Southern Thing Column

This book tells you 10 things all southerners should now

Ten things every southerner should know: Following is an excerpt from this week’s column, which now originates on It’s a Southern Thing. The link at the bottom takes you to the full column. I do that because Southern Thing owns the rights to this column and I can’t blog it in its entirety. Be sure to follow IAST on Facebook, Twitter, etc. The videos are hilarious.

In my job, I wander around the south writing about any weirdness I might stumble across along the roadside. As you can imagine, the south is the gift that keeps on giving. In a good way. We southerners hate hiding our otherness. We like to put it right out on the front porch where anyone can enjoy it, even if it’s an old toilet with petunias planted in it.

NQR CoverSo I wrote a book about how I parlayed my penchant for turning down dirt roads in search of World’s Largest Things and Stonehenge replicas into a job as a Weird News Reporter. “Not Quite Right: Mostly True Tales of a Weird News Reporter,” (Solomon & George Publishers, $15; to order a signed copy email includes tales about growing up in the south and life as a menopausal newlywed, interspersed with some of the oddities I’ve come across in my job.

Here are 10 tidbits of southern wisdom you can find in “Not Quite Right:”


Those of us who were raised in the south don’t like to gossip about people … to their faces. And not without a “bless her heart” or “God love him” to soften the blow. In the same vein, we think it’s crass to publicly discuss sensitive subjects such as (whisper) private parts and bodily functions. Unless, of course, we whisper them, which puts them in proper context as (whisper) unmentionables.


For the love of grandma’s peach preserves, women’s clothing needs new sizing standards, especially that horribly redundant “extra large.” That’s like saying Ida Mae’s not just big. She’s big big.” Let’s try something more reasonable, maybe even introduce southern sizing, like tee-tiny, middlin’, over-filled corn muffin, biscuit-fluffy, dumplin’ and sack o’ taters.


If humans were meant to eat raw veggies, God wouldn’t have invented Crisco.

Click here to read the full column on It’s a Southern Thing.

1 thought on “This book tells you 10 things all southerners should now”

  1. I read the whole article on “It’s a Southern Thing”. First off, we don’t drop “the” here in the North either, I don’t know that anybody in the US does, it seems to be a completely British Thing. They also use a lot of words/phrases that we don’t, like: gasoline is “petrol,” a toilet is a “WC”, a car trunk is a “boot,” a car hood is a “bonnet” a parking lot is a “car park”. The list goes on and on. Of course, there are Southern names for things that we don’t use up North and vice-versa. Sweet Tea is called iced tea. I love it, I’ll take it over soda (“Pop” to you Southerners) any day. It might be a Southern invention, but who cares, I love it. Mamaw was my husband’s great grandmother (in KY). Everyone says Y’all there. I got to like it.

    We run out to buy milk and bread before snowstorms too. Store shelves are quickly emptied and mobs of people go to the store. This started in a big way after the “Blizzard of ’78” where the state of RI got 5 feet of snow and we were shut down for a week. My daughter lived in Baltimore for a few years, and she said everybody there buys bread, milk, and toilet paper! While she was living there, (2008), they had a big snowstorm and were shut down for a week. There was no transportation, emergencies only. They don’t have a lot of stores within walking distance. Who wants to be caught without toilet paper?

    We have at least 2 Five Guys burger restaurants, and they’re great-tastes just like Mama (and me) used to make. Especially the fries! None of that frozen stuff or mystery meat patties like Mc Donald’s. We have Chick-fil-A too, and we like them. Some good restaurants have migrated here from the South.

    We had a Krispy Kreme here in RI, but it never caught on. This is the home of Dunkin Donuts, they’re on every corner, and the advantage they’ve got is their donuts still taste good for a couple of days before they get stale and turn into rocks. Krispy Kremes only taste good if they’re still warm. Dunkin Donuts also has more kinds of donuts than you can count. So, folks in this state are pretty spoiled when it comes to donuts.I don’t think that’s going to change.

    Great article, keep up the good work!


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