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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Just the Right Insult for the Occaision

As every southerner knows, male or female, insults must be tailored to the occasion. And as Thanksgiving is pecking at the door, I thought I would give you one to pack in your bags and take to your relatives, who by Thursday afternoon will have sufficiently annoyed you enough to break it out and leave on ice as you depart.

All good, decent, upstanding, moral southern women currently stand in kitchens, dining rooms, and butler pantries all over Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, the Carolinas, Arkansas, Kentucky, and other less desirable places to which they have been unfortunately relocated, polishing, along with their silver, their tongues. They rehearse, in private, how they will tell Uncle Bubba to smoke out on the porch, and Aunt Viola to stay out of the kitchen, and other things of that nature.

All good, decent, upstanding, moral southern men currently stand in driveways all over Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, the Carolinas, Arkansas, Kentucky, and other less desirable places to which they have been unfortunately relocated, with their leaf blowers revved, thinking how they will run interference between their side of the family and hers. They blow leaves in and out of the driveway for a very long time.

By Thursday at noon, extended families will have piled into cars and driven to the homes of hosts and hostesses, for the lunch to end all lunches. Some will cope by imbibing liquor squirreled away in secret stashes. Others will survive through psychological or physical withdrawal. At any rate, nerves will rub raw by 6p.m. and you, my friend, will have the ultimate survival technique, gleaned from these pages. You will have an insult tailored to the occasion:

Say, confidentially to the family gossip in hushed whispers, "Good heavens, can you believe ___________? She acts like a guest in her own home!" Then kiss Thanksgiving good-bye, because as all good, decent, upstanding, moral southerners know, Thanksgiving is a designated fighting holiday.

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