Just got my new copy of Mississippi Magazine. I like the direction they have taken since a new hausfrau editor has come on board. It’s still one great big advertisement for planter’s wives from one end of the state to the other, but I like the fact that there are a few more freelancers showing up now and again. That pleases me; well, that and the fact that this issue has several intriguing Meyer lemon-containing recipes, seeing as I am about to drown in Meyer lemons and Meyer lemon juice.
It’s nice to get something from Mississippi in the mail. And it is nice to send things to Mississippi as well. In fact, I took some packages to the Post Office on Monday. Meyer lemons for Momma stuffed in one of those flat rate Priority boxes – which are the bomb-izzle, by the by. I didn’t give much thought to my attire. I just grabbed whatever was clean and on top of the pile and departed.
As I was collecting an extra grip of those flat rate Priority shipping boxes, a clean cut young man in the line for the window hit me with the sideways glance and huffed out, “you really an Ole Miss fan?”
I glanced down and referenced the bright red sweat I had unconsciously selected with Ole Miss written in white and blue script across the front.
“Yeah,” I said, with a lot of “and what does that mean to you before I beat your ass right here in front of God and everybody” undercurrents thrown into my one word answer just so he knew my hackles were about DEFCON 2.
“I from Mississippi, too,” he said.
Well, shut my mouth. Why didn’t you say so in the first place, boy. I took you for just another asshole Californian with some culturally superior remark that was just burning a hole in his craw and was about to have said culturally superior remark beaten back into his brain pan with a government issue garbage can.
My guard immediately fell. I stuck my hand out.
“My name’s Andy. Where you from, Boy?”
“Indianola. My name’s William. I went to school in Hattiesburg,” said the smiling young man.
“Well, sonofabitch. I’m from Corinth and I flunked out of Mississippi State. I graduated from the University of New Orleans. Thus the Ole Miss sweatshirt.”
William laughed out loud.
“What in God’s name are you doing out here?” I said.
“No money in Mississippi right now,” he said.
As young as he was, I imagine he was working hard on paying off college loans and entry level jobs at home ain’t gonna come close to getting it done. Ask me how I know.
We spent the next few minutes leaning on the miscellaneous forms counter discussing in loud detail what a joke we thought California was, how roughly 96% of the people that consider themselves “Californian” are complete douche bag assholes, and we’d both rather have rectal exams on national television than die here or ever voluntarily move here again, although the beaches and the mountains were pretty cool. Our drawls collectively picked up steam as the conversation progressed.
We talked about how we couldn’t wait to get away from home and now we’d do quite literally anything short of prostitution to get our homesick asses back on Delta dirt and red clay. I told young William I had twenty odd years traveling around and there really is no place on this earth quite like our great home state of Mississippi. I think I was preaching to the choir, though. I believe young William had already figured that one out.
I guess we stood there for ten minutes or more just laughing and carrying on talking. I quizzed him about changes at the University of Southern Mississippi and what was the latest and greatest around good ole Hattiesgulch.
The young man put a smile on my face, so I got his email address and told him I’d have him over for peas and cornbread one night.
Get used to it. We’re everywhere.