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Southern wisdom deep, but not fried

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By Larry Simoneaux
Published:
I have an old friend, Mike Henderson, who worked for NOAA.
To pay the mortgage and keep himself in groceries, he did things like sitting in large, four-engined, aluminum tubes and navigating while some other fools flew it into the middle of hurricanes.
Mike did this so that local Eyewitness, Live Eye, First Alert, Action News weather-guessers everywhere could stand -- usually at some awkward angle -- in front of a camera and tell us that, in hurricanes, there's a lot of wind and rain.
Mike also graduated from the University of Georgia -- a college with a passable football team and fans who wander around "woofing" to emulate "UGA," their bulldog mascot.
That last was an aside. It's also an attempt to point out Mike's mistake in not attending LSU -- a college with a great football team and fans who stand away from their mascot since it's a live Bengal tiger.
If you've read this column before, you probably know that I have other friends like Mike who do strange things for a living, frequent bars where we can tell lies about it all, and are married to women who put up with us despite frequent and severe bouts of exasperation.
Anyway, Mike's saving grace is that he is, by the grace of God, a Southerner. A while back, he sent me a list of Southern "words of wisdom" he'd gleaned from the Internet. I can't claim authorship and I've tried to track down the original source, but it appears that his or her name (I'd like to believe that it was Lewis Grizzard) has disappeared into the ocean of information that comprises the virtual world.
Still, I thought I'd pass them on since a person could probably live a decent life by remembering some of them. To wit:
Men who hurt women and children are just sorry, no-account trash who need to be snatched bald.
Always forgive your enemies. It messes with their minds.
Men should give their seats to women, hold chairs and open doors for them, and walk on the curb side of the street while with them. Women should always expect such from men lest they end up with sorry, no-account trash.
Never corner anyone or anything meaner than you.
Hiding the fire's easy. The smoke is something else altogether.
Never say or do anything in public that you wouldn't want your mother to hear at your trial.
Never stand between the dog and the hydrant.
The words "Sir" and "Ma'am" sorely need to be revived. "Please," "Thank you," "Excuse me," and "I'm sorry" could stand some dusting off, too.
Wrinkles come from experience. Experience comes from doing. Doing comes from living proper.
Words that soak into your ears are whispered, not yelled.
"Yonder" is a direction. "Directly" is a measure of time. "Right near" is a unit of distance. "Booger" can be either a term of affection or a first name.
The best sermons are lived not preached.
Kids will always repeat -- word for word -- whatever it was you should never have said.
Never hit a man with glasses. Hit him with something heavier.
Never go hunting with anyone named "Chug-A-Lug."
Never wear a backward baseball cap to an interview unless you're applying for the job of umpire.
Meanness doesn't happen overnight.
There's no pleasant way to remove a cow pie from your path.
You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar, assuming you want to catch flies in the first place.
It doesn't take a very big person to carry a grudge.
Always deliver more than you promise. Everyone will love you for that -- especially if it's on time to boot.
Life's simpler when you plow around the stumps. It's simpler still when you realize that there are stumps that need to be plowed around.
When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
Whenever someone starts a sentence with the words "Bless her (his) heart," what comes next is never going to be complimentary.
And finally, you never "have" a hissie fit, you "pitch" them.
Larry Simoneaux lives in Edmonds. Send comments to: larrysim@comcast.net


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