a story about someone else.

Down in Spivey's Corner, North Carolina, there is an annual hollerin' contest. A coworker of mine from out of state heard about this contest, declared it ridiculous, and decided it would be fun to go and see the local color. He took along a couple of city slicker friends, one of them named Sandra. It was not me. I am not a city slicker, and I have known about the hollerin' contest for a long time, and as you will see, this Sandra did not.

Sandra decided to enter the hollerin' contest, because she knew she had a big, loud voice. She was second to holler. The first entrant, who was undoubtedly wearing overalls, did some loud and weird sound and the audience clapped. Sandra got up on stage, introduced herself and said that this was what her mother did when it was time to come in for supper.


Now, I know you're still thinking that this Sandra is me, but it's not. When it was time for supper at my house, my mother yelled "SUPPPPERRRRRRRR!" which is totally different from what this other Sandra's mother did. See? This story is obviously not about me.

After that rousing yell of her own name, the audience sort of looked confused, and then clapped politely, because they were good Southern folks. What these city slickers did not know is that this contest is more for things like pig calls, not for calling wandering children in for supper. It's almost like a special kind of yodel so that your pigs will know it's you, but your neighbor's pigs will disregard. And so the rest of the contestants did more weird loud noises that didn't sound anything like anyone's mother calling them to supper.

I heard this story several months ago from my coworker. At a party I attended this weekend, I happened to meet a girl named Sandra who knew the same coworker. It did not occur to me until afterwards that this was the same Sandra who had gone to the hollerin' contest. I only wish that I had remembered, so that I could ask her about it. And I hope now that you are convinced, once and for all, that this story was not about me.

*For more information about the National Hollerin' Contest, please go to their semi-official website. There, you will learn that only one winner of the contest (the 1970 champion) came from outside the county. Poor Sandra (not me) never had a chance.

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