Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Here's Your Southerness, Y'all

It was a Southern Gothic Night around here. Sort of.

Mr. Moon went to bed early, knowing he was getting up around four-thirty a.m. to drive to Orlando so I went to sleep in the guest room so that he could get his deserved rest without me throwing the covers about as I may or may not do. (Okay, I do. I admit this.) And I went to bed in the guest room, the Panther Room, which I really do love. That room. Yes. I do. It's cozy. Mostly. Plus the bed is comfortable. So is my real bed but for some reason, the bed in the guest room is just nice for a change.

I took the new edition of the Oxford American to bed with me to read before I went to sleep and I started with the editorial because that's the way I like to read a magazine. Start at the beginning, go from there. The editorial was...bitter. I gotta say it. It was mostly about how fake-southern another magazine is as compared to the Oxford. And I've read that other magazine and it is definitely a different take on Southern-ness and it's pretty and very stylish and has ads for things like gazillion-dollar watches and jewelry and oh, you know, all the stuff we real Southern people like to buy with all of our Plantation money.
So, okay, I totally got where the editor of Oxford was coming from but it just seemed sort of tacky to be so bitter on the pages of one magazine about another magazine.

But anyway, I read for awhile about Southern Things in the Oxford American (and I do love this magazine- I mean, I did a GIVE AWAY a long time ago and gave away a year's subscription to it- and that is hardly the only subscription that I've gifted folks with over the years) and then I turned out the light and snuggled down in the covers and went to sleep and didn't wake up until about two hours later at which point SOMETHING BIG was making a noise.
At first I told myself it was my dog, Buster, trying to get into the room. The noise sounded like it was coming from the door-area of the room. Okay, one of the doors. The room has three doors in it. I shouted, "Buster, stop that!" and the noise stopped and I went back to sleep but then it happened again and woke me up and I realized that no, this did not sound like a dog scratching at the door but I was still open to the hope that it was and so I got up and opened the door and no, Buster was not there. Neither was a chupacabra (google that shit), which is what I was sort of envisioning at that point. So I got up and made some noise and then went back to bed and then GOT WOKEN UP AGAIN and at that point I gave up and high-tailed it to my real bed where I woke up my man by accident and I told him there was a "critter" in that room and then I went to sleep in the relative safety of my own bed.

I got up this morning to find that yes, something had been trying to gnaw its way through the door to the guest room from the dining room last night FOR SURE because I had to sweep up the paint chips and wood and babies, it was NOT a mouse.

Anyway, one of the things the Oxford editor was talking about (bitterly) was that his magazine would not be doing and never had done articles about porches (so, so Southern and picturesque and...trite) and I am thinking about how even THEY could do an article about any of my porches with their spider webs and mildew and they could even spend the night in my house and get scared of the ghosts and the giant rats or chupacabras or whatever the bloody hell that thing was and write about it and it would be so fucking Southern and so fucking Charming but you know, with that gothic sort of gritty real-life, warm-blooded tooth and fang and claw slant but would it sell magazines?

Oh. I doubt it.

I think I'll be sleeping in my own bed tonight. And Mr. Moon better set some traps and I won't even tell you about the time he killed (with a baseball bat) a Giant Rat in that dining room (don't you really just want to come and visit me now?) and he was horrified by the violence and terror (it looked just like a toy rat! he said) and how he had to Fabuloso the blood off the walls.

I believe that rat's mate was trying to get to me last night to get revenge. I really do. And I will NOT HAVE IT! I didn't kill that rat! I don't have the balls to kill a rat with a baseball bat. I'd use a shotgun.

Okay, Oxford American- take THAT and print it because there's your Real South right there.
We even had collard greens for dinner! And fake fried chicken! We did not have sweet tea or pecan pie, though. Really. We didn't. Those are another two things that the Oxford editor said they'd never be writing about. Which I think is bullshit because southerners do drink sweet tea (some of them, not me) and we damn well eat pecan pie, too. At least at Thanksgiving.

Sorry this is so messy and convoluted. I have to go to town today and I want to go to town today because May and I are meeting up at Lily's house to clean in preparation for the birth and we're all going to lunch and to the Costco and it's getting time to go and I have to put on a bra and stuff. So I'm in a rush.

But all I have written is the truth and it is the Truth of the South As I Know It And Have Experienced and it's a beautiful day.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. I'd rather read here than Oxford American even though it sounds like a magazine I'd like.

  2. Dude. Shudder....I have city rats around here but not in my house. If they DID come in my house, I may move ;)

  3. I'm all queasy from your rat story..
    but life is life.
    Even the nightmare parts.

  4. where was the dog when you needed him to dispatch the rat? Hmmm?

    My niece, an interior designer, LOVES that southern magazine -- I was amazed at the title when she first showed it to me. REALLY? This title sells magazines?

    And what about hush puppies, hmmm? What about them? I had them for the first time last fall on my trip to NC. OMG such goodness.

  5. Who needs the Oxford American when we have you?!
    God I hate rats. We have them too. Angelenos like to call them "fruit rats" as if they are some more genteel harmless creatures who like to picnic on fruit salad. They are hideous and large. I miss my pit bull (R.I.P. Freckles!) whenever I see one. EW. Kill, Kill, I say! Baseball bat, shotgun, whatever!

  6. Yes, you did give a subscription away, and I really enjoyed it. I renewed it for a year, but let it fall by the wayside. I really should look into it again. The music issue was always great.

  7. After my uncle died, in Michigan, we were keeping up with the house. One day we went over there and something big, something that could reach up to the window in the back door, had gnawed and chewed all under the window like it was trying to get out. We went all over the basement to see how it could have gotten in and out. Never found any place. This house was in the woods but still, it was kind of frightening. Later we moved over there and never saw anything but one night there were blood curdling screams, animal type, from the swamp area. That wild life can be nerve wracking when it decides to get close.

  8. This reminds me of my relationship with Sunset magazine and all its Life in The West glory. Snicker. I do love it though.

  9. This is why the Good Lord invented cats and rat terriers, so we wouldn't have to do the dirty work ourselves.

    My husband does drink sweet tea (sweetened with saccharine), just like his mama from Arkansas used to make it.

  10. Was it Garden & Gun? 'cause that's one fancy-south magazine! In that lovely glossy, the bourbon is $400 and the women speak like Butterfly McQueen.

    And I swear, dem rats don't know nothin bout birthing them babies!

  11. Oh goodness. I think I am going to have to sleep with a light on tonight;)I'd pay to read your magazine for sure!

  12. The only thing I hate more than insurance companies is rats, but your story made me laugh out loud, especially the Fabuloso and the blood on the walls part. I used to read Oxford Magazine and especially loved those CDs that they'd include in the grand music issue, but over the years I've gotten sick of the whole southern gothic thing. I'm with everyone else and would much prefer reading you.

  13. I love your version of the south, gnawing critters and all. I would have been pretty spooked though. We've have chipmunks and mice in the walls and the chewing drives me crazy. I beat the walls with a bat to scare them off. Talk about crazy ladies...
    I too am putting on the bra and heading to Costco before my late shift. Hope you have a continued beautiful and nice day.

  14. I like both magazines. Garden and Gun makes me smile more, though. Am guessing OA is a bit jealous of G&G, you know?

    Maybe we could start our own southern literary rag. You know, with all that spare time we've got.


  15. RATS I've killed a couple in my life and I regret it NOT

    I wonder what fake fried chicken is.


  16. Sweet tea, collard greens, ham hocks, okra stew, red rice--good stuff. I think of my mother's fried chicken which was the best that I've ever had. And porches are so good.

    Something was gnawing on the bay window last night from the outside. Probably a flying squirrel. I'll give it a check today.

  17. I didn't know that! It makes sense: he was so soft and lyrical. What a good soul.

  18. By the way, did you ever teach poetry? If you haven't, you should.

  19. Derp. I have you and Elizabeth's comment pages up simulataneously. You can remove these! Silly me.

  20. Mr. Moon is one badass mofo. The only creature I could ever kill with a baseball bat is a human.

    Love love love that you and May are cleaning for the birth. So tribal and right.

  21. I'd be more interested in the magazine you read. I don't care about zillion dollar watches.

    take pictures of whatever you trap - hope it's not one of the dogs.

  22. Hi Ms. Moon--I've not had much time to comment but have to tell you this post cracked my shit up!!!!! I loved it this a.m. and loved it again as I read it aloud to my man and 14 yr old son nearby (I was quiet on the fuck and bullshit parts--I have some restraint with the son). Hubs comment about that magazine is that sounds like someone there is embarrassed to be Southern! And son told us what the chup thing is. And now the Hubs wants to know if you have watched Willard lately. I know!!!!
    --Michele R.


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