News clippings from across America

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Iron & Wine – Walking Far From Home

1. Utah – According to my sources (idle gossip from my friend Jon), Mormons have a practice called “floating.” Pre-married couples will strip, penetrate, but then just hold each other instead of using friction to induce orgasms. It’s how they avoid sex before marriage without avoiding sex before marriage. Allegedly, the couple then can discuss religion and their relationship, with the penis “floating” in the vaginal cavity. Back when I was a kid, when we wanted to skirt the line, we just blew each other.

2. Texas – In the Lone Star State, it is still legal to smoke in bars. After driving two days straight, my brother texted me the address of Page Pub and had me meet him there (he is the second one I’ve visited on this trip to direct me to a bar before his or her home). On the tables, turned upside down, sat little black ashtrays. My eyes lit up. I’m not much of a smoker – whenever I run out of (now-illegal) cloves, I generally go several months without before I find some more – but smoking in bars is nostalgic for me. When I was first starting, sneaking off to dive bars to escape the frigid Michigan cold and judgmental roommates, I would tap out my ash next to a glass of beer or onto the floor at shitty local-band concerts. My brother’s friend Richard handed me a Marlboro Red. I hate Reds and I hate most non-clove cigarettes, but this one tasted like the frozen air in Michigan, my visible breath and the smoke escaping my mouth in one dense plume.

3. Tennessee – People in Murfreesboro actually say “y’all.” I mean, you figure the stereotype is based in reality; you assume people in Canada might say “eh?” slightly more on average than Americans. But it’s still startling when the waitress has a thick Southern accent and sing-songs, “Y’all come back now” as you bluster out the door. The expression is so tied to insults about illiteracy and inbreeding that I guess I didn’t really believe people used it any more.

I don’t think I’ll come back after all.

[Buy the single.]

4 Responses to “News clippings from across America”

  1. Curt Shannon says:

    If you aren’t from the South, you won’t know that Southerners say “y’all” as a contraction of “you all.” It is used as a plural second-person pronoun instead of “you” which of course is also the singular second-person pronoun. Since “you” can refer to both singular and plural, “you all” or “y’all” helps to distinguish between a single person or more than one person when addressing him/them. No real Southerner would say “y’all” to a single person. Other regions have found solutions such as “you guys” or “youse.” To my ears “y’all”, when used correctly, more elegantly solves the singular/plural “you” problem, and is in fact very literate. Of course that means you have to get over prejudices about people from the South. 🙂

  2. emily says:

    Being born and raised in the south by “Yankee” parents, I am deeply offended by your opinions about the word y’all. I am well educated and not inbred and frequently use the word in conversation.
    Be a little more open minded.

  3. Rob says:

    Weirdly, Trinis (people in that imaginary land from which Brent and I claim to originate) say y’all. But only the middle-class ones. The poor-folks and vagabonds use a local contraction, ‘allyuh’ – i.e. ‘all-you’ – all flippety-flappety like that.

    To learn more, check out this > 1,000-page dictionary of Trini-speak (and buy me a copy while you’re at it):

    There, I changed the topic so we could be all culturally-inclusive and warm-fuzzy-postmodern at this special time of year.

    P.S. I wish the word ‘vagabonds’ were pronounced ‘vag-abonds’ (as in ‘vaginabonds’) – feeling bonded to a vag might make them feel better about themselves.

  4. Dalton says:

    Being Mormon, I’m disgusted by hearing this about “floating”. I’m hoping it’s just some stupid gossip and has no real bearing. Of course, I’ve got no clue what actually goes on in Utah, because I avoid it like the plague…

    I’ve been told by some of Utah Mormons that it’s easier to follow our religion when you are the only one of maybe four in your school, like here in NY, because you’re not so pressured to do stupid stuff (I guess you’d put it as “unholy stuff” in religious terms). Whatever.

    Anyway, Iron & Wine. Sounds good. It’s real chill.

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