A Southern Icon

Well, goodness gracious, sake’s alive.

I recently read the July issue of Garden and Gun magazine and the advertisement that you see here just up and hit me smack-dab between my very eyes. (If you click on the image, you’ll see it full size).

When I was growing up, Duke’s Mayonnaise was just the cat’s meow. The bee’s knees. The ultimate in Southern yumminess. We couldn’t get it locally so when my family came south for vacation, we stocked up. We didn’t say: ”May I have some mayonnaise, please.”   We said: “Please pass the Duke’s.”   It made us feel grand and special and ever-so-in-the-know. And we slathered it on everything…eggs, greens, white bread, peanut butter.

Now, I confess, in my later (and apparently wanton) years, I strayed from the mother ship. I turned to Hellman’s but I now recognize the error of my ways and I’m going back. As fast as I can.

I have to go back. There’s no option. With that ad, how could I not? Six words. That’s all that ad was. And three of them were “Bless Your Heart.” Talk about Southern. And talk about three words that can mean a million different things, depending on the drawl, the emphasis, the situation.   I know you know what I mean.

As in: “Did y’all notice that Sarah-Jane’s slip was showin’ at brunch last week?   Bless her heart.”

Or: “Oh, sweetie pie, you did the very best you could. No one told you the forks were supposed to be on the left hand side of the plate. Bless your heart.”

Well, I got the message. That ad brought me back to my senses so I’m off to the Piggly-Wiggly for jars and jars of you-know-what.

Tomato sandwiches and sweet tea, anyone?