This is the way we do it in the south

So, I am addicted to reading the comments on my blog. The other day I was frustrated because none of my blogging friends have updated and no one is giving me the desperate attention I shouldn’t need. LG informed me that I have fallen away from what I do best, telling funny stories. “No one wants to read about your kids”, he said. He then informed me that I ruined my reading audience because back in the beginning I was getting at least 20 hits a day, and that now, if we could remember how to get to my tracker it would be just the same 5 friends. Oh well, I guess I’ll never be famous. Isn’t this blogging thing so egotistical? Who really wants to read anything that I have to write about except other bloggers who are just as desperate as I am for some comment action. I mean really, be honest with yourself, don’t we all blog for the comments?

So, on with my desperate attempt to entertain my readers with a story that doesn’t have to do with my children. Which may backfire because all of my readers may be in the future when my children get older and decide to do genealogy by reading their mom’s blog. And, then they will just want to hear their stories, and instead they will find this one. Man, us mom’s, sometimes we just can’t win.

A few years ago, when I was very new to the South and was trying to learn all the new vocabulary I had an interesting experience at WalMart. Of course it happened at Wal-Mart because Tennesseans don’t shop anywhere else. This story has to do with the picture above in a round about way…see if you can figure it out. I got the picture above from, I know you won’t believe it, the international towing museum, which is amazingly located down south a bit in Chattanooga,TN.

I was checking out in the regular line, as opposed to the infamous Self Check Out, which is where I normally check out. I may have shied away from Self Check Out a little after the above mentioned linked experience, and come to think of it, it was shortly after the funny check out story and I was checking out late at night (which explains why I wasn’t in my favorite closed self check out line.)

So, this night, a gruff looking man pulled his buggy up behind mine (we use the word buggy instead of shopping cart in the South) On a side note, I learned very quickly to holler (not yell) at my children to get in the buggy. No onlookers understood my discipline when I told my kids to get in the cart. I like to think of my audience you know. So, on with the story, as the cashier checked out my mountains of groceries, this gruff man asked her politely if she would keep an eye on his buggy. He explained, “I’m a wrecker driver and I just got a page.” He took off and the cashier pulled his buggy of merchandise out of the line.

I was perplexed. “What’s a wrecker driver?”, I asked the cashier, with as close as I can get to a Southern accent. I knew I would sound as if I was from a foreign country. The cashier looked at me as if I was from a foreign country. I explained further, “If you can’t tell already, I am not from the South.” (not hard for most people to notice since calling a shopping cart a buggy is as close as I get to a southern drawl) “So what that you aren’t from the south, are you stupid?”, her glare seemed to scream at me. So, I asked again,”What’s a wrecker driver, I really don’t know what that is.”

As she must have noticed the tear forming in my eye from frustration, she answered nonchalantly, “It’s a person who drives a wrecker, honey.”

I probably should have stopped there, but just couldn’t end the insanity until I got my answers. “What’s a wrecker?”

“Well, you know, honey, it’s the thing that people call when they’ve been in an accident or their car broke down.”

“Ohhhhhhhhh, a TOW TRUCK!”, I responded feeling so enlightened.

She then replied, “What’s a tow truck?” I saved her the humiliation and explained, “It’s what the rest of this country calls a wrecker driver.”

Well surely this WalMart cashier must have been the more misinformed person because even the best of the best wrecker drivers call their museum the “International TOWING Museum”, not the “International Wrecker Museum.” I took pride in myself tonight for knowing more than the old WalMart checker about wreckers. Surely she doesn’t know about the wrecker museum or this website that I found tonight while searching for a picture of a wrecker to post.

Do you think I can pass as a true Southerner yet? I guess I’ll have the ultimate test when my car breaks down. If I look under the T’s in the yellow book before I look up the W’s than I will have failed. But, if I go straight to the “wrecker section”, well, then let’s just say that then y’all will know that I am at least one southern vocabulary word closer.



  1. I love to read your funny stories and your stories about the kids and family. I read, but I just don’t comment. I’m one of those that writes about my kid and family as if someone really cares right (back when I did blog regularly).

  2. well, Larry the Cable Guy does say, “You don’t have to be the head cashier at Wal Mart to figure that one out!”Unfortunately, Wal Mart isn’t known for the high IQ levels of the workers.

  3. I would have had no idea what a wrecker was either (I’m one of those darn yankees from up north you know!) And sadly, although I have caught myself and my kids saying the occasional “y’all” — I still cannot understand certain words Southerners say. I try…really I do…but sometimes I just don’t get it. However, I did realize just how long we’ve lived here now when we took the older kids to the UT game the other day and we could all sing along to Rocky Top!! See — we’re learning! 😉

  4. All Tennesseans do not shop at Walmart, only the budget conscience (those that spend wisely). You have offended this southern girl once again.

  5. where do i start? that story just cracks me up. one, i’ve had to call a wrecker before–a tow truck is someone that takes your car when it hasn’t been wrecked! big difference…lol. two, thanks to disfunctional flash cards my children will be forever confused. as i tried to teach liam “c” words on our flash card they showed a “cart” and of course Liam thought they had a made a mistake. it’s a buggy and that starts with “b.” three, i love the southern accent. just like we totally dig foreign (french, british) accents and think it’s sexy…it’s true, men love a sweet southern drawl! lastly, i proud of your progress. you should be proud of where your from, even if it is california, but definitely make the effort to be apart of where you are. and i say if you have finally learned the difference between a “cook out” and a “bbq” you’re doing great!ps. who the heck is the anonymous commentor that is offended by your southern stories. I’m 100% southern and love to see that we’re rubbin’ off on ya.

  6. one more thing…i’m from chattanooga and we all make fun of the towing truck museum…the building use to be an eckerd’s pharmacy. just thought you would like to know.

  7. Alice,This is so funny. You know us western girls “If we werent born in the south, we will never be true southerners!” Isn’t that what the quote on your shelf says?

  8. Hey I was looking up towing under the yellow pages because our car is not working (ugh!) There was Steve’s Wrecker Service listed. I thought of you!!!

  9. Kentucky is not quite as South as TN, but the other day someone said what sounded like, “roaster”… huh? Roasted ear, huh again??? Corn on the cob… ohhhhhhhh.

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