know what 4-H is.

33. You ever went to a party that was held about 20 miles down a deserted dirt road. YES!

34. You used to drag “main.” We got back roads for that!

35. You said the ‘F’ word and your parents knew within an hour.

36. You schedule parties around the schedule of different police officers since you knew which ones would bust you. Really, we did.

37. You ever went or thought about going cow-tipping.

38. School gets canceled for a sports team going to State.

39. You could never buy cigarettes cause all the store clerks knew how old you were.

40. When you did find someone old enough to buy smokes for you, you had to drive down country back roads to smoke them.

41. You never missed a Homecoming parade.

42. You still go home for Homecoming.

43. It was cool to date someone from a neighboring town.

44. You had a senior skip day.

45. The whole school went to the same party after graduation. Again, as a club owner, I see this all the time.

46. You can’t help but date a friend’s ex.

47. Your car is always filthy from the dirt roads.

48. You think that kids who ride skateboards are weird. Hey, I was one of those kids!

49. The town next to you is considered “trashy” or “snotty” when it is just like your town.

50. Getting paid minimum wage is considered a raise.

51. You refer to anyone with a house newer than 1980 as the “rich people.” I guess we were rich!

52. The people in the big city dress funny then you pick up on the cool new trend two years later. It’s funny how my cousins would make fun of me when I would come to visit, and then see them pick up on the style late!

53. You bragged to your friends because you got pipes on your truck for your birthday.

54. On Fridays, anyone you want to find can be found at Main Street or the Dairy Queen. That would be Walmart or Sunflower Food Store!

55. Weekend excitement involves a trip to RiteAid. Walmart.

56. Even the ugly people enter beauty contests. I need to stop! All people are beautiful.

57. You decide to walk for exercise and 5 people pull over and ask you if you need a ride.

58. Your teachers call you by your older sibling’s name.

59. The closest “cool stores” are at least 45 miles away.

60. The local phone book has only one yellow page.

61. You leave your jacket on the back of the chair in the cafe, and when you go back the next day, it’s still there, on the same chair.

62. You don’t signal turns because everyone knows where you’re going, anyway.

63. You call a wrong number and they supply you with the correct one.

64. You have to name six surrounding towns to explain to people where you’re from.

65. Driving to a party on a four-wheeler is quite normal. Seen it!

66. The town population increases by one-third when the universities go on break.

67. When somebody says “Thats billy fucillo HUGE” you know exactly what they are talking about. Still don’t get it!

68. You laugh your head off reading this, because you know it’s true and then forward it to everyone in your address book, which is actually half your town.

In short, are we really that different?

About Mario Strong

Celebrating blues culture and promoting roots music worldwide. Fully engaged in an ongoing personal campaign towards raising social awareness and promoting a healthy consciousness throughout the Mississippi Delta. View all posts by Mario Strong

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