Here's what I learned during my sojourn in The Land Of Plenty this past weekend:
Southerners Use Extreme Creative License While Naming Roads: First of all, the road are not laid out in any form of grid or even seemingly straight lines. The roads are exactly where the cattle or animals or wagons or whatever left a trail "back in the day" and none shall go elsewhere, to this very day. So to go somewhere say 15 miles away as the crow flies, one must switch roads approximately 7 times and cover about 37 miles. I kid you not.
And the roads are all named either almost exactly the same thing (Due West Highway, Due West Ackworth Highway, Due West Lane etc.) or, even more thrillingly, named different things entirely every couple hundred yards! We drove down a road yesterday that changed names four times as it went through a town and then changed names two more times after we left the county. I don't think there is a single road in the Atlanta Metro area that doesn't react to a county line without instantly attempting to assert a new identity by assuming a brand new name (Cobb County is for sluts...I shall heretofor be called: Loreta!). Interestingly, many times the changed name appears to be based on the largest town towards which said road leads, which seems logical. But, since every road goes two ways, it also leads away from its namesake and will then change names to the next biggest town as you cross the county line anyway. Confused yet? I think it may be a conspiracy by road namers and map makers. I bought three maps in three days. I need more.
Nobody Was Exaggerating When They Said It Was Damn Hot In The South: It was hot. And humid (this note is for you Northerners who are thinking: "Sure it's hot, but its not humid like up here."). Let me repeat: it is humid and hot. Yes, there was air conditioning pretty much anywhere, but try telling that to an eight year old subaru who doesn't like to sit runnning in the 97 degree heat just in order to keep a sleeping baby cool. Also, it is very embarrassing when you are looking at houses to have to go to the neighbors and beg for a jump 'cuz your battery died. Great first impression! "Hi, we're your new neighbors and we are dumbasses who left our car running in this heat!" Anyway, I didn't really like that house so much anyway.
Southerners Don't Think It's That Funny When You Joke About How We Beat Their Confederate Asses: Our realtor seemed to take these comments in stride (she will get paid you know) but our clever observances didn't seem to elicit the hilarity we were going for. Perhaps we should save this kind of talk for the next time there is a Packers vs Falcons showdown?
The Big Chicken Really Is Big But Barely Looks Like A Chicken: When getting directly in Marietta, all discussion of location is prefaced with regard to orientation from " The Big Chicken" (Y'all just gotta turn left at the Big Chicken and it's just down yonder on yer right). It even appears on maps. Needless to say, I was intrigued and impressed by the idea of this landmark. And now I have seen The Big Chicken. It is in fact about three stories high but is merely a three dimensional rudimentary chicken head with cartoon eyes that roll in circles and a beak which opens and closes. It is attached to KFC. That's it. It's hard to know where this legend began. Be afraid.
People Really Do Say "Fixin' To" and Other Southern Language: Plenty of people have little to no accent down south, but there is no escaping southern expressions and drawled out words. Our realtor insisted the we all had to try some "piaaaah" (pie). Frankly, I'm okay with "y'all" and even find a bit of southern lilt quite charming. However, I put my foot down at "fixin' to". If my children begin to utter such heathenish talk they will be sent to a summer in Canada/Northern Wisconsin where they will learn to say "aboot" and "you betcha, shure, shure" like their parents. And since they will likely be with their Grandpa, they will learn to say "dirty rotten sons of bitches" and "goddammit" with alacrity as well. Maybe "fixin' to" is not so bad after all.
I'm sure I have much more to learn about the Southland but since all we did all weekend was look at houses, I'm afraid we had little to no contact with the outside world. More on house hunting later. And photos too, I promise. Y'all come back, ya hear!