Last Monday I was an educational keynote speaker for the South Georgia Community Action and Head Start in Moultrie, Georgia.
Arriving at dinner time Sunday night, I went to Applebees for a bite to eat before checking into my hotel. Ordering a beer with my meal, the waitress says, “We don’t serve beer on Sunday.” Thinking it was just a Chick-fil-A type of thing, I substituted a cup of coffee.
I stop at a Shell Station on my way to the hotel. Putting some bottled water and a single beer on the counter, the clerk looks horrified. “You can’t buy beer on Sunday in Moultrie. If you go up the road a piece, you can buy it in Tifton.”
As I say, “Thank you, I don’t care to invest that kind of time.” I notice we’ve been joined by two Moultrie policemen. The taller of the two says, “We don’t drink alcohol on Sundays in Moultrie.”
“Oh I bet people drink alcohol in Moultrie on Sundays. They just have sense enough to buy it on Saturday,” I said.
That was a mistake. The other asks, “Where you from?”
“Well that’d ‘splain it.”
“That smart Yankee mouth of yourn. You down here on vacation?”
I go, “If I was taking a vacation in south Georgia, I’d go to Tifton where I could get a cold one on Sunday night.”
Another mistake. I was the only one who thought that was funny. That is until the next morning.
I have a piece explaining that just because you have thoughts about a subject doesn’t mean your thoughts are based in reality. I open this with, “I’ll have a beer after a show, but my wife, Twyla doesn’t drink, neither of us ever did drugs, I’ve never even smoked a cigarette.” During my keynote on Monday I said, “I’ll have a beer after a show, unless it’s on a Sunday night in Moultrie, Georgia, then I’ll be drinking Coca Cola just like the rest of you.”
The room erupted. I told them the story about my encounter at the Shell Station, saying, “Only in south Georgia could an Oklahoman be considered a Yankee. You know we weren’t even part of the Union when you had that squabble with the North.”
Noticing at least 98% of the audience was African-American women, I finished with, “And you ever notice the only people who use the word Yankee are white men?” The room exploded.
Laughter truly does matter.
Known as the “World’s Cleanest” comedian and speaker, Kent Rader helps people learn and experience how laughter matters in reducing stress. Kent is the winner of the Branson Comedy Festival and co-stars in The Baby Boomer Comedy Show, Clean Comedy For People Born Before Seatbelts. (You may watch Kent’s segment on Comcast’s Who’s Laughing Now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVk_10CC_BM). www.kentraderspeaks.com