“There are eight million stories in the naked city...” — epilogue, The Naked City, 1958
Southerners have a story for every situation. Teaching opportunities while refereeing kid battles. Passing time waiting in line at the grocery store. “Remember when” at a family get together. Whiling away the hours at the funeral home. Seeing whether — after 32 years — you still have the ability to perfectly time the delivery of a punch line so your brother will shoot milk through his nose at the dinner table .
We are taught the value of a good story before we’re knee-high to a grasshopper. Our mamas, grandmamas, aunts, great aunts, and best friend’s mama used stories to help us remember the life lessons that are just too painful to experience ourselves. With prayer, we’ll recall the outcome before putting ourselves in the same situation somewhere down the road. Reality being what it is, too many of us just cannot make it to our next birthday without doing something incredibly stupid that not only leads to our experiencing said a situation ourselves, but improving, embellishing and embroidering the story to epic proportions.