South Carolina, Hobos, & Doggie Doo

Thursday, November 06, 2008

South Carolina does not do itself many favors when it comes to public relations. Far too many people think South Carolina is a backward hillbilly state that just got plummin' and electricity dern near ten years back. I oversee a plant in SC and I quite like the state, so I decided to take my camera with me when the Normal Mormon Family drove south of the border last week to set the record straight for those of you who have misconceptions about the Palmetto State.

Why does South Carolina have such a bad rap? First off, the Confederate flag flew over the state capitol building until 2000. This poor decision is as subtle as if the state of Missouri decided to fly the Mormon Extermination Order over its courthouses or wait until 1976 to repeal the order. As if anything that crazy could ever happen! While the Confederate flag has come down, there are still window decals on all SC state government buildings depicting the mischievous character from Calvin and Hobbes relieving himself on a map of all of the "Yankee" states. I'm shooting for 2095 for those to come off.

Another self-inflicted public relations wound was the decision to select the Gamecock as the mascot for the University of South Carolina. I can just imagine the Board of Trustees having the following conversation:

-"We need a dignified mascot. Something regal."
-"You mean, like a varmint of some sorts? Maybe a dingo?"
-"Perhaps. But I'm envisioning something just a little more noble. More valiant."
-"What about a mole. Or maybe a chicken?"
-"Yes! Perfect! A chicken! But there needs to be a hook. An angle. Something that says this chicken is special."
-"How's abouts an egg-layin' chicken."
-"Naw. I want something more backwoods. Perhaps something illegal and blood-lusty."
-"A gamecock?"
-"Somebody get this man another helpin' of turnips!"

Just to show that South Carolina has come a long way over the years, here are some of the images that caught my attention during our quick trip a few days back.

If you are passing through the state and need to get some fresh veggies, I highly encourage you to stop by and visit the kind folks at Hobo Hollar Produce. I do not want to speak for the rest of you, but when I have a hankerin' for some squash or cucumbers I definitely think of homeless people yelling at the tops of their lungs. I heard that the owners just opened a second store in downtown Charleston called Hobo HOLLA! Produce.

One of the most popular items on the menu at Hobo Hollar are the hot boiled P-Nuts. I have heard of peanuts before, but am not quite sure just which"P-" nut they are referring to. Pinenuts? Pistachios? Does anybody know what to expect here?

If you look closely at this picture you will notice two key elements: 1) The trendy, classy "Hobo Hollar" font that is now available on Microsoft Word. This font takes random letters and decides to willy-nilly capitalize some of them in order to form words like HoT BoiLED P-NuTS. 2) The sign in the lower left hand corner that expressly forbids dogs from using Hobo Hollar as their personal Port-a-Potty. I bet this "No Going" policy was as difficult to implement as a an Indoor Clean Air Act in Winson-Salem. Just for fun, here is the close up:

This sign underscores the point that South Carolina is actually much more progressive than most other states. For example, in most other states we see signs that say things like, "Shoplifters will be prosecuted" and "No shirt, no shoes, no service." While businesses in the rest of the country have to focus no preventing bare chested thieves from stealing VCR's and Slim Jims, South Carolina businesses are only worried animals not defiling their premises. Now that's a state that has its house in order!

So take that, every other state!

Oh, yeah, anybody up for some cockfighting?


carmar76 said...

See, SC knows it's their business to see that no dog does its business near their businesses.

8:40 PM
Sandy said...

Do you know where I can get one of those dog poo signs for my yard? For some reason all the dogs in my neighborhood like to come visit our dog and leave little presents all over the place. I'm sure that sign would totally take care of the problem:)

8:45 PM
Ang said...

I always love good dose of font humor. Seriously.

8:52 PM
Bored in Vernal said...

We moved to SC in July and I'm loving it. I see those boiled p-nuts signs everywhere and have not yet tasted them. I'll have to try them sometime.

My daughter's high school mascot is the coolest one ever. Go, Swamp Foxes!

10:00 PM
Megan said...

The extra sign is there so you know they're not poo-nuts. :)

11:39 PM
Carolyn said...

What is up with boiled "P-nuts?" How is this any easier to write then boiled peanuts??!! Nevertheless, they are super awesome. Way better than roasted peanuts.

I was born in South Carolina and spent all of my childhood in the south...mostly south Georgia. In spite of my clearly southern roots, I don't number myself among the rest of those red neck, backwards southern folk. :-) I guess moving to Yankee-ville when I was 16 cured me of my southern "problems." I'm not saying everyone from the south is stupid or backwards...but as they say, if the muddy boot fits...

6:11 AM
Beth said...

I knew somebody my freshman year of college from SC - she did not help to dispel negative SC stereotypes. She didn't wear socks, had issues with soap (I am not making this up), and her roommate had serious suspicious about a history of incest in her family. She also displayed confederate flags everywhere.

8:30 AM
Shelley said...

i haven't laughed that hard at one of your posts in a long time. that was classically hilarious. and where did you learn such a great country bumpkin accent? priceless.

5:50 PM
Val said...

Now if all dogs dropped giant Hershey kisses on our lawns like this dog apparently does, there would be no need for these signs, really. AnD pRopS tO tHE HobO fONt. i'M sTeaLinG iT.

1:47 PM
Val said...

P.S. I stole your Twilight video, too. The best!

2:02 PM
Anonymous said...

I also live in SC and totally get what you are saying....I mean who else besides SC would have Po' Boys Produce? Gotta love it.

7:28 AM

Having grown up in SC, I rest my must live in the greater Greenville, Columbia or Charleston areas to avoid such things as seen in the signs. Love the state, but wouldn't dare live anywhere but those three

8:25 PM

Way to enrich your family on a vacation. I'm so glad that we are righteous enough to live in Zion and be surrounded by saints instead of bigots. I hope that one day you'll be righteous enough to live in Zion as well.


6:40 PM
I am LoW said...

Boiled Peanuts are divine!!

And they ARE in Charleston too.

Columbia/Greenville... like a whole different state.

4:46 PM