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Joe Verses the North

Last year, I moved from Winston-Salem, NC to a small town about 40 minutes or so north of Pittsburgh. I’ve always lived south of the Mason-Dixon line, so the move up north was a bit of a gut punch to my sensibilities. The first thing I noticed about living up here is how different northerners are from southerners. I don’t just mean personalities, I mean every fucking thing is different. The people up here are (for lack of a better word) harder than the people down south. Seriously, it took me all of about a week to figure out why these fuckers won the Civil War. I think it may be the unreasonably cold winters here that toughens these bastards up. The men here are manly men, and the women are too.They pee standing up, I’ll bet. Image

Having mentioned the unreasonably cold winters, did you know it can fucking snow in the middle of June? I didn’t. I do now, but I didn’t. There should be some sort of pamphlet that you can pick up at the tourism board that says it snows about eight months out of the year here. Just something like a little F.Y.I., it doesn’t have to be anything special, just something that says, “Hey! If you like freezing to death in 26 feet of snow, you’re going to love October through June!”  They could even go a bit more subtle, and go with “There’s a reason our women have hair on their balls.” Something. Fuck.

The other thing I noticed is that the north seems to have a monopoly on names with heavy “Ch” sounds, and names that are missing vowels and shit. A name from the south might be Davidson, Johnson, Harris, Brown, or Smith. A name from here could be Dloubek, Czczeknik, Obleckski, Obernich, or Kpusta. Where the fuck did these people come from that hated using vowels? Buy a vowel.  Hell, buy two, they’re on me.

Also, they don’t have regular sweet tea here. What the fuck, people? The war is over, it’s okay to carry a few regional customs across state lines. Get your shit together, and put some sugar in your tea. Who wants to drink unsweetened tea? A typical exchange in any restaurant here goes something like this:

  “Sir, can I get you a drink?”

“Sure, I’d like a sweet tea.”

(Looking around as though I’d just asked for the head of the queen on a pike) “Sir, we don’t serve sweet tea. I can get you a raspberry tea. It’s sweetened.”

“True. It is sweetened. It also tastes like fucking raspberries. An easier way to get sweet tea would be to just dump some sugar in regular tea while it’s hot. The heat will dissolve the sugar, and what do you know?! You have sweet tea!”

“I can bring you some packets of sugar for your unsweet tea.”

“Thanks, but no thank you. Do you have Coke?”

“Pepsi okay?”

Yes, Pepsi will be fine. While you’re at it, can you find me the reason I gave up the sun and sweet tea, and friendly people to move up here to this fucking Klondike?


  1. Excellent Joe. I did not realize it snowed in the summer up there. You had me laughing out loud brother good to have you back.

  2. You pretty much summed us up. You have a great sense of humor.

  3. arielleofearth says:

    lol .. see why you gotta move back home? Fucking raspberry tea..

  4. mary says:

    My husband and I have conversations very similar to what you said above, it’s eerie.
    My husband is a Southern transplant too (military). Yet I have lived in the Midwest all my life, same city even. As a kid, when my family moved it was only 2 miles away from our old house.
    Also I went to high school with kids that had the last names you listed above. And my mom’s last name is Crnkovich. It’s funny hearing/seeing people trying to pronounce it.

  5. Good post! Being Canadian, and not too far from the border, I always ordered Iced Tea in restaurants in the States, and then remembered that it’s just tea with ice… why do they have to be so literal?? Do people actually like that? We don’t have sweet tea either though. Ours is like the Nestea sweetened with lemon kind.

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