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    Belles of the South
    by Thomas Lynn



    They’re not called "Southern Belles' for nothing. According to Webster (Noah, not Daniel) in his book (dictionary, not Bible) a belle is the most attractive or most popular female in any given situation (i.e., the belle of the ball). To carry the definition a tad further, they are 'southern belles' and nowhere in recorded history is there any mention of 'northern belles'.

    Typical southern belles are cultured like a strand of pearls. They are gracious, well-mannered, soft-spoken, intelligent, brave, clean and reverent. Oops! Sorry, I got carried away. The last three are qualities of Boy Scouts. To continue, like magnolia blossoms they are beautiful to gaze upon, and men have been known to lose their hearts to them as well as their bank accounts.

    Scientists have long suspected something in the water below the Mason-Dixon Line produces a southern belle. The American Medical Association once conducted exhaustive tests to identify the particular element responsible, but thus far the secret ingredient has eluded AMA scrutiny. Whatever it is, we southern gentlemen are eternally grateful for it. We recognize, however, that if it is ever identified it would not serve the human race to disburse such a powerful particle willy-nilly.

    Southern belles are special, but some folks, especially those between here and Canada, are puzzled as to exactly what a proper southern belle is.

    I am here to shed light on that subject.

    Perhaps it may be easier to show what a southern belle is not. What is it that sets her apart from her northern sisters? What does she do differently?

    The first thing that comes to mind is the proven fact that southern belles never perspire. On the hottest day in July they are comfortably attired in brightly colored cotton clothing, maybe wearing a hat and holding a small Oriental fan. Not a single drop of sweat is displayed. Cotillions and evening parties are a normal part of their life, and they are able to dance all evening without puddling.

    A true southern belle never utters a curse word where others might hear. She may say “darn” or “bless your heart” during an occasional angry outburst, but never a strong vulgar word passes her lips. Oh, she knows such words, for she has read Faulkner and Caldwell, but she demurely turns aside thoughts of using such expressions on her own.

    The most notable attribute that distinguishes a southern belle is her musical drawl. Her voice simply drips with charm to reveal her southern heritage. Also, she has a penchant for never “passing gas” in public. At least, not so it is noticeable. If a “poot” should ever accidentally escape, she will glance at everyone in her immediate vicinity and smile coyly to disavow any personal guilt she may have.

    Southern Belles are special.

    __________________________


    A member of Authorsbydesign.com, southernhumorists.com, and gcwriters.org,
    Thomas Lynn is a current humor columnist for the Oxford So And So Magazine.


    Visit his web site: ThomasLynn.net,
    and drop him a note at tlynn_l@yahoo.com.


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