The Lee Side: Git sum dim chickin’ feet

For two months now, I have been hearing all about the impending North Dakota winter.

Posted on 10/5/13

By Lee Coleman

Snow beyond belief, bitter cold, getting comfortable with -40 degree weather, plugging your car up and pre-heating it while you eat breakfast and so much snow on Christmas that Santa barely has enough room to land his sleigh and tiny reindeer.

I get it and I’ve been preparing as best I can notwithstanding a heated garage.

But here it is, the first day of October, and the weather forecast calls for measurable snow this weekend.

Measurable snow? What does that mean? I was told enough snow it would stick and be around awhile.

Quite profound I thought.

But in reality, not really.

Where I come from in the deep reaches of the South, measurable snow means a week off from work and a notice to change your summer curtains from NASCAR bedsheets to more eloquent deer hunting quilts.

And you’d better get the riding lawn mower gassed up so you could cut a path down the hill to show the kids which direction to go sledding.

Folks around here have taken the call for snow all in stride and simply reminded me that winter in North Dakota usually starts in October.

But just you wait until the rest of the winter gets here.

Quite profound I thought.

But in reality, not really.

You see, in Georgia, the mere mention of snow unleashes a fury that is quite the sight to behold.

Some years ago, the Atlanta weather forecast called for a slight, slim-to-none chance of blowing flurries. No need to worry they said.

I made the mistake of going to the grocery store to pick up some dog food. The parking lot looked like the second coming of Elvis was about to happen.

All kinds of trucks, SUV’s, 4-wheelers, riding lawn mowers and just about anything that had an engine and some tires were present.

Finally parking, I went inside and that store was busier than a cricket trying to get out of a catfish pond.

I admit, I didn’t understand what all the fuss was about until the Georgia version of the Clampetts came strolling in.

“Rick-k-k-k-ky, batter go git six thangs of milk cuz Junior dun said he wuz gonna have a belly warsher when da blizzard got he-uh.”

What? It gets better.

“Mab-b-b-b-belle, whar is dat youngin?”

“Rasslin’ with da clerk becuz they ain’t got no more chickin’ feet.”

My own morbid curiosity got the best of me and I followed Mabelle’s finger pointing.

There he was. All 16-feet, 700 pounds of him cradling a can of Crisco and a bag of flour under his arm.

Everyone around him had stopped to listen to his rant and none of us could hardly understand a word he said.

I suppose he had been chained up in the basement and let out long enough to go on the family outing.

I got my dog food and as I waited in line to check out, I realized how vulnerable Southerners feel when the ‘s’ word is mentioned.

But not me by-crackly. I’ll be rip-diddly-squat before snow flurries will stop me.

I got to my riding lawn mower in the parking lot and as I pulled away thinking I didn’t need any snow to cut a path and find my way home, a squirrel dashed in front of me and I didn’t have time to stop.

A horn blew behind me and it was the Clampett’s.

“Hey Mister. You gone et dat?”


Coleman is the editor of the Republican and can be contacted at

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