Home of the Elongated Diphthong

I’m rebel-born and rebel-bred, and when I die I’ll be a rebel dead.

—cheerleading chant from where I grew up in central Virginia

You’re lucky no one’s called you, ‘Yankee’ yet.

—camphost in the old forests of Florida

Does Mama drive the truck?

—old guy to Tracy, pointing at me

Sissy needs a new diaper, and then we’ll go home to the trampoline.

—a young woman to her boys as they were hitting each other over the head with skateboards

You all 

have a 



—a older woman taking her elderly mother for a drive; she stopped to take a photo of our trailer

I got a bite, 

I got a bite with my frog, 

right over here.  

So I’m walking over there, 

to see if I can get another bite. 

Another bite with my frog.

—a young man with very unfortunate teeth, when I asked if he’d caught any fish

We stayed for a weekend in a county park near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where we drove around (my knee is still swollen) and read about Tuscaloosa’s role in civil rights (my god) and appreciated the old architecture of the U of Alabama.

We watched a very fast wedding where all three daughters were wearing purple tule. 

We sat at a brewery where a Black man was pet-sitting so-and-so’s dog, Henrietta. He was politely interrupted by every person who walked by, asking him about the next course he was teaching.  

We ate bourbon pecan pie we bought at the farmer’s market. 

Driving out of town, I saw a sign for fried bologna biscuits.  Kinda wish we’d stopped there.    

Onward into Florida.

10 thoughts to “Home of the Elongated Diphthong”

  1. I have way too many comments and questions about “unfortunate teeth”. I will however point out that I put the period after the quotation mark.

    1. That punctuation would be British, I believe, but not what I was brought up on, which is MLA handbook then AP Style guide (both US). However, I could also be making it up.

      1. I think that’s what I was taught too (Canada is a confusing hodgepodge of British and American spelling and grammar) but it always looked wrong to me and if I could claim not doing it was British I’d happily stop half-heartedly doing it.

        1. If you hate it, embrace your British tenancies! I’ve always felt it was right and proper, but then I’m pretty limited to AmericaSpeak.

      2. Goodness griefous, it’s like an entire life ago since I worked. I used Chicago Manual of Style, plus my own in-house rules (obvs.). What an idiot I look like; clearly I’ve never been an AP person. Just to set the record straight here.

  2. What? Period first after quotes? Early morning hubris is the worst. I’ll be more attentive in the future and check my work.