Scattered Thoughts: Disarmed Exchange

Sometimes Southern hospitality goes only so far.

Scattered Thoughts: Disarmed Exchange

“Where do you think you’re going?” the man sitting in a large truck asked. I noticed his Southern accent, but it lacked the friendly tone I was accustomed to in this area of the country. 

 “Ummmm … I’m planning on going into the national forest and do some coyote hunting,” I said, while standing next to my car holding my 12-gauge shotgun.  

“That’s not the national forest, that’s my property!” he retorted. The national forest where I was planning to hunt sat between two rival cities, Tuscaloosa and Auburn.  

I lifted the map I had picked up at the local super store. This seemed to agitate him more. “That map is wrong!” By the intonation in his voice, I perceived I wasn’t the first person he had had to tell this to. But at the moment I wasn’t concerned about his tone so much as his body language. His left arm lay across his door’s window frame, but I couldn’t see his other arm. He could be holding the gear shifter … or he could be holding a firearm. After all, he was confronting an armed stranger and, after all, this was Alabama. I knew that the next words that came out of my mouth would be very important.  

“Sir, I’m just a Yankee from Chicago who doesn’t know if I should say ‘Roll Tide’ or ‘War Eagle.’”  

The man confronting me stayed silent for a second and then burst out laughing. “Hell, 

I don’t care about that stuff!” As we continued to talk his tone turned from terse to downright hospitable. “Follow me in your car,” he said. “I’ll show you some spots to kill coyotes!”  

Lucky for me, he had some great hunting land. And lucky for me, I’m a guy who knows my manners and has a sense of humor. 


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