Humor Columnist



















Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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12 Steps....

12 Steps for Becoming Southern

According to studies by Vanderbilt University and the University of North Carolina, only 70% of the people living in the South consider themselves Southerners. Sociologists attribute this to an increase in immigration and urbanization in the South.

What do these newcomers think they are if not Southerners? If their residence is planted on our red, sacred soil, they are now Southerners whether they want to admit it or not. Since the end of "The War," natives of the South have learned to forgive and forget and to tolerate these newcomers pretty well.

Perhaps they have a negative image about being Southern. If so, there’s only one thing for these transplants to do. They must immediately join a 12 Step Program and attempt to turn their lives around.

1. Admit that you have no control over being Southern if you are abiding south of the Mason-Dixon line.

2. Believe that the numerous advantages of living in the South and a glass of sweet tea can restore you to sanity.

3. Make a decision to turn your will and life over to country music, pickup trucks, and football.

4. Make a searching and fearless inventory of the reasons you moved from the North in the first place.

5. Admit to God, yourself, and a native Southerner the exact disadvantages of having to scrape ice and shovel snow.

6. Be entirely ready to explain the difference between a Moon Pie and a Cow Pie.

7. Humbly ask for your shortcomings and your Yankee twang to be removed.

8. Make a list of all the rednecks you have ever offended and be willing to make amends to them.

9. Make direct amends to them whenever possible unless there is a shotgun or mean dog nearby and to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continue to take personal inventory and admit that your ideas about pinto beans and cornbread were wrong.

11. Seek to improve your interactions with Southerners as you understand them, praying for common sense and the power to use a little bit of it.

12. Having had an intellectual awakening as the result of these Steps, try to carry the truth about the South to others and to practice Southern hospitality in all your affairs.

Remember that a transplanted Southerner is always in danger of returning to self-destructive prejudice. Continue to study the 12 Steps and say the Serenity Prayer for Good Ol’ Boys’ at every opportunity.

Copyright 2003 Sheila Moss

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