Chiggers. I had not realized that these little monsters are Southrons. Discussing the topic with native New Yorkers, I find that most of them don't even know the word "chigger." And Tom Wolfe, who I quoted on chiggers in my September Diary, is a Virginian.
I've even had some good-natured nyah-nyah from Southern readers about "Robert E. Lee's revenge," and so on. Sample, from a native of Atlanta:
I figger it's global warming. You Yankees haven't had to put up with chiggers until now.And of course you could hardly jigger a bigger trigger than "chigger" for racially insensitive humor, all of which I shall pass over in silence.
Here, we're seeing Armadillos.
Maryland. My mild, friendly reference to the Old Line State drew some responses from microsectionalists ─ regionalist or localist partisans for whom the traditional North-South cut is not fine enough. Here is the most passionate, from a Virginian (not Tom Wolfe):
Mr. Derbyshire,Hm. As my Maryland host wrote, when I forwarded that to him for comment:
It is with great consternation that I write you today, having heard you express sympathy and perhaps even fondness for what is inarguably the worst state in the country. As a citizen of the Commonwealth of Virginia, one who is daily confronted by the non-turn-signaling, granola-eating, Democrat-voting, gender-neutral-bathroom-implementing Crabcake menace, I ask that you please disavow the state of Maryland, its people, and the perfidious Papist/Crabcake influence it represents.
It appears not to have occurred to him that the governor of VA is the execrable Terry McAwful (D), while the current MD governor is the inoffensive if ineffectual Republican (is there any other kind?) Larry Hogan. I can think of a number of states with worse tax and gun laws than MD, though admittedly not many. At present, though, existing handgun owners are not required to be licensed or registered, unlike [Derb's home state of] NY.And I must say, we thoroughly enjoyed the crabcakes. Beaten biscuits, on the other hand, I'm assuming must be an acquired taste.
I shall leave this for the microsectionalists to thrash out among themselves. If it comes to war, though, I shall side with Maryland, having some issues of my own with the Traffic Nazis of Virginia.
The taxicab number. The solution to my September Diary brainteaser is here.