6 Ways You Can Tell Someone Isn’t From the South – Summer Edition
The Deep South is an amazing place, filled with culture and history, great food and great times. It's no wonder a lot of people love to vacation or relocate here, but they're pretty easy to spot. Here's a quick guide to identifying strangers to our land, and a helpful checklist of things to avoid if you're new here and want to blend in with the locals.
They don't understand the importance of sunscreen.
Here in the Deep South, it’s a commonly known fact that the sun is trying to kill us. We do our best to survive like vampires scurrying away from its ultraviolet death rays by staying indoors as much as possible, but when we do get out, we know we’ll need somewhere around SPF 100 to avoid bursting into flames. People not used to this sort of thing are likely to just head out to the pool, blissfully unaware that they’re faces are about to start melting like they’re in an Indiana Jones movie.
Of course, while we all realize how important sunscreen is, the True Southerner just doesn’t care. So what if we turn into boiled crawfish after a day on the beach? It’ll tan off eventually, and then we’ll talk about how we always have to get one good sunburn in before we can start working on a nice tan.
They aren't prepared for their electric bills.
You can easily tell when someone recently moved to the Deep South by how stunned they are by the sticker shock of their electric bill during the summer months. Honestly, relocation guides for people moving from places on the planet that have actual seasons should include this in the cost of Southern living.
A good rule of thumb is to at least double, if not triple, your average electric bill during the summer months while your poor air conditioner is running constantly like life support on the international space station.
Generally, if you’re not prepared to take out a second mortgage just to keep the A/C running from May to October, you probably shouldn’t move to the South.
They try to eat ice cream outdoors.
It’s kind of adorable, really, watching naive non-locals try to enjoy a delicious frozen treat while the eternal fires of Mount Doom rain down upon them from the sky above. It makes sense, though. It’s hot out, so you want something cold to take the edge off. The only problem is no one has solved the melting problem when ice cream is confronted with summer in the South.
Invest in napkins. Or just go back inside and eat your ice cream like a normal person.
They don't understand how much mosquitos love water.
This one gets a lot of people. Summer means fun in the pool or on the beach for most of the more habitable places on this planet Earth, and it still kinda means that here in the inhospitable, post-apocalyptic Thunderdome of the Deep South, but at least we know about the mosquitos.
If you want your kids to go run and play in the sprinkler out in the backyard, just know that you should plan ahead and buy some waterproof bug repellent. By the truckload, preferably.
You can expect to get in approximately five minutes of fun water time in before the little bloodsuckers get a whiff of that sweet, sweet H2O and come swarming in like a Biblical plague.
It's too hot for gumbo (but not BBQ).
You see this a lot with people vacationing in Louisiana during the summer months. They go to a restaurant and order…gumbo. You can’t blame them, really. Gumbo is synonymous with the Bayou State, and it’s hard to fault them for wanting a taste of the delicious concoction, but wait staff really should warn them about eating gumbo during the hell-heat of August.
At the very least, make sure the restaurant you’re ordering from has a good air conditioner and that it’s cranked down to the arctic setting, then be prepared to spend a minimum of 30 minutes after you finish your meal before trying to walk around outside. You know, like with swimming.
If you're not from around here and you're hanging out in Texas, you might think it's too hot for barbeque, but you'd be wrong. It's never too hot for barbeque in Texas. Or too cold. Or too early, too late, or too anything.
Gitcha some, y'all.
They're scared of hurricanes.
Okay, there’s nothing wrong with being scared of hurricanes. Really nasty ones can be devastating, as far too many people living along the Gulf Coast are painfully aware. If a Category 5 storm is headed your way, you should probably get outta Dodge as fast as possible. There’s no shame in running from nature’s unbridled fury, and you’d be crazy not to evacuate if you can.
That said, not every hurricane is going to be a beast. Most of them are just really windy with a lot of rain, and it’s all over pretty quickly. We don’t get out of bed here in the Deep South for anything under a Category 3, and even when we get a bigger storm, we usually only stay up late to turn on the Weather Channel and see where Jim Cantore is.
Also, if you’re trying to blend in with the natives when a storm is headed your way and someone invites you to a Hurricane Party, don’t act surprised or you’ll blow your cover. Just go, have a few drinks, and pass a good time with your friends. If the worst happens, the Cajun Navy will be by to pick you up directly.
Laissez les bons temps rouler, sha!