It was nice of the writers at Saturday Night Live to include the great state of Alabama in their line-up this past week. John Cena played his part well, as did everyone else…but I just think based on that level of talent and considering the amount of humor Alabama has to offer it could have been funnier. I mean, I chuckled, but it wasn’t cowbells or Chris Farley dancing.
And not to be particular, but anytime Alabama is portrayed the crazy should not be limited to our sacred devotion to football. This state is rich in beauty. Its people are down to earth people who love God, family, and our country. But let’s be honest, Alabama culture could be a recurring segment on SNL.
Like Monday morning, I had zipped into town early thinking I would pick up everything on my list, leaving the rest of the day to be productive. I parked outside the Dollar General in Camden like I do at least twice a week and noticed that someone had recently failed to stop while attempting to park. Or, either, someone had intentionally tried to run through the wall of the building. It was hard to tell which.
I assumed the wound to the outer wall was superficial. I assumed the same about the door. The lower half of the right side glass of the double doors was shattered. It looked like it had been kicked and had cracked into the pattern of a spider web.
I don’t know if the dented wall and the broken door incidents were related, but I do know that the woman who had exited the door before I could enter the store was not okay. She had an unusual look in her eyes and was snatching her head from side to side looking. Her earrings were swinging.
In retrospect, that was probably the moment I should have made a run for it, but you know how Alabama people are so I was trying to be polite. And then I made the mistake of making eye contact with her. That was the wrong thing to do. She acted as if she had known me all my life. She said, “This m*#%*! **#%*! has done left me in my own car.”
I was somewhat shocked, and I hesitated, because how exactly does a person respond to that. I couldn’t recall the exact scenario being discussed in Sunday school. I was speechless and she was on the edge of panic. I feared she was going to explode. She staggered forward a few steps. She was clutching her purse and Dollar General bags with one arm and she flailed her other arm around in the air saying, “My car was parked right here! My own son has left me in my own m*#%*! *#%*!ng car.”
She looked back at me. I had not moved. Her shoulders were rising and falling as she breathed. “These kids today will disappoint you,” she said, “…because this m*#%*! *#%*! has done stole my car!”
All I could do was nod. But then her expression softened. Her forehead relaxed. She dropped her arm by her side and stepped back on the sidewalk in front of the dented wall. “Oh,” she said, “here he comes.”
I finally took a breath.
She laughed, and then I politely laughed too before continuing on with an ordinary day through the shattered door.
Saturday Night Live has nothing on Alabama. We are even a little wacky early on Monday mornings.
Amanda Walker is a columnist with The West Alabama Watchman, Al.com, The Thomasville Times, and The Wilcox Progressive Era. For more information, visit her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AmandaWalker.Columnist.