Becky Says...


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Not So Funny

Y'all know I'm from the South. And I'm glad I am. So I'm gonna tell you somethin'---I just plain damned hate Southern jokes. You know the ones I mean---the ones where Billy Joe is too stupid to figure out how his computer works, or where Billy Bob Gates has issued a version of the operating system under the name "Winders." Or the ones that imply that we all drink to excess or have sex with our cousins.

I got one such "joke" today, by e-mail; a list of things "Southerners would never say"...the last on the list was that we'd never turn down another drink of booze. And that list of things was so stupid I was embarrassed to read it. Don't worry; it's been deleted.

My problem is that all these jokes can only seem to use the themes of lazy, ignorant, bigoted Southerners; and those themes are pretty damned far from the truth. Are there lazy, ignorant, bigoted people in the South? Sure there are. But there are also some highly-educated people down here, born and bred, who are doing all sorts of good things for the world at large.

I'm not going to provide a huge list of people, or discuss heavy-duty sociological implications here. Those things have already been done, many times over.

I'm just going to give fair warning. If you send me a joke wherein a Southerner looks bad, I'll probably not think it's funny, and I won't thank you for it.

By the way---the same applies to any "ethnic" joke. If the butt of a joke can be transferred from pick-a-group to "moron," then I'll probably change it before sharing. If not, I do my best to forget I ever heard it.

Text copyright 2000 Becky