by Mike McHugh
Well, tomorrow my wife and I leave to visit our relatives in Yankee Land for the holidays. And I know what all of my neighbors down here in Louisiana are wondering—this time, will they finally stay up there for good?
The Dang Yankee column has grown in popularity over the past three and a half years; its readership now literally numbers in the dozens. Because of that, I have become the poster child for the growing problem of Yankee immigration to the South. No, it’s not illegal, but the voices for increased regulation are growing.
Just listen to some of the complaints I hear about Yankees who’ve settled in the area:
- They refuse to learn the language. Most still have not grasped that “y’all” is a singular pronoun, or that a bagel is a huntin’ dawg and not a breakfast food. And the way they pronounce French surnames like Richard and Hebert? We won’t even go there.
- They refuse to adopt the culture. They go walking the streets wearing their Penn State, Syracuse, and Notre Dame jerseys and can’t even tell you the name of LSU’s backup long snapper. What’s more, they maintain that Jerry Seinfeld is funnier than Jeff Foxworthy.
- They waste precious resources and crowd the natives out. They trade in their Prius every year because the new model gets a half-mile more per gallon, yet they refuse to suck the head of a crawfish. That’s wasting half the crawfish. And the snowbirds make it impossible to get a tee time except during the month of August, when the air is so thick that you’re doing good if your drive clears the ladies’ tee.
For these and other reasons, native Southerners appear to be in unanimous agreement that the border with Yankee Land needs to be secured. The reason they haven’t yet built a fence is that they can’t seem to agree on exactly where the border is. People from New Orleans to Lake Charles believe it runs along Interstate 10. In Atlanta, they think it’s the Tennessee River. But that would put Nashville firmly in the control of Yankees, who then may force the country stations to dump George Strait and replace him with Bruce Springsteen. And nobody wants to see that.
So, the issue remains unresolved, and millions of undocumented Yankees continue to stream southward. Meanwhile, I’m caught in the crossfire. I’d hang the Stars and Bars in the rear window of my pickup, right behind the gun rack. I’d roll down the front window, hang my arm out the side, and crank up the Willie Nelson, all to prove that I’ve fully acclimated, but I don’t think it would convince anyone.
I’m desperate; does anybody out there have any ideas on how to solve the problem of Yankee immigration, so I can finally live in peace around here?