Friday, June 7, 2013

Top Ten: Easygoing Day with a surprise top ten.

Today was an awesome day in the hospital. And usually, I wouldn't say that about a day like today, because the students and interns were all off. The resident and I were left to our own devices which wasn't too bad since we weren't admitting any patients on this day. I could tell that my resident had a big "to do" list that she was trying to jump on top of. One that included things like discharge summary dictations and logistical pieces of patient management. So instead of launching into a bedside soliloquy on the latest heart failure guidelines or taking her through a Socratic barrage of questions, I simply "work rounded" with her. We made management decisions together and kept things focused and to the point.


So honestly, all of that was finished by 10:45 AM. So that left me the rest of the morning and the afternoon to go back to see my patients at my own pace. Our census today wasn't very big. That was even better because it meant that, if I wanted, that pace could be a snail's pace.

This doesn't happen to me so often. Even when I do have a chance to round alone, there's usually some other commitment looming over my head and bookending things. But not today.

And so. On my by-my-own-self rounds today, I simply went around talking to a few of my patients. Checking in on them and mostly just shooting the breeze. Because the "work rounds" part had already been done.

Man, oh man. I had the best time. I held an impromptu family meeting with one patient and his family. It lasted nearly 45 minutes and everyone asked questions and nobody was rushed. And I could tell while I sat there that they appreciated that. Like they could feel that I wasn't in a hurry so they just asked and asked and I just explained and explained as much as I could. And that part was really good.

I listened to a Grady elder speak to me on all of the things that people of African descent invented in the world. He wagged his crooked finger and narrowed his eyes as he spoke. Told me to be proud of that. To not forget. And I told him I don't and I won't. Then I told him that I really, really felt honored to care for him. And he told me that he could tell. That response made me very, very happy.

I laughed out loud with a patient and his wife of over thirty years. He told me on his first hospital day that the secret to longevity in marriage is simple: "Jest do what she say." And so I brought this up when his wife was there and she furrowed her brow, looked around and said, "Who said that? That hard-headed man right there?" And we just cracked up laughing.

He claimed that he was "delirious" when he said that. And his wife, who was sitting in the bedside reclining chair with her arms folded said, "Yeah. That's the only way you would'a said somethin' like that!" And their collective laughter was so harmonious that right then and there I knew exactly why they'd been married for so long.

But the best of them all? OMG. One of my patients was talking to me and her television was muted. She was trying to get the sound back on and couldn't figure out how to do it. She was a Grady elder and her hands weren't as nimble as they used to be. So she handed me the remote and said, "Why y'all got to have all these highfalutin' thangs up in here?"

Her choice of words made me smile. High-falutin'. Hee hee.

But it got better when her unmuted television ended up being on the Real Housewives of New Jersey Reunion Special. At the very moment she turned it on, those women were shouting and cursing and pointing and all kinds of mess. And my patient, the Grady matriarch said, "Now what is this foolishness you got me watching up in here now? Lawd have mercy! Turn this mess off, hear?"

And through a tiny snicker, I did.

"Why you laughing?" she asked. And her eyes were twinkling when she did, so I told her the truth.

"I think the South is just another planet sometimes. I just love it when I hear those words and phrases that you only hear in the South."

"Like what?"

"Hmmm. Like 'foolishness.' And like . . .'highfalutin'."

"Oh, that ain't really jest Southern, see. That's what you call 'country.' There's a lot of words that's a dead give away that you country if you say 'em too much."

I clapped and squealed in delight. I pulled out an index card from my pocket and said, "Okay. Let's make a top ten list of stuff that will make people KNOW you from the country when they hear you talking."

"Not jest the South. The country."

"Yes! The country!"

"I don't know if I got ten. You gon' help?"

"Of course!" I was already laughing. Seriously. Out loud. I knew that this was a blogworthy moment and I couldn't wait to tell you all. So I told her about my blog and showed it to her on my phone. And she seemed very amused by all of it and seemed to like the idea of making you guys smile.

Okay, so here's our top ten. . .with the help of my Grady elder patient, I bring you:



Like to hear it? Here it go!

#10  You call your mother "Mother."

According to my patient, even though it sounds high-falutin', calling your mama "Mother" is a practice that only real, real country folks do.

Also: See Mudear and Madea.

#9  You call shorts "short-pants."

Before there were shorts, there were pants that got cut off to make. . .wait for it. . ."short pants."

#8  You knew at least three families that had more than ten children in them. 

Bonus points if one of those families is your own.

#7  You pronounce the word boil as "berl" instead.

Um, yeah.

See also: East Pernt, Georgia

#6  You refer to Jesus Christ as "sir." Loudly and often.

"Thankya, sir! You're a way maker, sir!"

Um, yeah. Kinda like that. No. Exaggeration. (This one REALLY tickled my patient. Ha ha ha!)

#5  You have asked someone for a slice of "light bread" before. And you have intentionally drank buttermilk. Bonus points for pouring buttermilk over cornbread for a meal.

See: Extreme country-ness.

#4  You punctuate statements with the word "hear" and you refer to things as "mess" and "foolishness."

"Turn this mess off, hear? What kind of foolishness they got on this television at Grady!"

#3  You have eaten the following: Rabbit, squirrel, or possum. You have also eaten berled peanuts and pigs' feet more times than you can count. Bonus points if you put chow-chow on your greens and you refer to them on a first name basis ("collards", "mustards", "turnips.")

(Rabbit? *cough* Sorry, just threw up in my mouth a little bit.)

#2  You not only know what Alaga Syrup is, you prefer it.

I have tried it. And I have one word. Eew.

#1 At least one of your siblings was (literally) born in your home and at least one of them goes by the name "Brother", "Sister", "Skeeter", "Junior", "Junie", "Sissy" OR is a female with a male name with a cute spelling followed by the middle name "Mae", "Lou", or the suffix "-etta."

See: Johnnie Lou, Willie Mae, and Charles-etta. 

We also laughed about a few other ones, but the list started getting too long. I'm sure some of you country folks reading this will have a few that we missed. Now as I read over it more, I'm realizing that you don't even have to be "country" for a lot of these--some just require sustained exposure to elders.  :)

Ha ha.

It was an awesome day. It made me happy. Happier than a camel on Wednesday, y'all. And man, oh man, am I just glad to be here.

Happy Friday! And BT-dubs. . .I call my M-I-L "Mother", my dad is one of eleven and his mom was one of ten, I say "foolishness" to my kids at least seven times per week, and I have an uncle named "Skeeter." This means that I am officially a little bit country!

Don't get the "camel on Wednesday" joke? Peep this. "HUMP DAAAAY!" (I know it's Friday today but I couldn't resist. This is hilarious to me!)


  1. Well,one of my sisters has Mae in her name. The descention came from my great geatgrandmother. Polly Mae- Dolly Mae- Willie Mae- Sandra Mae- Brenda Mae. I nicked Mollie, Mollie Mae because she is very dramatic like my grandmother was. Oh and Brenda was called Sissy most of her childhood.

    1. It's all about the middle name Mae, isn't it? I love it!

  2. Say it loud...I'm country and I'm proud! :-D

    This post wa a hoot! (hoot = funny for the country impaired)


  3. Southern? Hippie?

    1. Oh come on, Sis Moon, you know ALL about this. Hee hee.

  4. Okay, here us go:

    sweet milk (as opposed to buttermilk)

    cook stove

    face bowl (bathroom sink)

    no'm (no ma'am)

    yez'm or yep'm (yes ma'am)

    #6 pronounced, suh

    fair to middlin' (when someone asks how you're doing - means not bad, could be better)

    pyzen (poison)

    twernt (it weren't, as in "twernt no ice in the bucket.)

    yon (yonder)

    do (said when someone promises to come by for a visit or promises anything desirable)

    d'out (without)

    country folk will know what a "haint" is

    they like to end words with "er", like yeller (yellow)

    1. *collects herself from the floor laughing*

      Nancy!!! You are a NUT!! I love this! I love you!!!! Ha ha ha!

  5. I can't wait to read Poop Deck's comments. He just may fit every category! I'm fixin' to go now - or is it "finna go" now - 'cause I ain't "stutting" this post no more! I have "zerned" it enough.
    I will admit though, that Alaga (as in Alabama/Georgia) syrup was a staple in my house growing up, and I'm not even country! LOL!
    (At least I don't think I am.)

  6. Have mercy, I have some country in me! Let's see, we call my daughter Sister or Sissy. (she's the only girl following 3 much older brothers. The boys are 22,20,and almost 17. She will be 9 in July) I've eaten squirrel,rabbit, deer, moose,elk, and pheasant. I don't know what chow chow is, but my husband and 2 of my kids will knock you down getting to the greens. They prefer collard.

    1. Deer, moose, elk, and pheasant? Whoa. That's hard core. You needed some chow chow to put on top of all those gamey meats! Ha ha!

  7. From the deck of the Poop,
    This is really a hoot! Since you are "comin out of the bushes" (Confessing) why not come all di way out. I sunt (past tense of sent) Ba-Bro to the sto and he spunt (spent) mo money that he was pose (suppose) to.
    You had uncles with actual given names of (1) Ponce De Leon, nicknamed Jake (2) Edsel Ford, nicknamed Chief, Hiawatha, nicknamed Skeeter. An aunt with given name "Matt Henry", nicknamed Vinny . Now this is COUNTRY. You dad is named William Ralph, nicknamed Tony.. go figure. Country folk didn't follow the old William - Bill thing; they just made up their own.
    I'm gwien over to Aint-oman"s house (aunt - woman) cause she had some left-over cat-heads (biscuits). I'm gonna "sop" some ALAGA syrup...

    more to come LOL


  8. Well shut my mouth wide open! Y'all done hit the nail on the head with this right heah. . A few more came to mind;

    Make sure y'all "baize" Annie Lee (give her a bath)

    I'aint seen David in a month of Sundays (David's been M.I.A.)

    I'll be back d'areckly (soon)

    Sugar (diabetes)

    Don't make me lose my 'ligion (religion)

    Martha will tell a lie quicker than a cat can lick his a@*

    I'm fixing to get ready for choich (church), but if y'all make me laugh this hard one mo gin, I'ma make sure y'all will have a hard row to hoe!

  9. I have an Aunt Billie Margaret and an Uncle George Washington Lafayette.

    yes, it's sweet milk and light bread

    boy howdy!

    Fixin to

    you are country if you have ever had to carry someone somewhere, (this is really giving someone a ride, or taking them someplace, but my grandmother referred to it as being carried to the store)

    If the ceiling of your front porch is painted haint blue

    if you have ever had a chain saw on your kitchen counter, and this seemed normal at the time

    If one of your dogs has its own dog (am I veering into trashy? perhaps)

    If the treatment for a hornet sting was for your grandfather to take his spittin tobacco OUT OF HIS MOUTH to put on your sting.

    if you carry things in a croker sack. Or if you know what a croker sack is

    1. I do not even know where to start with the awesomeness of these additions to the list. All I will say is YES, YES, YES!!!

      What is "haint blue?" OMG! And I think croker is a a kroger sack? Yes? No? And big, huge LOL at "carrying" folks places!!!

  10. Let's see... Well my grandfather dunked his cornbread into his buttermilk for desert. We had a Johnny Mae and Jessie Mae in our family. My F.I.L is one of 10. I love collards, not the mustard or turnips. I think I was 21 before I knew that a "chester drawer" was really " a chest OF drawers". I stopped saying finna and fixin' too my freshman year at Tuskegee because one of my professors said "you are learned people. Act like such." Oh and I am from Los Angeles. Does that make me country???


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

Related Posts with Thumbnails