Southern Thing Column

The strange tale of the Southerner who never heard of a tomato sandwich (!!!)

If you missed last week’s column on It’s a Southern Thing (, you can read it by clicking here. Below are the first paragraphs.

Strange things sometimes happen when you write a humor column. For instance, I might write about Bigfoot and start an entire debate about what kinds of foods he prefers, with some voting for Krispy Kremes and others claiming he can’t resist the smell of bacon in the morning. Don’t get me started on what happened the time I wrote about the correct pronunciation of “Vie-een-ah” sausages or the woman who cools her car in summer by coating it in cow dung.

Reader reaction and interaction are the most important aspects of being a columnist. Sure, people think I lead a glamorous life, spending my time drinking wine while riding a Walmart scooter and doing the parade wave but, really, my life’s goal is a humble one: to make the world a better place. I do that one column at a time, by starting important discussions on the pros and cons of owning a Volkswagen Dung-Beetle, for example. (And sometimes by drinking wine while riding a Walmart scooter and doing the parade wave.)

A couple of weeks ago I touched on another important topic – the rules of making a tomato sandwich. This was a topic whose time had come, y’all. After all, the mater sammich is finally gaining some respect outside the South, earning a spot on the New York Times cooking page. (Of course, it belongs in neither the NYT or on the “cooking” page. Just sayin.’)

So I listed the rules – you can find them here – expecting a little push-back on the type of mayo, perhaps, or on the question of whether to peel before slicing. I got numerous emails, including one from the World Tomato Society, which you can check out here. What I didn’t expect was what happened while discussing the column with my friend LaVette. Her response was one I could never have imagined: “What’s a tomato sandwich?” Click here to read the entire column on It’s a Southern Thing.

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