After a recent show in New York, I met a girl at the bar.

“I really liked your show. You have a different sense of humor.”

Not wanting to leave a compliment hanging, I reciprocated.

“Thank you! Glad you had fun. You have nice dimples.”

Then things turned sour.

“Are you saying I’m fat?”


“What? No, I was just…”

“Because that’s really what dimples are. Tiny rolls of fat.”

“You know, I truly hope your new baby has a higher self esteem than you.”

“I’m not pregnant!!!”


It has occurred to me that a lot of people, especially in the north, have a hard time taking compliments, and some have a harder time when you’re just plain kind to them. A lot of people have said the south is weird because “everyone’s so nice! It’s like the Twilight Zone.”

The Twilight Zone?? Really? To my knowledge, Rod Serling never said, “You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension. A dimension of grits, sweet tea, and rocking chairs.” Maybe he did once, but in his defense, some parts of Alabama can really make you question reality, I admit.

I do wonder if northerners think we’re pulling a cruel prank on them when they visit, like we’re a giant fraternity and it’s Rush Week.
“Go ahead. Drink it. Trust me.”
“Ha ha!!! Gotcha!! We hate moonshine too! Sucker! Now paddle ‘em, Jimbo!”

Truth is, generally speaking, southerners are very nice and we love our food. Sometimes, however, we go overboard.

On my last trip to east Tennessee, I stopped at Famous Dave’s barbeque. Upon seating, I was told to ask my server “why she’s famous”. Hmmm. Unless someone has redefined that word somewhere, I shouldn’t have to ask, should I?

Last I checked, there were no barbeque entourages hanging around the kitchen. No packs of groupies loitering by the smokepit. But maybe I’m missing something. We’re all famous, at least for 15 minutes, right?

I decided to play along by taking pictures of the staff and asking red carpet questions.

“Traci! Traci! Table 5 here. Are you out of rehab? Who are you wearing?”

Then if she gets mad, I’ll smooth things over by telling her I like her dimples.