I have often been asked what it is like to be a hillbilly. Well, the question isn’t usually worded quite that way but the query is the same. Even here in the “New Millennium” there is still quite a lot of ignorance out there when it comes to hillbillies. To give you an idea of what I mean I was asked by a relative who lives in Ohio (That foreign land on the other side of the great river) if I had ever heard of King’s Island. Another time I was asked if we could get cable TV where I lived.
Often people will make comments like, “I wouldn’t want to live down there because there’s nothing to do.” Well, unfortunately or not depending upon what you like, Hillbilly country is not the wilderness some may expect, at least not any more. Whether you are in Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee or some other state in the Hillbilly Nation you see pretty much the same shopping malls/centers, bars and clubs, fast food restaurants, arenas, etc as you do anywhere else. Heck we even have universities, airports and hospitals down here!
Heck, these days most hillbillies get our possum from the grocery store just like those fancy New Yorkers. It is sad but true and the younger generation hardly ever kills their own possums any more, it’s all store bought mechanically separated, processed and formed possum in a can. Yum yum good ole Possum Treat!
We all know that those from the north are uppity and we southerners are friendly and hospitable. Of course that isn’t really true, I have traveled from Connecticut to Texas and there really isn’t that much difference in people just based upon where you go. So whether you are in Louisville, or Memphis, or New York City you will meet the same kinds of people. Some good, some bad, some stuck up (snobs) and some not. Oh and there are probably just as many stuck up snobs south of the river as there are north of it.
What many of those northerners may not realize is that there is a stereotype for them as well. Ask most anyone around where I live (in the real USA) what they think of a Buckeye for example. They will tell you that a Buckeye is a worthless nut and the only things that likes them are the squirrels. They will also tell you that Buckeyes and all northerners are stuck up snobs.
So the hillbilly stereotype is that of an uncouth laid back ignorant person who doesn’t have any shoes or education. The Northerner stereotype is that of a stuck up snobbish “I’m better than you” and I am just so fancy type individual. Either stereotype is just as accurate as the other. I have met folks here in the south that actually fit that hillbilly stereotype and I have met plenty of northerners who fit their stereotype as well. I have also met a lot of really good people from Canada to Florida.
Some of what I have said here may not make any sense to you, but it all makes perfect sense to me. The purpose of this blog is to poke fun at hillbillies and stereotypes, but people need to learn that we are all human beings and everyone is fairly much the same wherever you go. Sure, they may pronounce their words a little differently and some of them may have to walk uphill both ways while others licked on a silver spoon. That is why I always tell people they shouldn’t make fun of them foreigners up north so much just because they act and talk funny. They can’t help it they were raised that way.
Bottom line? Some folks get their possum from a can, others from the roadside, still others load up the beer and shotguns and get away from the wife for a night of good fun possum chasing (The best way is to pick up a possum from the roadside so you can just stay out drinking all night and let the wifey think you was a huntin’ for her supper). The moral of the story is that we might get our possum in different ways, but we are all still brothers and sisters and in many cases our sister is our mother and we just may be our own grandpa!
Special note to all Notherners who may read this: If you understood some of this then you are probably fine. If you understood most of it then you should worry. If you understood every word you should seek help, don’t even take the time to shut down your computer, run outside right now and yell, “I need help! I think I might be a Hillbilly!” Or better yet pack up your stuff and head south, you’re too close to the North Pole anyway.
Special note to Southerners: Howdy! Yer doin’ jess fine!
Written by David Slone, Copyright 2008 all rights reserved and may not be copied or republished in any way without express permission.