The Ps and the Qs
In general, southerners are a little less brusque and a little more into manners than the rest of the country.
In general, southerners are a little less brusque and a little more into manners than the rest of the country. This doesn’t mean you have to call the cashier at Burger King ma’am, but it wouldn’t kill you to phrase your order as a question instead of going, “Yeah, lemme get two of those egg things and… you still got summa those little French-toast deals? OK, yeah, one a thems.” Oh, and if someone holds a door open for you, be sure to say thank you so they don’t have to spend the entire next week boring everybody they know about it.
Depending on where you’re drinking, you may end up talking with someone who grew up believing that dinosaur bones are a hoax created by the devil or that condoms are murder. Unless you’re planning on marrying/starting a business with them, let it go. What are you, one of those Richard Dawkins types who has to call everybody on their bullshit? Save it for the internet.
REDNECKS AND “REDNECKS”
This one is kind of tricky. When most people say “rednecks” they mean poor, rural whites with bad educations. It’s not cool to make fun of the disadvantaged, but it’s doubtful you’ll be within 50 miles of any of these guys.
Then there are the suburban shitstains who make tons of money as realtors or something and drive brand-new trucks with enormous “mudding” tires. This is who most Atlantans are referring to when they complain about rednecks. Middle-class frat boys who’ve taken up a bunch of southern working-class affectations to make themselves feel more authentic. Half the time they’re from fucking Massachusetts. Do not hesitate to lay into these fuckers.
If you hear someone going on about being proud to be a redneck, they’re probably from the latter camp.
Don’t get bugged out by people wearing shit with the Confederate flag on it. Usually they just mean it in an “irk the North” sort of sense, like when Siouxsie Sioux wore a Nazi armband. If you’re dealing with an honest-to-God racist, you’ll be able to tell because the hairs on the back of your neck will try to leap out of your skin the second they start talking.