Friday’s Weekend Column
“Look At All The Cup Hoders”

by James Glaser
December 2, 2005

When you move down to the South, you start hearing words that you never heard before. A guy was showing me his new car today and said, “Lookie here will yea, look at all of dese cup hoders.” I think the amount of cup holders was the main reason this guy bought this car.

Another phrase that caught my ear was, “I’m fixin to leave out of here.” Also there is hodin,’ as in, “I am hodin’ on tight.” Then there is the, “leeme see what you got” or “gimme my book.”

Every time I go to coffee at the café down the street from the studio I have to listen and pay close attention to what guys are saying. Many times I don’t catch what they said, because they are using words that are unfamiliar to me, but I am getting better at this Southern language.

It has taken a while for me to get into the conversations they have at this coffee shop, but when two of us figured out that we had both been in the Marines, well that opened up the door to accept me into the conversation. I might be from Minnesota and because of that, a Yankee, but being a Marine tops that, and I can now fit right in.

If you are from up North and are listening to Southerners talking real fast about politics, you might think these people have way different ideas than you do, but after you figure out what they are saying, you can see that many of them are very sharp and make intelligent comments.

Today President Bush was the topic of conversation and his speech had some of the guys riled up. Sometimes you think these guys are upset because they are talking so loud and fast, but after a while you learn that they talk that way all the time. Today you could see by facial expressions and the tone of their voices that Bush’s speech made them either mad or very disappointed.

The guys that were disappointed wanted to hear a real plan for winning the war. Something they could get behind and tell all of those on the other side, “See, I told you he knew what he was doing.” These guys had backed George all the way until about a month or so ago, and they still want George to be right, but they heard nothing that would help them to climb back on that band wagon.

The guys on the other side were a bit mad, because from what the heard from the President, they now know he knows nothing about war or how to be a Commander-in-Chief. Most of these guys are veterans and some saw combat. They can look at the number of our troops killed and wounded and know that our guys are getting hit and getting hit hard every day, You have an average of 2+ killed every day and add to that 18 wounded each and every day, and you know that time in Iraq is no picnic.

Like I said, these guys are pretty sharp. They read about what is going on in Iraq, and they know that every day American troops are getting hit over a hundred times. They also know that number of attacks has been going up almost every month. They know it, the troops certainly know it, and millions of Americans know it, but it sounds like the President of the United States does not. That makes these guys mad, even the ones that want to back Bush.

When guys in the South, construction workers, no longer believe what the President is saying, you know he is in trouble. I would bet most of these guys voted for Bush, and you can hear the disappointment and anger in their voices. They want this war over, not because they want to cut and run, but because they have figured out that this war was wrong from the start, and it isn’t worth the cost we are paying in lives lost.

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