The rental car I am driving around Maryland has Pennsylvania plates on it. While this makes me look more like a native driver, what it really means is I'm all over The Line here. All four people at my table in class live here, most are from here and they laugh when I remind them that while they are South of The Line, they didn't secede. It was 53-13 against. This morning one said there were parts of the South that didn't realize the war was over. I informed them that I still don't recognize my relatives that fought as aggressors in the War of Northern Aggression. Yep. That's the line I'm talking about. Few realize this, but when they were making it, Mason and Dixon fought amongst themselves. Dixon was more civilized and drank from a glass, but his redneck buddy Mason just wanted to drink straight from the jug. That's why today we have Dixie cups and Mason jars.
I do not like crab. The only thing I like about crabs is playing with the claws and using them for metaphors. But even I couldn't come to the Old Line State and not eat their delicacy. In all my life, growing up on the water, catching seafood, cooking seafood, and eating seafood I have NEVER had crab that tasted as good as the crab I had tonight at the Clarke's Landing Restaurant on the Patuxent River.
They do have sweet tea here, in some places. I haven't tried it yet. My waitress tonight when I asked if they had it said, "Yes, we have it. Well, maybe not that sweet..."
No one that has ever met me walked away thinking, "Nice guy, but he never opened his mouth." I don't know anyone who has ever told me I didn't say what was on my mind. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised that I have not only had conversations with the 4 people at my table but have had talks with one or two people at each of the other five tables too. A few have made a point to come up to me, seeking me out to talk with. Strangest thing I've been told so far is that they love my drawl. Would anyone who knows me and hears me speak regularly say my voice has a drawl? How far north am I in this place?
So what's the point? How does it all tie back to my Hole on the End of the Bible Belt theme? I'm not in "enemy territory" or even over The Line, but I'm not around my own kind. I fit in and look like them. I'm driving on their roads, and eating their food. I sound sort of like them, but just enough different that I get their attention. I'm saying things that interest them enough they want to know more. I'm far from home, singing a different tune than those around me, getting their attention with enough time to plant a seed. I may not water them more than once and the seeds may fall on the rocks or in the thorns, but some of them land in the good soil.
On a side note, my iPhone's on EDT, my Blackberry's on CDT, my laptop's on CDT, and the laptop I'm using in class is on EDT. The only thing I know for sure about time is not to call my friends in WA because I really have no idea what time it is.