The online contest entries for “Late Show With David Letterman’s” 2010 Top 10 list of things you don’t want to hear at your Fourth of July barbecue included these nuggets still applicable today:
* “Are hot dogs supposed to have veins?”
* “I made these fireworks myself.”
* “It will stop making that noise when it’s on the grill.”
* “Would you mind rubbing mustard on my hard-to-reach places?”
* “If anyone still has any fingers left, will you please call 911?”
* “I don’t think that’s what it meant when the recipe said, ‘Rub the meat.’ ”
This originally was written for the celebration of Guy Fawkes Night in Great Britain on Nov. 5, but it’s easily adapted for July 4.
July the Fourth has come and gone,
But some of the things still linger.
I held a firework in my hand ...
Has anyone seen my finger?
“Rednecks love fireworks and beer — a deadly combination. Every July 4th around the South, rednecks blow themselves up left and right. See, the terrorists have got it all wrong. They should stop trying to build an underwear bomb and just open a roadside fireworks stand outside of Kmart. Just hand out Old Milwaukees and M-80s, and we will blow ourselves up for you. That’s not jihad — that’s yee-had!” — Comedian Larry Weaver
While we’re on the subject, here are things you can learn living in the South:
* A possum is a flat animal that sleeps in the middle of the road.
* There are 5,000 types of snakes, and 4,998 of them live in the South.
* There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 of them live in the South, plus a couple no one’s seen before.
* If it grows, it’ll stick you. If it crawls, it’ll bite you.
* “Onced” and “twiced” are words.
* It is not a shopping cart; it is a buggy.
* “Jawl-P?” is the shortened version of “Did you all go to the bathroom?”
* People actually grow, eat and like okra.
* “Fixinto” is one word. It means “I’m going to do that.”
* There is no such thing as lunch. There is only dinner, and then there’s supper.”
* Sweet tea is appropriate for all meals, and you start drinking it when you’re 2 (younger, if you take a bottle). Southerners like a little tea with their sugar. Sweet tea is considered the wine of the South.
* “Backwards and forwards” means I know everything about you.
* The word “jeet” is actually a question meaning “Did you eat?”
* You don’t have to wear a watch, because it doesn’t matter what time it is. You work until you’re done or it’s too dark to see.
* You don’t push buttons; you mash them.
* Y’all is singular. All y’all is plural.
* All the festivals across the South are named after a fruit, vegetable, grain, insect or animal.
* You carry jumper cables in your car — for your own car.
* You own five spices: salt, pepper, mustard, Tabasco and ketchup.
* The local papers cover national and international news on one page but require six pages for high school sports, NASCAR and gossip.
* You think that the first day of deer season is a national holiday.
* You know what a hissy fit is.
* Fried catfish is the other white meat.
* We don’t need driver’s ed. If our mama says we can drive, we can drive.
What comes next
Bryan took his 4-year-old son, Nicholas, to several baseball games. Before each game, they stood to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Then on the Sunday before Independence Day, Bryan and Nicholas went to church. The congregation sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.” As everyone sat down, Nicholas yelled out, “Play ball!”
Miss White advises the class that each school day would be starting with the Pledge of Allegiance. She instructs the children to put their right hands over their hearts and repeat after her.
As she begins the recitation, she looks around the room and notices that little Andy has his hand on his head.
“Andy,” she says, “I can’t continue until you put your hand over your heart.”
Andy says, “It is over my heart.”
Miss White says, “No, Andy, your hand should be directly over your heart.”
“It is,” he insists.
Finally, she asks, “What makes you think that’s your heart, Andy?”
He says, “Because every time my Grandma comes to visit, she pats me there and says, ‘Bless your little heart,’ and Grandma never lies.”
Laugh Lines is compiled from various sources, including reader submissions and websites. Origins are included when known.
Lisa Denton is deputy features editor and content editor of Current. She previously was a lifestyle, entertainment and region reporter/pod leader for The Chattanooga Times, which she joined in 1983. Lisa is from Sale Creek and holds an associate’s degree in journalism from Chattanooga State Community College. Contact Lisa at 423-757-6281 or firstname.lastname@example.org.