Southern Street Rules

shirtless-manTragically murder occurs all to often where I live, the greater New Orleans metro area.  A recent murder involved words and threats before a gun was used. In the threat phase one man ripped off his shirt and prepared to fight. However, after the shooter killed a man, and  the shirtless man heard the shooter say, “Where’s that other guy?” In response, the shirtless man hailed a cab and went home, leaving his wife at the scene of the crime. (I’m not making this up.)

Ripping your shirt off before a  fight was unknown behavior to me street-fightingand the Sicilian, but this might explain why TV newsmen at crime scenes here often talk to shirtless men. Why do I relate this incident, because despite his grey curls, the Sicilian would fight to defend me, his dog our home, and the street in front of our house.  By fighting I don’t mean a civil law suit, I mean physical fisticuffs. Needless to say, I do not agree with this method. Currently the Sicilian has someone “breathing his air” that irks him.  I remind him, “You know nothing about fighting. You had no idea you had to remove your shirt first. Who knows what other rules of street fighting etiquette you might break rushing off have cocked.”  So far this has worked.

street-sign-20Another quirk in this city is people claiming to own the public streets. Before living here, I’d never seen people  rope off the street in front of their house and charge people to park on the public street. This is a common practice here for homeowners living near a Mardi Gras parade route, Jazzfest, or other high traffic events.  The going price is  $20 to park on a public  residential street. I shake my head and pay the price. It’s either that or park 6 miles from the event.

The Sicilian too believes that the public street in front of our home is HIS private propertybutter-knife-2 and no one should park there unless they are a guest in our home.  Years ago (before I was his spouse) I was told the Sicilian became enraged over a car parked in front of his house. He grabbed a knife from a kitchen drawer and prepared to slash the car’s tires. His tirade was brought to a humorous halt when it was brought to his attention he was holding a butter knife.  So far that has not happened her, but I am not holding my breath.


car-with-ticket-2And now we have a neighbor with  this same parking fixation. No one should park on the public street.  He is currently posting brightly colored messages on cars parked on any of our   neighborhood streets telling them to park in their driveway.

For sixteen years this Yankee has lived in the Deep South, and I’ve yet to figure out their qutruth-strangerirks.  This might explain why so many successful fiction writers  have lived in the South. After all, truth is stranger than fiction.

2 thoughts on “Southern Street Rules

  1. Jeff King

    Much as I really understand how scary the “my territory” syndrome sounds, I do agree with the Sicilian, but I just don’t try to enforce it here. I have some scary neighbors, who in all likelihood, might shoot back. Problem is also compounded by me having the smallest frontage, on a circle.


  2. My Crazy Life

    I just received a great comment from my sister: The best time to land your first punch on your opponent is when they are undressing. HA HA.


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