Jimmy Tomlin: The Southern Bill of Rights
Drastic times call for drastic measures, and when the government tries to take away our Big Gulps, well, that’s pretty drastic.
What’s next? A lasagna law? Or, God forbid, a bacon ban?
Only in New York City could somebody think it’s OK for a man to play his guitar in Times Square while wearing only a pair of tighty-whities — look up “The Naked Cowboy” if you’ve never heard of this well-known street performer — but not OK for him to buy a 20-ounce Grape Nehi.
Anyway, as you probably know, a judge — thankfully! — ruled against New York City’s proposed ban on large, sugary sodas the day before it was supposed to take effect.
The day before! Can you imagine a sugary soda ban getting that far here in the South, where Coke, Pepsi, RC and Cheerwine are more sacred than holy water? They’d have a better chance of banning milk, which is actually kinda good for us.
In fact, we’ve already started slamming the doors, just so nobody gets any stupid ideas. Mississippi, God bless ’em, has already passed a law that prohibits local governments from banning super-sized sugary drinks.
And now, we have a similar proposal in North Carolina.
This is great news, of course — as far as I’m concerned, you can take away my Big Gulp when you pry it out of my cold, dead fingers — but I don’t think these laws go far enough. I think we need to adopt an entire Southern Bill of Rights.
Something kinda like this:
We the People of these Southern United States, in order to form a more perfect Southland, do hereby ordain and establish this Southern Bill of Rights, by which no government entity shall attempt to ban the cherished freedoms we hold so near and dear here in the South:
1. Government shall not ban Big Gulps, Crusher Colas, Stupendous Sodas or any other super-sized soft drink.
2. Government shall not ban barbecue (but banning the use of the word “barbecue” as a verb is strongly encouraged).
3. Government shall not tamper with the following Southern expressions: “Y’all,” “Bless your heart,” “Big ’un,” “How’s yer mama ’n’ them?,” “Fixin’” (as in “I’m fixin’ to eat supper”), “Git!” or “Hey, y’all, watch this!”
4. Government shall not ban the use of hubcaps as home accessories.
5. Government shall not ban the respect for John Deere, which is not only a type of lawn equipment but also a fashion statement.
6. Government shall not inhibit any Southerner’s right to hurry to the grocery store before a predicted snowfall — even if it’s just a dusting — to purchase bread, milk, eggs and toilet paper.
7. Government shall not prohibit Southern women from pitching hissie fits or having conniptions when necessary.
8. Government shall not prohibit Southern men from wearing belt buckles engraved with their names.
9. Government shall not prohibit any bait-shop owner from advertising additional services, such as lawn-mower repair and income-tax preparation.
10. Government shall not ban the use of bacon grease for cooking or for getting a hefty woman off the toilet if she gets stuck.
11. Government shall not remove “Hee Haw,” “Duck Dynasty,” “The Dukes of Hazzard,” “The Andy Griffith Show,” NASCAR races, professional wrestling or Bass Pro Shop commercials from the airwaves.
12. Government shall not prohibit Southerners from eating fried chicken with their fingers, rather than a knife and fork.
13. Government shall not ban sweet tea under any circumstances, even if said tea somehow poses a threat to national security.
14. Government shall not tamper with grits.
15. Government shall not limit the number of first names by which a Southerner can be called (Jim Bob, Betty Sue, Lee Roy, Thelma Lou, Bubba Big ’un, Billy Bobby and similar names shall always remain acceptable).
Now, who’s with me? I’m fixin’ to sign this thing right now and get it notarized.
You know, at the bait shop.
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