You meet a friend whom you have not seen in some time and immediately the question is asked, “Whachew bin up to?” Now, this is not that the person asking the question is trying to probe into your personal business. Rather, it is more of a statement of inquiry. “I have not seen you in a month of Sundays, and I was wondering if you have been ill or if anything exciting has been happening in your otherwise monotonous lifestyle.”
Along the same lines is another inquiry into the state of your health. “Howya bin?” You explain that you were hospitalized for a period of three weeks and this will prompt yet another question, “You bin sick?”
In order to appreciate these methods of greeting, you must be well versed in the ‘state-of-the-art’ language that is commonplace in the southernmost parts of this great country. There are no courses offered in any school that can prepare you for these encounters. You are strictly on your own; if and when you venture anywhere below the Mason-Dixon Line.
Only a few of these innovative expressions are included in this article in order to prevent complete shock and your first response of, “DUUGGHH.”
If you are a total stranger in the South, you may even become lost and require directions. Before asking, you should familiarize yourself with; ‘Who lives where, and Who used to live where.’
This could prove invaluable in deciphering the directions, i.e., “Ye go down this heah road ’til ye git to th’ Hylton place an’ turn to’ard th’ Jenkins’ old place. When ye git to th’ big tree ’bout a mile frum they barn, take a right-han’ turn lak you’re headed fer th’ creek, but you don’t go that fur. They house is on th’ lef.”
SEE! It really couldn’t be any clearer, provided you know all of the specified persons.
If, in fact, you did require directions, do not be surprised if you are asked the question, “Y’all ain’t nevah bin down heah afore, has y’all?” This is simply to gain an explanation for your rather unusual appearance rather than to seem to be prying into your personal lives.
It would be a wise individual, that refrains from suggesting that appropriate road signs should be erected in and around this Utopia. Doing so will surely bring about the response of “We ain’t th’ one’s whot is lost.”
Another important item that should be mentioned here is; “Even if you do not understand what they are trying to explain to you;” “NEVER, EVER, Raise your voice or show anger. YOU must remember that these GENTLE SOULS are concerned about YOUR WELFARE,: And it would grieve them tremendously to waste a 12-GAUGE SHOTGUN SHELL, ON THE LIKES OF YOU…
And besides, they’re home and you ain’t.