Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Size is Everything, Even In Church

A couple of years ago I was headed to a friend's house for an evening of beer and poetry (an interesting combination truth be told) and noticed in the directions that my friend had written "turn left at Saint Hiney's Big A** Church." (ok, for the record, there is no St. Hiney and no St. Hiney's Big A** Church. I'm all about the deniability - but he also didn't use the Asterisks either)

At first I laughed at the idea of a church which worshiped large posteriors, (Please, no letters, either for or against the idea of a church which worships any body part) but then we came to the intersection and there off to the side was what I first thought was a business complex. Several connected buildings and a parking lot the size of the Mall of America, hey, it even had its own traffic signal! Then I saw the main building with its spire and the sign "St. Hiney's" and I knew that the description my friend had given me was not the "TYPE" of church, but a description of its size relative to, well, the universe.

Thanks to Google I found a picture of St. Hiney's (remember, not the real name) and I've posted it above. The size is incredible. You can see how huge it is...the main center building and the buildings off to the left there which all are tied together with more buildings and corridors. But that's not all. Here is a picture panned a bit to the right, and what do you see? MORE CHURCH!
That big plantation style building is connected to the church as is the area in between, and by the paint job, I'm guessing there are more buildings out behind it which are also part of this sprawling complex. It may actually spread into the next county, no one is really sure where it ends.

I'm not opposed to Big A** churches, and I'm most certainly not opposed to Big A**s themselves. The reason I bring them up here, is that here in the south, Big A*** Churches seem to be the norm. The bigger the better. (Churches, not A**s)

Nashville is, of course, referred to as the Buckle of the Bible Belt. Now for you that have never heard the term, the Bible Belt refers to a region of the US which covers most of the south, in which studies have found a higher number of regular church attendance per capita. Why Nashville is the Buckle of this belt is for exactly the reason you might expect. Big A** Churches. More shinier, rambling, Big A** churches than most anywhere else in the bible belt, even Atlanta.

So, the next time you're out driving and happen to find yourself in the Buckle of the Bible Belt, be sure to take notice of the Big A** Churches. You can take note of the Big A**s you see, but don't tell anyone I told you to. I have to keep up my reputation, y'know...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Invention Intervention - The Tailgater

When it comes to odd Suthun inventions, I get some of the strangest photos sent to me. Most are just photos of duck tape and its odd and myriad uses. I also have found that most of them have to do with cars. This invention above is also a car add on, but it would appear that this one has a dual purpose: Grill and Air Foil. (And by Grill I mean the cooking kind not the decorative kind that goes on the front of an automobile or rapper's teeth.)

This is a beautiful addition to an otherwise great car, too (appears to be a Porsche, but I could be wrong...) My feeling is that it is integral, with a generator built in (I wouldn't think that the car power supply is enough to run this electric monster being only 12 volts, so a generator is required) and is not using the heat from the engine to cook that fine meal. (I also hope there's some sort of cover to keep the bird poop and bugs out of it while driving to your tailgating rendezvous.)

It's about Football Season (with the requisite Capital Letters because, to a Suthunuh, Football is Important!) so tailgating comes to mind. Though I never got into football, I sure enjoy the idea of a movable feast such as this. You could take this to work, the kid's band recital or even down to Walmart where you can get the fresh ingredients to cook and then take a break and cook them! And let's face it, cooking in a Walmart parking lot is a dream which we all have to some degree.

I take my hat off to this inventor. I see no duck tape, foam sealant, rope or hot glue which is usually evident to this type of Suthun Invention. (Well, it would be more evident if I had been the builder, I 'spose...) By such, I can't tell if the grill is merely sitting on the air foil, or if it is truly integral - that is, built in (or fixed in place with a tube or two of the aforementioned heat resistant glue, sealant or duck tape). Either way, this is a great invention!

Tailgating without the tailgate! Now that's a suthun invention worthy of note!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Li'l Abner - The Original Suthunah

I'm sure I don't have to tell you who Li'l Abner is. Or do I? The bulk of those who read blogs and internet stories are usually young enough to have been born after the death of cartoonist Andy Capp and may not be familiar with this iconic comic.

So, a bit of history first. Li'l Abner was a comic strip which ran in the daily papers from 1933 until 1977. It concerned the small Appalachian town of Dogpatch and its wacky inhabitants: most importantly, Li'l Abner, a hulking Man-Boy in torn overalls with movie star looks and Daisy Mae, the woman who is forever trying to get him married (to her) along with a veritable pantheon of other wacky and enjoyable characters.

The reason that Li'l Abner shows up here in my li'l suthun blog is that most people think of Li'l Abner when they think of a Suthunah (and vice-versa!) and in fact, Li'l Abner is responsible for creating most of the Suthun Stereotypes we all know and love. (Love? Well, I don' know about that...)

From Abner's use of such words as 'druthers' and such events as Sadie Hawkins Day (which is celebrated in many towns to this very day) and even his horribly fitting, worn and loved overalls, people grew to believe that suthunaz - ALL Suthunas - are all slow witted, poorly dressed and terribly educated. (Or should that be "edumuhcated"?)

Though I love a good suthun accent, most suthunaz I know have great vocabularies even though they may pronounce 'right' as "rat" and 'fire' as "fur" they usually use words properly. Think more Rhett Butler than Li'l Abner. Other than a few misplaced rhinestones, most suthunas I know also dress properly and I've not seen a pair of worn overalls in years. (I used to have a pair, but I think they got thrown out when they got too worn.)

Regardless of its lasting impression, Li'l Abner has long been part of the fabric of the US. So much so that this little comic strip spawned two movies and even an award winning musical on Broadway. Yeah, good movie. Let me just say this about the movie (the first one)..."Julie Newmar" as Stupifyin' Jones. Nuff said. Now, go rent the movie and enjoy.

Ok. More fun about the South next week.