Gut Rumbles

July 30, 2008

The Southern test

Originally published July 17, 2005

I learned this lesson the hard way. I took a car trip from Tacoma, Washington to Savannah, Georgia. That trip was quite an education.

I rode with Recondo 32 and we stayed on the back roads and saw just about every small town on the map along the way. While out west and in the midwest, we ate at small diners when we saw a bunch of pickup trucks in the parking lot around lunchtime. The food usually was very good. But if you ordered iced tea, it sucked. Weak, watery cat-piss.

We didn't find a damn place that knew how to cook grits for breakfast, either. Washington State, at least around the Seattle-Tacoma area, is filled with yuppie, leftist pricks, by and large. They've got an espresso shop on every corner and "NO SMOKING" signs everywhere.

The eastern part of the state might be somewhere I could live. But they don't know how to make grits or iced tea there, either.

Montana is stunningly beautiful. I've never seen such wonderous landscape before in my life. The people are friendly (except for that funny accent they have) and they know how to cook a BIG steak. But they can't make grits or iced tea for shit.

You can lump Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana and Illinois into one bowl. Lots of corn, but not much else. At least ONE hostile policeman we were unfortunate enough to encounter. And THEY don't know how to cook grits or make iced tea, either.

After five days on the road, we stopped in Lexington, Kentucky to spend the night. A Cracker Barrel Restaurant was right across the street from the motel. We went there to eat and ordered iced tea while we perused the menu.

The tea came Southern Style, in a glass big enough to drown a horse and sweet enough to kill a diabetic. Recondo took one sip and said, "GOT-DAM! We're back Down South again!" I echoed his comments.

It felt and tasted good to be back home. The iced tea (and the side order of grits I had with my meal of country-fried steak, okra and tomatoes and collard greens) made the difference. I wouldn't call Lexington a TRULY Southern town, but they know how to make iced tea and grits.

I am convinced that you can't find that stuff worth a damn outside the South.

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