From my mailbox . . .
Published 1:25 pm Friday, May 27, 2011
I get letters out here on Lake Nottalottawatta — nottalotta letters, but enough to connect me to the outside world. Mainly, I get notes via E-mail, like everybody else who’s plugged into a computer.
My e-mail correspondence is heavy on unbelievably fabulous offers. Mr. Vincent Cheng, chairman of the Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, supposedly, wants to discuss a $22,000,000 business proposal with me. Ha! Please hurry, Mr. Cheng — I’m holding my breath.
Mr. Hado Konkobo from somewhere exotic is also aware of my impressive business savvy and wants me to consider his multi-million dollar offer because, he says, “I am assured of your capability and reliability to champion this business opportunity.” Konkobo needs only my bank account numbers. That’s all.
Oh, and then there’s the foolish fellow who knows of my kitchen skills and wants to order 150 Grilled Caesar Salads for his mother’s birthday. (Yeah, buddy, want anchovies with that?) He chats on about credit cards, which means at some point in the near future I’d have to reimburse him by check for an overcharge on his credit card. Scammers are getting more and more creative, aren’t they?
Sometimes the e-mail is legit, though. Quite a few folks are entertained by the pages on my website (http://www.usadeepsouth.com) that list Southern expressions, and they send me contributions, like this one from Carl Bailey in Cave City, Arkansas:
“Have you ever heard ‘he (or she) is a wheel horse and a good one’? The wheel horse is the best one in a team of horses and is placed directly in front of the driver. My father always said this about my sister. It wasn’t till years after he died that I stumbled across the meaning. I called my sister and told her, ‘See, I told you Dad liked you better.’”
This next message came from Wes Anderson of Bowling Green, Kentucky: “Some folks say Southern expressions are dying off, but I honestly don’t see it happening. I grew up in a tiny one-horse town and this way of talking has stuck with me. A few people have told me I sound stupid, but I’m perfectly content with these sayings and plan to pass them down to my children.”
Then he listed thirty or forty expressions, including the following: “He’s about as messed up as a soup sandwich.” “I’m so hungry my bellybutton’s rubbing a blister on my backbone.” “She’s as sharp as a bowling ball.” “Keep flapping your gums and your tongue’s gonna get sunburned.” “These biscuits are harder than woodpecker lips!” Good ones!
Sometimes notes about expressions come as questions. One writer, Ethan Hicks, asked “I’m trying to figure out the meaning of a colloquialism that I came across in an old Memphis blues song by Frank Stokes, ‘Mistreatin’ Blues’, dating from the late 1920s. The first two lines of his second verse are: ‘Well if you don’t want me, well, mama/ You don’t have to run no salt.’ Got any ideas what ‘run no salt’ means? This has me stumped.”
Alas, I was no help. Can anybody help?
And finally, I’m happy (I think) to forward information from Scottie Hulette who works for a Florida company called Pink Sneakers Productions. The message, in part, is this:
“Pink Sneakers Productions produces documentary series for various major networks and we are currently producing a docu-series for CMT! We are looking for outgoing, good-looking, fun-loving, big country families who are ready to pack up this summer and head out of town for a planned summer vacation. I was hoping you could pass along the information to your readers. Please send casting information and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!”
The name of their reality docu-series? That would be “My Big Redneck Summer Rental.”
I researched Pink Sneakers Productions and, sure enough, they’re for real. They also produced a series for CMT a couple of years ago called “My Big Redneck Wedding.” Write Scottie if you want a free summer vacation and you’re willing to look stupid with a lot of feuding and fighting — got to have drama!
Except for another ten thousand scams, that’s about it from the e-mail box. As Joe Bob Briggs once said, “Discourse is fleeting, but junk mail is forever.” Adios!