Monday, October 31, 2011

We don't get much call for hibiscus down here

Hallowe'en greetings

This festival comes rather naturally
to the Old Dominion. A xenophobic 
culture gives one plenty of practice, 
it can safely be said, in surprise by 
the frightful and extortion by the oc-
cult. Equally, our children's susten-
ance on sugar and salt is so advanced
that the frenetic orgy this night is 
in healthy places would make it almost 
courtly, here, but for our vigilance
against menace, per se. Yet you may
count on us to carry it off in that
accent we have made world-famous.

The passive-aggressive negative
is the default voice of Virginia.
Every fratboy has mastered this
dialect before matriculation;
and this accounted for a good
deal of George Bush's natural
popularity here. One began to
lose count of the wars he started
with the phrase, Ah doant much
appreciate.. But it has its uses.
It keeps the place mercifully
ignorant, because its rhetor-
ical structure is rejection. If
something is not absolutely in
one's face universally in Vir-
ginia, it is resented. A squint
forms, the jaw sets, a glance
around the room for recruiting's
sake ensues, and an arch soft-
ness wafts the admonition, We
don't get much call down heah
for hibisciss.

Like pilgrims in Chaucer, I can see
your Hallowe'en parade receding in-
to time, whilst Virginia must always
be with us, encouraging even the
sweetest costume to take heart: 
Don't worry, you scare us.

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