southern gentleman

yesterday my lyft driver had a gps that read off directions in what was obviously some sort of specific customized voice

so i was like ‘hey, why does this sound familiar?’

and he was like ‘oh i downloaded it special. it’s colonel sanders.’

never in my life had a stranger thrown me such a goddamn conversational curveball. 

was this an official branded piece of content marketing by kfc? why? why would you go to the trouble of auditioning and hiring a voice actor to impersonate your now-dead founder guiding people onto the i-95, like the world’s least interesting benevolent spirit? colonel sanders was a real dude who is now dead; that is a flipping weird thing for a company to spend money on. is this some misguided corporate attempt to try to revamp his image, like ‘yeah he was a plantation-y southern gentleman and symbolically there’s no way it’s not at least a little racist to glorify him but look…he did just help you get to ikea’

on the other hand, if it’s not affiliated with the company that raises SO MANY MORE questions, like who did this? does colonel sanders have some sort of underground fan community? was there a forum somewhere on the internet where colonel sanders die-hards were all wistfully expressing their longing to have that fried chicken guy’s voice drawling in their ear during long road trips and then finally one lone man stepped forward to fill that gap with a microphone, a dream, and a sub-par fake southern accent

what i said was, ‘…huh’

‘i had t-pain’s voice for a while but it got old really fast,’ said my driver

‘turn right,’ said colonel sanders

‘mm-hmm,’ i said

‘there’s a traffic camera up ahead,’ said colonel sanders. ‘if anyone asks, i was with you last night.’ then he chuckled, in a warm, folksy manner.

i realize this probably sounds like some sort of twisted postmodern tumblr joke, but no, these were the actual pre-recorded words the actual app said.

‘did your gps just jokingly imply colonel sanders committed a murder yesterday and needs an alibi,’ i asked.

‘what?’ said the driver, changing lanes. ‘yeah i guess.’

never in my life had a gps thrown me such a goddamn conversational curveball

like. was it a gps at all, or some sort of experimental new form of fiction, an avant garde crime story delivered in tiny dribbles in and among every hundred navigational tips? but no, if so we are talking some TRUE UNSOLVED MYSTERIES shit, because why the fuck is your dark antihero colonel fucking sanders?

was it a gps at all, or was the deceased wing-and-drumstick magnate now a vengeful ghost and my driver a bold and resourceful ghost-hunter who somehow managed to trap that malignant specter inside the car and bind the colonel’s will to his own and then use that will to get us to the airport via the most efficient available route?

either way, the driver did not divulge his secrets. the colonel droned on. the ride ended. the car drove away and still the truth eluded me, slippery as greased corn.

somebody call a paranormal investigator because we have a lot of shit to work out

After taking a rather safe picture at DallasCon with Jared, I wanted something a little different with him at HoustonCon. And I figured since he’s a born and raised Texas boy, and I’m a born and raised Texas girl, that he really knows how to two-step.
So, when the time for my photo-op came, I walked right up to him and after saying hello I looked at him and asked with a dumb shy smile, “Would you two-step with me?”
He smiled so big you guys, and was like “Oh hell yeah!” He literally grabbed- no yanked me by my waist so that I was 100% pressed against him, y'know, like you would two-step normally (he literally leads so well, gosh what I’d give to dance a Johnny Cash song with him gosh gosh gosh) and after Chris snapped the picture he looked at me and smiled while telling me “Thank you so much (while doing the adorable blowing kisses thing he does where he uses both hands), I’m really so happy you asked for that, I love it!” And as I walked away all I could say was “You’re literally the best!”

Check out the latest from Social Primer!

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We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and — in spite of True Romance magazines — we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely — at least, not all the time — but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.
—   Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967

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So I just wanna help y'all understand something about southern stereotypes:

  • Southern gentlemen are kind, courteous, and protective of women and children. They are often Christian and proud of their southern heritage. Men referred to as southern gentlemen often have more refined etiquette.
  • Rednecks are basically southern gentlemen without the refined etiquette. They take pride in industry, which is why their yards are often reminiscent of salvage yards-they plan on using most of the things there and are just waiting for the time to complete their projects. They do like to hunt, but they are respectful in doing so. They are hardworking people.
  • White trash have none of the characteristics of southern gentlemen. They are arrogant, belligerent, and like to cheat the system. Their yards look like junkyards-they have no intention of doing anything with any of that stuff, they just couldn’t be bothered to get rid of it. They hunt out of season, teach their kids racism and abusive tendencies, and do their best to avoid work. These are the people who you see collecting welfare checks and never working.
  • Hillbillies are just rural folks from the hills or mountains who don’t interact much with society. They may have any mixture of good or bad traits.
  • Hicks are rural folks who are regarded as unintelligent.
  • Country boys/girls are raised in the South, usually outside cities, and while they vary in their manners, beliefs, and such, they are generally accustomed to hard labor.

So basically most southern stereotypes have been morphed and merged in the eyes of people from elsewhere.

When it comes to country girls y'all have taken the idea of a young woman who has been raised on a farm, works hard, and is proud of her efforts and roots and tried your best to replace it with the image of a city girl who wishes that she were living in the country because she thinks that marrying a country boy sounds romantic.

Also, although most of y'all think that everyone in the South is horribly racist, know this: those of us who are truly proud of southern culture are proud of everything from the Mexican and African to the French and German cultures that have come together to create our culture.

And it’s frankly offensive that y'all merge the ideas of rednecks and white trash when you think of the South, because while rednecks are pretty uncommon as you go North, white trash are in no short supply anywhere around the world.