One word out of my mouth is a dead give-away that I am not from wherever it is that I happen to be. Surprisingly even here in Texas my accent is the “something special” that people notice about me. When people ask where I’m from, the question that usually follows is where I met my husband, since he’s a Yankee, and that story is usually good for a laugh.

It goes something like this:

There was this leadership school instructor teaching a module on communication styles, who told this cockamamie story about two rednecks he had overheard talking while he was in Montgomery, Alabama and he held up cards with the alleged conversation for someone to read aloud:

MR Ducks

MR Knot


CM Wangs


MR Ducks

Well, of course, the student didn’t read the ridiculousness correctly, and the instructor, thinking he was sooooo funny, told him that no, the two men were not Mr. Ducks and Mr. Knot, nor was there any such word as ossmer, but that these two rednecks were having an argument about the identity of some birds in the middle of a pond and that what they said was this:

First redneck: “’Them are ducks.”

Second redneck: “Them are not.”

First redneck: “Oh yes them are, see them wings?”

Second redneck: “Well, I’ll be, them are ducks.”

After class I didn’t let the instructor get two steps from the door before I said, “Sergeant, I am from Alabama and we DO NOT talk like that!”  (twangy indignation implied) He smiled and walked away. A few days later, we had a uniform inspection. The same instructor went down the line…inspecting. He stopped in front of me, checked, checked, wrote something down and said, “Demerit, name tag,” and moved on.

This did more than ruffle my feathers. I’m certain there was smoke coming from my ears.

I adjusted my name tag the one 1 millionth of a millimeter by which this oh so smart, Staff Sergeant seemed to think it was crooked, and was hot on his heels to have the demerit removed from my record. Standing there, pissed, and never thinking for a single second that twenty-one years later I would be telling the story of how I met my Yankee husband, I said, “Sergeant Briggs, I’m ready to be re-inspected.”

The rest is history. Since then, we’ve laughed, learned, celebrated, relocated, endured hardship and watched our children become adults. Sometimes people make assumptions based on a single piece of information. They may think you’ve had no exposure to the world outside the pigeon-hole where they want to put you. Sometimes, I’ve learned, they may be genuinely interested in getting to know you.

Lucky them.

Stereotypes are funny. Knowing the boundaries comes easier to some than others. There are ignorant people everywhere and when they cross our paths, we don’t have to be offended by them. There are more important things to concern ourselves with, and that my friends, is the best I can do today to practice tolerance for bird brains.

Oh, and to be funny.

Junior Duck Stamp Program
Samantha Bell, 18
Pastel, pencil, acrylic

11 thoughts on “Bird Brain Ideas: Duck and Cover

  1. Hala J. says:

    Hah, I really can relate to this. Except with me no one ever can pinpoint where I’m from. I’m tall and have green eyes and speak with a flawless but neutral American accent. No one thinks I’m even Arab, let alone Lebanese. In Canada, when they knew I was Arab they were boggled by my English…like it’s impossible to be raised in an Arab country and not speak English perfectly well. It’s kind of annoying but mostly it’s amusing. There was even one of my Karate instructors who was genuinely surprised when I told her that there are huge cities in Saudi Arabia and they drive modern and often very expensive cars. Hell even in my own country people think I’m American or foreign. Makes for some amusing anecdotes!

  2. Accents are so quirky. My uncle is from Louisiana, and his girlfriend is from rural Georgia. Their accents sound similar to me, yet he complains that her accent is so thick he can’t understand her!

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      That’s funny. My husband was sent to a coach by his employer to work on slowing down his speech. Now that was funny!

  3. Funny! (I bet you never duck a hard question.) And people do need to lighten up.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      🙂 Exactly 🙂

  4. swlothian says:

    Speaking of stereotypes. I bet you think I always throw shrimp on the barbie, have a pet koala and that kangaroos always jump up my street. Crikey!

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      What? You mean you don’t? 🙂 Yeah, crazy isn’t it? I guess you don’t call everybody mate either, do ya? G’day.

  5. Terrific story and a point well made!

  6. Brigitte says:

    Oh, and P.S. I married a “Yankee” too. :). I think my comments are coming in as anonymous again. Shoot.

  7. Brigitte says:

    I can so relate to this. Those stereotypes infuriate me. As far as I know everyone from the south has retired their corn-cob pipes and cleaned the stills out of their backyards. “Lucky them” indeed. Love the song — love it. :D.

Go Ahead, Make My Day!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Choctaw Nation

EDU 497.04


What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

A Year of Living Kindly

adventures in trying to live a life of kindness

church ov solitude

We are all just babes in the woods.

Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Editor at Longreads. Automattician since 2012. Californian since 1979. Junglist for life.

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple

Growing older is inevitable. Growing up is optional.

Mark My Words


fabricating fiction

Louise Jensen - Writer -

Granola Shotgun

Stories About Urbanism, Adaptation, and Resilience

I didn't have my glasses on....

A trip through life with fingers crossed and eternal optimism.

Björn Rudbergs writings

Poetry and fiction by a physicist from the dark side


All the Blogging That's Fit To Print

Amanda Mininger

Writer | Author

The Brown Road Chronicles

Stories about country living, old houses, dirt roads, fresh air and other amusing (and possibly even inspirational) anecdotes!

What's So Funny?

Russell Gayer, author speaker

Elan Mudrow



Straight up with a twist– Because life is too short to be subtle!

This, that and the other thing

Looking at life through photography and words


Just another site

Midlife Crisis Crossover!

Viewing the non-geek world through geek lenses. And sometimes vice versa.

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl


Writing for my life


Wrought words and images


Smart and surprising

Geometry & Silence

Photography by Quintin Lake


Stories, poems, photos and bumbles for the soul

QBG_Tilted Tiara

Philosophically Speaking the World in Motion

Georgette Sullins's Blog

My view of the cow parade

Meeka's Mind

the passions of a science fiction writer

rona black photography

occasional visual essays

Michael Lewis Glover | Fine Art Photography

Architectural, HDR, Nature, & Landscape Photography

the eff stop

Adventures of a shutterbug

S.W. Lothian - Author

Amazing YA Thrillers and Irresistible MG Time Travel

The Blue Page Special

Savoring books and food

%d bloggers like this: