Thanks to programs like “The Andy Griffith Show,” “The Beverly Hillbillies” and current fare like “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo,” Teague was certain that the business trip he took last month to Atlanta would be chock-full of uneducated rubes who would spit tobacco on his “fancy city-shoes” as soon as they saw him, and the only food he’d be able to find would be grits, collard greens and fried chicken.
He said that notion both intrigued and terrified him. But when he landed at the nation’s busiest airport, then took a cab “an actual cab, driven by a professional-looking driver with no trace of any sort of accent whatsoever” into the heart of Atlanta and checked into his hotel, he was surprised and a bit disappointed to see that everyone he encountered were just normal people he could have met at any city throughout Maine, Vermont or New Hampshire.
“Not one person I saw, not one, fit the stereotypical Southerner I had seen on TV my whole life,” Teague said. “I still don’t understand it. They spoke just fine, I didn’t need any subtitles at all. I saw no typical rednecks, nobody threatened me because I was a yankee and I was able to order food that I could get at home, too. They even had lobster. Who knew?”
Teague said he knew nobody from his work or neighborhood would believe the city of Atlanta didn’t have watermelon stands set up at every corner or that all the roads were paved, so he took dozens of photos to show his friends and family. “I didn’t see one pig on the streets, not one,” he said. “Makes me wonder if what I was watching on TV all these years was real or not. It’s disappointing a little bit. I kind of was looking forward to using an outhouse. But everywhere I went, indoor plumbing! What in the hell?”