The Truth About Tennessee

Front Porch

I have decided to let the rest of the world in on a secret that they have always suspected anyhow. It is the truth about Tennessee.

The truth is we are all rednecks here. Some claim the name comes from working out in the sun and getting sunburned, but most of us don’t really work too much any more since we all started getting welfare checks from the government.

We all wear straw hats, plaid shirts and overalls. Of course, we do not wear shoes. Most of us do not even own a pair.  Yep, just like you thought, we are all a bunch of barefooted hillbillies.

Everybody in Tennessee drives a pickup truck. It is a required by law. A driver’s license, however, is not required. We usually just drive a vehicle until it wears out then we put it out to pasture, so to speak, and get another one. This comes in real handy as you always have spare parts in the yard in case you need them.

Nearly everyone who is anyone has at least 3 or 4 old junk cars parked in the yard although you can’t always see them due to the grass growing so high. Working on the old junk cars and trucks is what really makes us appreciate a good fast car, which is why we are all NASCAR fans.

Tennesseans are all illiterate, or close to it, though many have finished the fourth grade and can read the Bible. For the most part, we don’t trust book learnin’ or those that have  it. We can learn all we need to know just from life.

A lot of our intelligence come from the good food we have here. We eat grits, turnip greens, hog jowl and cornbread – three times a day. These are really good vittles and if you’ve never tried ’em, don’t knock ’em.

We are all like kinfolk here. In fact, most of us are kinfolk since nearly everyone marries a cousin. This keeps us really close and friendly with each other. We don’t like outsiders and everybody keeps a shotgun behind the door, just in case we need it.

The shotgun also comes in good for squirrel and coon hunting. We all have an old hound dog around. The population of hound dogs is about the same as the population of Tennessee.

Of course, the best thing about Tennessee is the country music. Everyone in the state is either a songwriter or a musician. We all know how to play the guitar, banjo and fiddle and never miss an opportunity to have a shindig. Although the entire population lives in log cabins with outhouses out back, we do have a few barns which come in really handy for square dances.

We drink a lot of moonshine right out of the jug. Every family has someone with a moonshine still in the woodshed or basement, so there is never a shortage of liquid refreshment. The number of stills is exceeded only by the number of coon dogs.

Well, I sure hope I’ve exploded some of the myths and stereotypes about Tennessee. Funny thing about those exaggerated and untrue beliefs about a group of people called sterotypes, They always have an element of truth just to make ’em believable.

Guess everybody pretty much knew the truth about Tennessee anyhow. I just figured it was about time that we set the record straight. If y’all ever come to Tennessee, be sure to come by. We can set on the front porch and rock and ponder it. We might even ask you stay for supper if you don’t talk too much like a Yankee. Can’t you just smell those turnip greens cooking now?

©1999 Sheila Moss
Edited for length

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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6 Responses to The Truth About Tennessee

  1. George says:

    People and places get stereotyped all the time. Glad you decided to have some fun with it..:)


  2. well, you just spoke for most of my state too! love your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

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