The Deep South of the United States is a place like nowhere on earth. Shaped by a complex history of agriculture, religion, and frying everything in sight, the South developed into a unique region of the U.S. It is brutally hot for many months out of the year, and so humid that you need a scuba mask to walk around. Because of the heat, big cities weren’t even an option until the invention of air-conditioning in the 60s.
Southerners in the summer are basically like pastier vampires, scuttling from one air-conditioned strip mall to another, trying not to drown in their own sweat before they can pump up their cars’ air conditioning.
But the South certainly has its charms. Most Southerners love their country and will punch you in the face if you think otherwise. They are a handy, self-sufficient people, used to making it on their own without the help of the federal government or their incredibly corrupt and inefficient state governments. Because the Deep South is one of the poorest regions in the U.S., people who live there make do with what they have. Although one Southern meal can give you diabetes and heart disease all at once, you’ll be hospitalized with a smile on your face. Sweet tea, cornbread, fried chicken, coconut pie, and collard greens are specially cooked to send your happiness and cholesterol levels through the roof.
A Southerner’s connection to the environment is a special kind of relationship. They are all basically Steve Irwins, wrasslin’ crocodiles, noodlin’ catfish, and just generally pissing off animals because they are bored. They love their hunting dogs and will shoot anything else, whether it be a raccoon, a boar, or their good for nothin’ cousin, Earl.
Prepare yourself, y’all, for 15 pictures that are iconic Deep South.
15 Coolin' Off
The confederate flags magnify the majesty and depth of this photo. If only Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson could see what they worked so hard for. Definitely, props to this kid for creativity. That poor excuse for a house behind him likely does not have air-conditioning, so he has taken matters into his own hands. What he doesn’t realize is that standing water, warmed by relentless summer heat, in a plastic container, is a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Congratulations bud, your dip just gave your whole family yellow fever. Was it worth it? Well, maybe it’s better than dying of heat stroke. Pick your poison, I guess.
14 A Penny Saved...
...is a crappy mailbox. Nothing quite says “home sweet home” like a paint bucket mailbox in front of thick, thorny brambles that come straight from the garden of the Wicked Witch of the West (maybe they’re planted to keep alligators out). Southern rednecks know better than anyone how to make a cheap fix. You could pick up a paint barrel like that at any dump or construction site. They didn’t even bother to paint over the product description on the side of the barrel where it tells you not to huff paint chips... or something. What is less clear is where you get one of those perfect red mail flags. Where the hell did that come from?
13 Where's Wifey?
I thought the point of a wedding was so that all your friends and family could see you at your best. It’s hard for that to happen when they can’t see you at all. Marriage is a life-changing event. Why would you try to camouflage all your joy? Unless the wedding meal has to be hunted first. In which case the preparation that went into this wedding is amazing. Give the event planner a huge hunk of the meat you kill as a tip. The only reason this family is even partially visible is that every outfit has a blaze of garish orange. I don’t agree with it stylistically, but if that is the only thing preventing you from being shot in the heart by Dick Cheney then I’m all for it.
12 That'll Be Some Good BBQ
This kid represents everything right with the South. He just took down the final boss of the forest in a damn polo shirt. This pig is an apex predator and he doesn’t even like meat. That’s a big-boned kid and he probably weighs 1/20th of what that hog weighs. And if you hunted that monster down with anything less than a bazooka, I’d be impressed. This kid did it with a peashooter. I think one of those pork ribs will feed his whole family. But somebody is going to have to get a flamethrower to cook something that massive. Also, where the hell are you going to store the leftovers?
11 Throw Up Your Gang Signs, Girls!
Southern sororities are basically gangs. Think about it, they rove around their territories in packs, they are constantly throwing up gang signs, and they savagely attack members of opposing sororities. I mean just look at those eyes and gritted teeth. They are clearly bloodthirsty. All joking aside, sororities do something special to the male psyche. That many pretty girls in one place overloads the circuits of the reptilian parts of a man’s brain. And nobody does sororities better than Southern state schools filled with Southern belles. It doesn’t matter that they are unbelievably annoying; walking around in identical outfits and greek-lettered handbags. They can pull off cowboy boots better than anyone and you’re gonna stick around anyway.
10 Thinking On Your Feet
You’re cruising through Mobile, Alabama. It’s 105 degrees of pure misery outside, but you’re fine inside your Oldsmobile that was made during the Eisenhower administration. And then disaster strikes. Nope you don’t crash into a deer. You could patch up your window with a little spit and some duct tape, not a problem. Your air conditioner goes out. You call up one of your 34 car mechanic friends, but he thinks your air conditioner is unsalvageable. What’s your plan B? Borrow a generator from your Christian neighbor, tie it up to the back of the car, and jerry-rig an air conditioner on your window.
9 The Earth Will Open Up And Swallow You
This is a sinkhole and is far more common in the South than you might expect. Due to a combination of weak limestone geography and a sophisticated web of oil and natural gas lines, the ground can literally open up beneath your feet. Oh, and don’t discount God’s wrath. Down in the Deep South, people are God-fearing for a reason. He’s not so active in the northeast anymore (too cold), but down South you can bet your bottom dollar there are consequences for your immoral actions. So you better not even think of blaspheming or someone may decide to open up a biblical can of whoop-ass.
8 Florida Is Nuts
Florida is basically the Australia of the United States, in the sense that everything in the state is out to kill you. Malarial mosquitoes, hungry homeless guys jacked out of their minds on bath salts that want to eat your face, and alligators. These armored death lizards have been around for 240 million years, so you know they do something right. And by right I mean hunt and eat things really, really well. If you own a pool, it is probably your happy place where you can escape the heat and splash around. Well, it becomes considerably less happy when you have a 500-pound ambush predator lurking.
7 The Death-Mobile
This is the most terrifying, Mad-Maxian vehicle I have ever seen. Is the whole point of this just to instil fear in the hearts of mortals? If so, it is working. If, on the other hand, the point is to brag about your hunting prowess, then why for the love of god is there a human skull front and center? First of all, at any moment one of those skulls could come flying off, fly through your windshield, and crush your, well, skull. Can you imagine if this guy was pulled over for speeding? The police would walk over to his windshield, guns locked and loaded, waiting for death to take them and mount them on a sh*tty truck.
6 Grillin's Never Been Easier
The spatial perception of the enterprising individual who figured this out is mind-boggling. If I had had the divine inspiration to even consider of using a shopping cart as a grill, I would have tried placing it wheels down over the fire, realized it didn’t work, and went for the meat on a stick method, marshmallow style. The owner of the supermarket where this cart came from might be pissed, but honestly, this is a far better use for the cart than what it was doing before it was repurposed. Namely, sitting in some abandoned ditch by the side of the road, waiting for a drunken teenager to ride it down a hill and break his fibula.
5 You Gonna Finish That, Diabetes?
This picture honestly makes me sad. And not just because the Michelin Man has fallen so far that he has to eat McDonald's. I mean does fame mean nothing these days? These kids are probably five years old and are already on the road to a heart attack at the age of 24. And tragically it’s through no fault of their own. They have been raised in a culture in which convenient, cheap food is prioritized over health. The obesity epidemic is especially pronounced in poor Southern communities because healthy, fresh food is far harder to come by in these depressed areas and parents do not have much health education themselves.
4 The Real NASCAR
RRRRednecks! START YOUR ENGINES. I think part of the reason that ATVs appeal so profoundly to the Southern psyche is the freedom they afford. Roads? Dirt paths? Who needs ‘em. They’re all funded with federal government swamp commie politician money anyway. If everyone just had ATVs they wouldn’t have to take government handouts like roads. But honestly tons of respect for these guys. Even with fumes going to their heads and near-deafness from the roar of their engines, they jump, wheelie, and skid their ways around the forest just for kicks. Generally, the Southern penchant for building and fixing mechanical things comes in handy with ATVs as they are constantly hitting trees and pigs.
3 Lawn Mowing On My Mind
This is pure genius. Do you know what a new one of those huge John Deere lawn mowers costs? $1,800 minimum. And this guy just tied a bunch of $75 dollar machines together to create a lawn care cavalry unit. He’s saved so much money he could probably go out and buy 1,000 big Macs. And he’s saved so much time that he can now spend painting racing stripes on his RV and yelling at the man on the television who keeps talking about some liberal elite government conspiracy called global warming. The only problem might be that he is commandeering five death machines that probably don't have the best turning radius. Just make sure you don’t get too close to Sparky.
2 Gone Fishin'
There’s no better way to say, “I hate my day job get me the hell out of this stupid office so I can go fish in a river” than getting this paint job on your truck. Southerners love fishin’ almost as much as they love football. First of all, it is an activity that goes as well with beer, as apples go with pie. It takes almost no movement or exercise. In fact, movement is actively discouraged so that you don’t scare the fish. And then you get to eat whatever you catch?? Fishing is the lazy person’s dream. I can definitely see the appeal, though. Fishing is basically asserting your dominance over lesser creatures. Basically, the same reason you own a truck with a paint job like this.
1 A Land Of Music
Hand a Southerner a string instrument and he’ll make that sucker sing. I don’t care if he’s never picked up a fiddle in his life. He could be a 12-year-old with only 3 fingers and he’d bring tears to your eyes with his banjo solo. Rural mountainous areas are especially famous for this type of music, because there is almost nothing else there that will bring you joy. Cougar ate your baby? Get together with your pals in a banjo solo and things will be alright. Your fourth son just went blind from moonshine? That’s okay! Put a fiddle in his hands and he’ll jam like a rooster in a corn mill yeehaw.