Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that there is currently a mass exodus from the Northeast to places in the South. While the thought of hearing a bunch of Noo Yawk accents in Alabama might make locals shudder, youse guys really shouldn’t be afraid.
Actually, you should be flattered. Because when people move here, that tells you they think the quality of life is better.
Recently my two closest friends moved out of New Jersey and Philadelphia. It’s not just lockdowns or mandates. Ridiculous taxes, high crime, boarded-up businesses, traffic, snow, crazy laws and an insane cost of living have finally pushed people over the edge. The last time I was in Manhattan it smelled like a bathroom on steroids. Perhaps the most bizarre new money grab occurred in New Jersey, where a “rain tax” became law. Wait, what? They tax the rain up there? Well, if you have a business with a big parking lot you’re using more of the stormwater system, so the municipality can tax you.
Imagine selling your million-dollar three-bedroom house in New York … and think about what a cool million would buy in Alabama.
Anyway, like Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinny, Yankees will eventually become acclimated to the style of life here. And the yoots might become good friends with your kids.
So, keeping the concept of Southern Hospitality in mind, here’s what to expect if someone from up north arrives in your neighborhood.
-The pace. Yankees move with their hair on fire and it will take time for them to slow down. Then again, if you ask us to get something done, it will be done quick.
-The accents. Some won’t understand you and you won’t understand some of them. But you will hear, “I love your accent!” (You’ll think, “Ah don’t have an accent, y’all do.”)
-Food. You might see Yankees with their heads on a swivel, panicked because your town doesn’t have a stand-alone bagel shop. Hand them a biscuit and watch the great reaction. They will also be blown away at the concept of “free refills” in restaurants. (Warning: If you ever eat out in New York and drink three glasses of soda, you’ll be charged for three sodas.)
-Prices. If you see someone with wide eyes in a grocery store talking about how cheap food is, that’s a Yankee.
-Weather. If you see someone practically dancing in the streets and spinning around like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music because it’s 70 degrees in December, that’s a Yankee. Just walk up and say, “Beautiful day, huh?” On the other hand, if your new neighbors won’t come out of the house in August, introduce them to sweet tea. Again, watch the reaction.
-Insults: Yankees will get a kick out of what I call the Southern Woman Insult Disclaimer. That’s when a woman says, “He is such an idiot! What a moron! (pause) Bless his little heart.”
The great fear is that Yankees will bring their taxes, cost of living and politics with them. But bear in mind that’s the stuff they ran away from. It might take a while, but eventually, they’ll realize life is better here.
Randy Tatano lives in Brewton and is the author of more than 20 novels, writing political thrillers under the pen name Nick Harlow, and romantic comedies as Nic Tatano. He spent 30 years working in television news as a local affiliate reporter and network field producer.. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to [email protected].