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Monday, March 17, 2008

"Johnny Earl.. Where's your teeth!?!"

my mom asked her brother from across the picnic table. "Since my gums done shrunk they keep wanting to just fall out, so I left 'em at home", he replied. My uncle is only 53. I think. 53 with no teeth, or I guess teeth at home in a cup on the night stand. Welcome to Mississippi.

We're in the back yard at my sister's house in Gulfport, MS. Some great uncles & aunts that we haven't seen in umpteen years (translation - a lot) or so are visiting from out of town and we're having a family get together slash BBQ.

My uncle, Johnny... Earl, most all of my aunts and uncles have uhh southern names, (that's nice-speak for hillbilly) has apparently left his teeth at home. Fine, I confess. It's not just the aunts and uncles. Hi, I'm Mollie Jo, nice to meet you.. or I guess I should say nassta meechya. I was named after my grandmother, who also is Mollie Jo, though my mom says the Jo part is after my uncle Joseph, who goes by Joe Joe. I suppose I should just be thankful she spelled it without the e.

Sitting at the picnic table are me, my mom, a few of my cousins, and an assortment of aunts, uncles, great aunts, great uncles and grandparents. There are a couple cousins in attendance who were lucky enough to have lived in more northern locations for most of their childhood and have therefore escaped the curse of being reared in the deep south. Upon hearing the question my mom posed to our uncle we looked at each other, looked at our uncle, looked back at each other and simply smiled. My cousin Mandy says to me, "Oh I can't WAIT to read your blog after this".

She was lucky enough to have escaped the curse, mostly.

What curse you ask? Well.. inbreeding, the inability to speak complete grammatically correct sentences, hell complete sentences period, grammatically correct is just asking too much, going barefoot in public places ie. Britney Spears, teeth, or lack thereof.

Ok, Ok.. I'm exaggerating.. a little. Maybe about the inbreeding part. Although one of my aunts did find out after doing some genealogy research that her husband was in fact her 5th cousin so maybe I'm not kidding so much after all. Then there was my 1st cousin who was telling me about this really hot guy she had hooked up with. I asked what his name was... then had the immense joy of being able to watch her face as I informed her that he was our 3rd cousin. She was mortified. True Story.

She's also going to read this and will probably threaten to kick my a** for telling that story lol. Hey I didn't use your name, you're secret is still safe!!

Sadly she was one of the few who'd been brought up away from MS, which only goes to show that even if you've lived the majority of your life among the literate, educated and socially adept, if you come back to the south the curse WILL get you. The thing about living or rather having your family come from MS is that you tend to be related to about 40% of the population in the tri-city area. There's a running joke among our family that if you're going to date someone that was born on or near the coast you have to ask what their, their parent's and grandparent's last names are. (Don't assume all the last names will be the same. You'd be wrong) You think I'm kidding. Here I'll show you.

If you live on or near the MS Gulf coast and your last name is,
  • Ladner
  • Spiers
  • Saucier
  • Cuevas
  • Favre (yes as in Brett)
  • Warren

Then we're probably cousins, and those are all by blood. That doesn't even begin to cover those related by marriage. Thankfully the guys I've been uhh involved with were mostly military and from states far across the country! No little Sloths for me (Goonie's reference).

So aside from Uncle Johnny & his missing teeth..

Pause - I just text one of my cousin's because I wasn't sure if my uncle's name was spelled with a y or an ie. She doesn't know either. We're such horrible relatives.

ok back on - so there were missing teeth, my favorite aunt, who I won't clown on too badly because she is my favorite, hitting up every female there trying to sell these little leather purses she makes, (I don't carry a purse or I'd probably have gotten her to make one for me, they really were quite cute), and some hillbilly picnic tables, courtesy of my dad, the likes of which I have never before seen.

Picture this.. take the legs off of a couple of end tables. Nail those to a 1x3 piece of plywood. Use little wood triangles as braces to hold the legs to the plywood. Then take two bi-folding closet doors, knob intact and screw one set of hillbilly engineered legs to each end. Then Flip.

Viola. Redneck picnic table. Thankfully my sister is well versed in the art of decoration and crafting so she threw some purdy white table cloths on top and no one was any the wiser.

The food was pretty typical, even for somewhere other than the south, well except maybe for the black-eyed peas smothered in whole ochre. Ochre, ochres, ochri?? Hell I don't know, it looks like slimy little trees and I don't eat it. There was potato salad, baked beans, green bean casserole complete with those little fried onion stick things on top, BBQ chicken, chicken & dumplings, corn bread and banana pudding. Yummy banana pudding. Oh, and beer, lots and lots and lots of beer.

People were playing horse shoes, frisbee, kids (and adults) were dancing in the yard to music piping out of a little pink radio. Just a good time and general fun was had by all.

I have to say I was very impressed with every one's behavior. It's unheard of for more than 3 people to get together at one time in my family and someone not break out in a fight or a drunken disturbance of some kind.

There were plenty of drunks, and plenty of loudness, but all were fairly well behaved. Keep in mind well-behaved is a relative term. Well-behaved in this case would probably not be considered well-behaved in say, um, well anywhere north of Tennessee maybe, east of Alabama and west of uhh Mississippi? Maybe Louisiana, I hear those Cajuns can get pretty wild and woolly.

I know there were several more side splitting moments that happened and Mandy will be disappointed they weren't listed, but I'm exhausted (thanks to the ^%@@%#$ neighbors upstairs and their $#@^%@#$%$ humping at 12:30AM!!) and my memory process is not fully functioning. It's taken me all day to pull this one post together, that's how tired I am. =(

So in the southern drawl of one of my favorite cartoons.. That's all Folks!

6 People who coughed on a furball:

Anonymous said...

I just happened to stumble across your blog and I have to say that I am sorry that you feel that way and quite frankly I'm offended. It's people like you who give the south a bad name...especially Mississippi. Maybe you should check out and maybe you would change your mind. I'm proud to be from Mississippi and yes, I have all my teeth and wear shoes too!

Anonymous said...

I just happened upon your blog and boy that is very insulting to anyone from Mississippi. It's people like you that cause the ignorance to continue with regards to Southerners. What you should see is that Mississippians are very caring, giving, compassionate, loving, family-oriented people. Perhaps you are just too ungrateful to value the things that you were blessed with in your life.

Randal Reeves said...

In regards to your insulting comments about all Southerners, which would include me, I will be removing you from my myspace friends list. You may need to seek out serious pyschological assistance for your obvious mental issues.

Big Momma Pimpalishisness said...

Losing my teeth is one of my biggest fears. Seriously I dream about it.

And, in regards to all the insulting comments left in regard to all your insulting comments- Shut the hell up people.

Mollie said...

I love you big momma! =)

Anonymous said...

OMG...What you don't realize is that there are people like my mother who lived in the Seattle area until I was born and moved to MS. She loved the people here...she was never taught how to be racist being from the North; however, she was never taught love either. I would have to remind my mother monthly that she had gone a month without telling me that she loved me. Not only is MS known for their close families...but friends are just a close to a family member around here.

I may have been born outside of Seattle and was raised in MS, but my heart is in MS!!!