Gotta love north Alabama

Posted: June 9, 2008 in Perspective, Uncategorized

I love this town, but I’ve come to the conclusion that for every civilized action in Decatur, there is an equal and opposite reaction of “redneckedness.”  It’s as if Decatur was constantly trying to maintain some sort of cosmic balance between polo shirts and overalls…between the Japanese steak house and the lunch buffet that advertises with a plane…between Publix and Piggly Wiggly…between Canadian banks and title loan offices, and so on and so on.

I confess:  I’m a city boy.  I grew up in Stone Mountain, GA in suburban Atlanta.  You cannot get more “city” in the south than in Atlanta, which is a massive, sprawling mess of white collar industry, interstates, traffic, and true metropolitan culture.  There were people everywhere.  We had cable TV before people in North Alabama understood that cable was not the power cord.  I was amazed at small town things – like seeing a farm for the first time (really!), or stores that did not open on Sundays.  Sure, I’ve got small town experience:  I lived in Macon, GA during college years, my grandparents lived in Canton, GA before Atlanta swallowed it, and now I reside in Decatur, Alabama.  But I’m still left gaping at some things with my mouth hanging open that leave me utterly stunned about how “un-city-boy” like my current existence has become.

Here are 3 examples:

  1. They shot a cow last week in a subdivision where some friends of ours live.  A cow (a heifer, not a bull) running rampant, then getting shot by police after it charged them.  If you’re not laughing, you’re probably offended that I am.  I’m sorry, but please understand:  gunshots in a subdivision in Atlanta at 4 a.m. normally do not involve livestock (which is probably a much worse thing, d’oh!).
  2. The local Chinese buffet serves fried catfish.  Yup.  Right there next to the Moo Goo Gai Pan and the General Tso’s chicken.  Not an Asian-flaired variation, either.  Simple, southern-fried catfish.  Man, I miss Imperial Chinese Garden in Lilburn, GA.  No catfish there.
  3. And the latest:

This is the marquee on the local Huddle House on the beltline.  Wow.  I read that and about ran my car off the road laughing.  Any marquee with the word “bail” in it immediately confirms any suspicions I have of Decatur’s “redneckedness.”


Okay, someone explained to me that there’s more to this sign than some short order chef getting arrested for punching a customer or something and that it was really a fund-raiser sort of thing.  But come on…I laughed for a solid week before someone told me that.  After all, there are billboards advertising bail bond companies on I-565.  I’d never seen that living in Atlanta or Birmingham.

So you can tell me the truth, and I’ll momentarily think, “Well, that’s nice” (seriously). 

But then I’ll go back to laughing my butt off, confident that there will always be something else to add to this list.  One of these days I’ll have to find and post a photo I took of an old 1980s Ford EXP I saw in the Wal-mart parking lot a few years ago.  The front end had been damaged and replaced with…wood.  Plywood, to be exact.  And sure enough, some round headlights were screwed into the wood.  So was the grill.  Having just moved here, upon seeing that, I thought, “What have I gotten myself into?”

But you know what’s the scariest?  Today, I love this town.  Give me cow shootings, plywood cars, and raised bail any day of the week over Atlanta traffic, crime, or the fact that there a gazillion people everywhere you go.  Just don’t be shocked if you see me snapping photos of things – maybe even you 😉 – to add to my collection of redneckedness-things.


  1. Anne says:

    Redneckedness…….Jimmy & I went to a restaurant named “Granny Nell’s Country Cooking” outside of Huntsville & there was a bulletin board in there that said, “Help Granny Nell get a truck.” People were stapling 1s, 5s, & 10 dollar bills to it! AND….if you go to the Chinese Restaurant in Gateway Shopping Center, you will find hot sauce – not hot mustard – Hot Sauce (Tobassco) on the tables. That’s just messed up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s