Thursday, July 12, 2007

When Bubbas and hoes are extra welcome.

I don't usually just swipe an entire article and print it up at the Dew, but this Celia column was too priceless to pass on. It's from the Myrtle Beach Online news and you can go to the actual article at the link.


There are moments when you realize that, despite all the talk of blended populations and such, we Southerners are still different from the rest of the world. And not just because the people who work at Chick-fil-A always tell you to "have a blessed day." I'm not sure why we're different. Maybe it's because we live in perpetual fear of monster hurricanes and unsweet tea, both plenty scary in their own way.

If you don't believe me, consider this. Last week, I was visiting a new friend who moved here from the North. She lives in a lovely subdivision filled with dozens of folks who have moved from Long Island, which has a completely different approach to iced tea, by the way.

We were saying goodbye on her front porch when I spied a 4-foot-long snake slithering its way toward my Taurus (incidentally, the car recently named "statistically least likely to be stolen," which somehow leaves me feeling insulted). I screamed, and to her credit, my new Northern pal screamed, too.

"Snake!" she shrieked.

"Snake!" I shrieked.

"Get the hoe!" I shrieked.

"Huh?" she said.

Fortunately for us, at this moment, my pal's husband and a neighbor, also from the North, walked into the yard at just the right moment. The garage door was up, and I could see an array of Snake Killing Implements hanging neatly on the pegboard.

"Get a hoe!" I shouted to the men. "There's a snake!"

They looked perplexed.

"A hoe?" said the neighbor, who was wearing some kind of jumpsuit with what looked just like the Dharma Initiative logo from "Lost" on the pocket. Funny the stuff you notice when your adrenaline is pumping.

The neighbor and my friend's husband looked at me as if I had asked them to help me strangle a basket of kittens.

"Oh, he's not a threat," Dharma guy said. "Snakes actually protect us from other harmful pests."

I could've sworn I saw the snake pause to laugh at this, while sidling up to my wheel well.

"GET A HOE!" I repeated, thinking that at least my friend's hubby would take this seriously.

But he'd also become Johnny Environment, and the snake was just outright guffawing at this point.

And then it hit me. I needed a Bubba. My whole life, Southern men have come to my rescue, but this was not something that translated geographically. Where I'm from, if a woman hollers "Snake!" at least four Bubbas will magically appear, hoes in hand, and you're looking at snake puddin' in under 10 seconds.

The snake, hearing all this, slithered away to romp some more in his happy Bubba-free neighborhood.

"Fuhgeddaboutit," I heard him hiss.
Contact CELIA RIVENBARK at or go to