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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

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Survivor South....

Survivor South

After watching Survivorís umpteenth episode on television the other night, it occurs to us that if these folks think they are survivors, they ought to live in the South where surviving is more than a game, itís a way of life.

Diving in the ocean for sake bottles?  Donít get me started!  Good olí boys were diving into the 10 foot deep swimming hole almost before they could swim.  There were not any sake bottles there, but we might find a few longneck beer bottles if anybody is stupid enough to want to look for them.

Survival? Try taking a short cut across the back lot behind olí Mr. Jonesí house if you really want to be a survivor.  You will learn to survive really fast to when being chased by his ornery old pit bull.  And if the pit bull doesnít teach you anything, chances are Mr. Jonesí buckshot will.  Try surviving that!

Southern rednecks knew about survival long before it became a reality television show.  Survival wasnít a game to us, it was a way of staying alive.  Weíve suffered though poverty and hardship for a hundred years Ė not to mention chicken floggings, outhouses, barbwire, and cow pies.

Down here we donít expel anybody from our clan, except maybe a few politicians, which we send up to Washington.  But they ask for that.  They usually donít stay long enough for anything except a couple of filibusters until they come back home.

Weíve also learned to survive Yankeeís that move down here because they think the climate is better. Funny how the first thing someone from the North does when they move down South is try and change us to be like them. Youíd think as much fun as they make of us, theyíd want to stay up yonder where they belong.

In the South, we donít get any immunity from anything, especially hard work, no matter how many votes are in our clan.  Itís just as well since we donít have any shark jaw necklaces, or whatever that thing is, to wear like they do on TV.  Guess we could hang grandpaís false teeth around our neck.  Of course, weíd have to explain it to grandpa first.

If we wanted to play games, we could use bandannas to identify teams.  They come in both red and blue, you know. But, they are just big handkerchiefs to us, We mostly use them for working and sweating.  We donít have anything fancy to sell with a redneck logo on it like they do.

Looking for food to survive would be easy.  We are used to hunting, fishing, eating wild greens and berries, and other unusual food.  Itís just a part of our heritage. We figured out surviving by living off the land a long time ago.  We can even eat kudzu if we have to.

Nobody gets a million bucks for surviving as a Southerner.  The most we usually get is a chance to continue surviving.  We donít have much time for playing mental games or planning strategies to outwit each other.  Just trying to work and make a living is challenge enough.

We have learned to take it slow and easy and to cooperate with each other instead of competing. We have a lot of good music, good neighbors, and good fun. If someone else strikes it rich, maybe they can loan us a few bucks to buy gas for the truck until payday.

So, thatís the Southern take on this Survivor stuff. Thanks goodness real life isnít reality television! We see enough of folks trying to outsmart and outwit their neighbors. Most likely we will just stick to watching shows that make sense and let other folks figure out Survivor.

Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss

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