Do you know the difference in a true Southerner and any other person who thinks they live in an area of high humidity? You’re probably wrong.

I hear people from all over the country say things like:

You’ve never experienced humidity until you’ve lived in _____________ (fill in the blank with the name of your city).

The South isn’t the only place with humidity, and at least you have sunshine.

But you’re used to the humidity in the South.

Make up your own asinine saying about humidity.

It’s true.

We have humidity in the South. But we also have fog, wind, and rain, and that’s in the winter time.

The true mark of a Southerner isn’t knowing where to put the apostrophe in the word y’all, or even knowing the best place to get greens and corn bread. The true mark of a Southerner is gills.

That’s right – gills.

Without them we couldn’t get oxygen during the days of high humidity. High humidity being anything over 98%, which humidity_stjohnhappens about 99% of the time down here. It gets so bad we learn to swim before we can walk as that’s the only way to get through what others call air and uselessly try to breathe through nostrils and lungs.

True Southerners are born with gills. Those who weren’t born here see the gills begin to form before their first sunburn, if they are destined to be true Southerners. Transplants who don’t make the transition are relegated to a life of denial, curmudgery, unhappiness, and the never ending need to tell all Southerners how they did things ‘up north.’ Many are so unhappy they return to their gillless lives in less humid climates north of The Mason Dixon line.

Southerners are proud of their gills but they don’t go about flashing them about liken drunken revelers during Mardi Gras. Most of the time they aren’t even noticeable, especially to those from other regions of the world.

It’s winter time in the South right now and though we do experience high humidity in the summer time, the winter is worse. We get the humidity, the fog, the rain, the cold weather, and sometimes our gills freeze rendering us unable to mutter a decent ‘how’s yer momma an ‘nem?”

This little known phenomenon lasts for part of December, all of January, and at least twenty-eight days of February.

Years ago, when crafting was something I did with my extra time, I crochet baskets with thread and stiffened them with sugar water. I had no idea using sugar to stiffen anything was an idea concocted by those from climates lacking 99% water in the air, aka those from the North. As soon as the liquid season rolled around the baskets collapsed into a sticky mess leaving me to wonder had I used my brain during that crafting project?

Personally I’m not sure I would know how to breathe without at least 50% water in the air. I was put on oxygen for more than a week one time after surgery and every time I was left alone I removed the offending air and went back to breathing with my gills. By the time I was able to throw the mess away my nose was dry, my throat was dry, my lungs were like paper, and I needed to put my face in a bowl of water and breathe.

I’m happy in the South. I’m fond of my gills. And if any wants to argue which area of the country has the worst humidity, I may have to slap them and swim away as fast as the humidity will carry me.


From the life and mind of Wanda M. Argersinger

© 2015 All Rights Reserved


Leave a Reply