1. Any and all stories dealing with the Bell Witch.
What’s scarier than a 19th-century folklore about a half-dog-half-rabbit, ghost-on-human poisoning, Andrew Jackson, and a creepy damp cave dripping in witchcraft? Absolutely nothing. Think the Blair Witch was terrifying? Try living in the same area as the bitch who inspired her.
2. Being sucked into the clusterfuck vortex of furies, ribbon dancers, hula hoopers, and flower crowns while trying to survive the terror of Monteagle.
All the while, trying to do the math to figure out how the people who go to Bonnaroo can’t afford toothbrushes but seem to have the money to see Bassnectar 22 times in one year.
3. Being hungover and laying eyes on your family’s stiff pew at church.
Or worse…being hungover and oversleeping. Prepare to feel the wrath of your sweet Southern mother as she spends the rest of the day dropping hints about your questionable salvation and how you wreak of Marlboros.
4. Helplessly watching as the bartender pours an exact shot of Jack into your Coke.
Please, sir…I want some more.
5. Getting a friend request on Facebook from the old lady at your mom’s church who can’t turn the caps lock off.
“If I accept and she finds out I like beer and the word ‘fuck’, she may stop making me her pimento mac n’ cheese for Sunday dinners. If I reject, she’ll probably ask my mom about it at choir practice who will then guilt trip me into accepting, which means ultimately, no more pimento mac n’ cheese. And if I don’t take any action, she’ll remind me every time she bakes me warm banana nut bread as a bribe…”
Basically, you’re screwed.
6. Telling someone from another part of the country where you’re from and having to explain that you don’t actually suck.
Yes, there are those who fly Confederate Flags behind their jacked up trucks in a cloud of black exhaust. Yes, there are people who sit on their front porch all day with a wad of dip in their mouth who think that The Onion is a reputable news source. And yes, some folks think eating roadkill should be totally legal.
But no, I’m not one of them.
7. Strangers who don’t reciprocate a wave when passing on the road.
There’s literally no other excuse for this besides the stranger in question being either be a serial killer or a grave robber. Or maybe a Yankee.
8. Finding the bottom of those Christie Cookies sacks.
*eats the crumbly remnants of buttery gourmet white chocolate macadamia with only minimal shame*
9. “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we don’t have sweet iced tea.”
Tell this to a Tennessean and watch as their whole world comes crumbling down in a mess of crushed Southern tradition and sugary dehydration all over the table. Hint: you might want to go on and scribble down that they’ll have a double Jack and Coke instead.
10. Accidentally taking a shot of moonshine.
That wasn’t vodka…that was not vodka…
11. That evil white stuff that spits from the sky.
Just hearing Paul Barys prophecize “…and on Tuesday, we’ve got a 60% chance of some light flurries…” sends some Tennesseans into a tailspin of overreacting shopping buggies filled to the brim with enough canned soup, jugs of milk, and boxes of poptarts to sustain a post-apocalyptic family of four for at least a month. Not to mention the inevitable of comments such as “Ha! Global warming my ass!” coming from Uncle Steve any time snow is mentioned. Or, y’know, cold weather in general.
12. Being a vegetarian and eating absolutely anything you didn’t cook yourself.
Okra deep-fried in duck fat. Green bean casserole soaked in chicken stock. Cheese grits loaded with bacon. Veggies just aren’t sacred anymore.
13. Having to get creative with excuses when invited to something on Game Day.
“You know, I’d love to come to your ‘Fancy Hat and Shih Tzu’ party, but I was planning on alphabetizing my lotion cabinet that day…”
14. Shutting the cluck up.
Because Hot Chicken is no joke. Bite, chew, sweat, and cry at your own risk.