Department Of Ruminations On Appreciating The Practicality
Of A Certain Contraction Which Forms A Useful Pronoun
That would be, y’all.
variant of YOU-ALL
chiefly Southern US
: YOU —usually used in addressing two or more persons
( Merriam-Webster online dictionary )
Paging longtime friend EK, to whom I owe an apology. EK, whose family members hail from the Virginia/West Virginia area, was the first person who sought to change my mind regarding my dismissal of the legitimacy of the term.
Moiself grew up thinking that the usage of y’all was indicative of…well…an ignorant southerner.
Yeah, I know. Then I had a face-palming moment about the need for a distinguishing term to indicate when I’m speaking to you singular or you plural. Thus and now,  it’s a term I use all the time, in place of *you-all.*
The summer after third grade I spent three weeks in Tennessee with my parents and sisters,  visiting my father’s family for the first time in my life. Moiself recalls being teased by my SoCal neighbors and friends upon my return, about the southern accent I had acquired during my Tennessee time. They actually howled with laughter when I let a y’all slip out (and after that taunting I made a conscious effort to “speak normally”).
My childhood (and young adult) impressions of the South and southern culture  came from the television shows my parents watched in the mid 60s-early 1971,  in particular the CBS lineup of The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, Petticoat Junction, and Hee Haw. Those hick-o-rama shows were inexplicably (to anyone with an IQ exceeding their inseam size) popular at the time, with adults of a certain age. *I* wanted to watch cooler shows – more intellectual fare, like The Man From U.N.C.L.E, Laugh-In, and My Favorite Martian.
My father was also (inadvertently) partly responsible for giving me a negative impression of southern culture. Several times during my childhood, after that first visit to Tennessee and later on when his family members came out to visit us in SoCal, I asked my father why he spoke so differently from his siblings. He had almost no trace of an accent betraying his southern roots (but I noticed he’d “slip up” – i.e., his accent would slightly but noticeably resurface, when he was around his relatives). He told me that when he’d joined the army he worked on losing his “family way” of speaking, as he’d noticed that “you were labeled a dump country boy hick,” if you spoke “that way.”
Thus, in the same way that I could never picture a nuclear physicist with a southern accent (“Y’all wanna split some atoms, or what?”), I grew up thinking that I couldn’t take someone seriously who used the term, y’all. So, a well-deserved slap upside the head with the bigotry stick, for moiself.
* * *
Department Don’t Make Me Call Child Protective Services On Y’all
I refer to those adults allowing their younguns to enter a National Mullet competition.
“_____ and ____ are letting their hair down for a good cause. Each hopes to win a national mullet championship while raising money for wounded service veterans.
___ and ___ are competing in the 2023 USA Mullet Championships. ___ recently finished in the top third of the 1-4 year age group while ___ advanced among 9- to 12-year-olds. These age groups are guided by the old mullet saying, ‘Home room in the front, recess in the back.’ “
( excerpts from “2 Oregon boys vie for title of ‘best mullet in America’” Oregonlive.com
Names redacted by moiself to protect those underage victims of abuse. )
Fer Chrissake (Chris as in Chris Waddle, the English footballer whose haircut was as famous as his soccer skills) – I thought it was the parent’s job to guide their youngsters *away* from disaster, and not have them compete for ignominy.
And don’t y’all love it when a sketchy event is (supposedly) justified by a noble cause? Somewhere, there is a wounded service veteran thinking, “Wait a minute – I thought I fought for truth, justice, and the American Way, ® but no one told me I’d have my leg blown off in Afghanistan so that a young boy could have the right to commit fashion suicide….”
There are some tragedies in life – like gambling addiction, heart disease, and hemorrhoids – which should be adult-only.
* * *
Department Of They Even Have A Special Sticker For “Bullshit”
*They* would be the US Postal Service, who sent me returned mail – my nephew’s birthday card – with this sticker.
“Attempted – Not Known.”
That’s attempted crap, if not a known lie. Putting it on a “professional” yellow sticker doesn’t make the crap any more professional.
The address is correct (moiself triple checked); it’s the same address my nephew has had for several years; the same address to which I’ve send other cards, and packages, and this is the first time ever I’ve received return mail for that same address.
My nephew’s address has three residents on the property; he and his wife are the owners, the primary residents, in unit #1. “Attempted – Not Known” translation: the postal carrier, whether s/he was a newby or veteran incompetent, glanced at the address or house, and for whatever reason my nephew’s name wasn’t the first name the carrier noticed, and the carrier was too slothful or stupid to take the FIVE SECONDS it would have taken to actually make an *attempt* to figure out which slot to place the card in.
This is not the first time I’ve ranted made a rational case about the USPS decline in customer service standards. Moiself understands that the paramilitary nature of the postal service is partially responsible for…for what? For people no longer taking pride in their work (I’m stretching, here, trying to come up with excuses for such shoddy service). But the USPS structure has been in place for decades, and the service complaints of moiself and my family and friends and neighbors have arisen, gradually but steadily, in the last 10 – 15 years.
* * *
Department Of Another Visit To Memory Lane 
Herbie Hancock and Van Morrison. This was moiself’s response to friend’s posting of one of those FB memes I think of as “culture shock” questions. The question: What was the first concert you attended?
It was my first rock concert,  and I didn’t know the protocol. When I informed my parents that friends and I were going to a music concert my parents asked me about the dress code…and for the first time it occurred to me, having never been to a concert before, that I might need to wear something other than my standard blue jeans.
Since the word concert was used, I thought the event might be a tad more formal than I was used to. Thus I donned what, for me, were my dress-up duds: pants that were not jeans and had no mustard stains (some kind of plaid bell bottoms, I bet)…
…and a white blouse I borrowed from my older sister. The friend and friend-of-a-friend I went to the concert with dressed along the same lines; the F-O-A-F’s older brother, who had procured the tickets and who was a veteran rock concert attendee, wore jeans and a t-shirt. After my friends and I arrived at the concert venue and were seated, we glanced around the venue, and I said to the friend seated next to me, “We look like narcs.”
At one point early on in Hancock’s opening set someone passed a joint down the row where my friends and I were seated. I slipped into cultural anthropologist mode, observing the ritual. When it was passed to moiself I did not partake, but felt like I should somehow participate. Holding the lit joint in my left hand, I dug in my purse  with my right hand and retrieved the emergency snack I’d brought along. I peeled back the wrapper of the Tootsie Roll® and passed it down the row of seats, along with the doobie I had declined to smoke. The subsequent partakees seemed to be…a bit confused.
About the music: I recall almost nothing of what Herbie Hancock and his band played except for one song: a highly syncopated jazz number with staccato vocalizations (I remember thinking of it as, “the hiccup song”). As for the headliner….
Although I liked much of Van Morrison’s music before that show (and after), I was not impressed with his performance. Halfway through his opening number it became obvious that he was off his-northern-Irish-ass drunk, which IMO was incredibly disrespectful of his audience. His band got even less respect from him: our seats were good ones, close enough to the stage that I could lip read the insults and obscenities Morrison traded with his band, as well as detect the musicians’ expressions of disgust and impatience when Morrison would start a song, forget the lyrics, then start a different song and snap at them if they delayed in following along. When a few audience members called out for songs they wanted to hear, Morrison flashed them sneers of utter contempt – at one point he even spat on the stage when someone called out the lyrics to a song he’d stumbled over.
Van Morrison was being marketed then (and still, even now) as some kind of Celtic soul mystic. Mystic soul, my arse. Self-important, Paddy-whacking,  twerp-troll was the impression I came away with.
* * *
Freethinkers’ Thought Of The Week 
* * *
May you seek psychiatric help should your hairstyle guidelines ever be something along the lines of, ‘Home room in the front, recess in the back;’
May you have memorable stories of attending *your* first concert;
May y’all come back now, here?
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
* * *
 Thus and now – sounds like a good title for a book. Except that I’ve already done something like that (my collection of short fiction, This Here and Now published a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, by Scrivenery Press).
 My younger brother would not be born until the following summer.
 Of which my father himself was not fond of, to tell the truth, and he “got out of there” as he put it, as soon as he could (by enlisting in the army in WWII).
 All of those shows seemed get cancelled around 1971.
 Which, although I’m using the term metaphorically here, was/is the actual name of a street in Santa Ana, whence moiself originated.
 I was in grade 7 or 8; cannot recall which.
 Yeah, I took a purse to a rock concert. I didn’t even take a purse to school….
 My ethnic heritage is 50% Irish; this, in our culture’s bizarre calculus of who can say what to whom, I’m entitled to diss my own.
 “free-think-er n. A person who forms opinions about religion on the basis of reason, independently of tradition, authority, or established belief. Freethinkers include atheists, agnostics and rationalists. No one can be a freethinker who demands conformity to a bible, creed, or messiah. To the freethinker, revelation and faith are invalid, and orthodoxy is no guarantee of truth.” Definition courtesy of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, ffrf.org