There are a lot of things Southern people are just into, mostly because they’re part of Southern culture. There are some things traditionally Southern that just don’t do it for me. So without intending to offend anyone who might like any of the following, here are 20 traditionally-Southern things that I’m just not that into:
1. Tomatoes: Okay, let me explain this a bit: I like tomatoes fairly well, if they’re cooked into a rich spaghetti or pizza sauce. Years ago, an Italian friend used to make an authentic lasagne with a tomato sauce that was a dark burgundy. It was awesome. What I don’t care for is raw tomatoes. One of my best friends, Chip, likes to gang up on me with my own mom to tell me how there’s nothing better on a hot summer day than a nice tomato sandwich: some slices of a cold tomato on bread with a little mayo and salt. When it comes to raw tomatoes, I can’t get past George Carlin’s famous comment: “Something has gone afoul inside of a tomato. . . It doesn’t look like it’s finished. . . It looks like it’s in the larval stage or something.”
2. Sweet Potatoes: In the North, they’re called Yams, but I wouldn’t like them there, either. More than anything, I think it’s the name: I don’t want a potato to be sweet. I want it to be salty, preferably after being sliced into a narrow wedge and deep fried.
3. Hunting: Never been, never wanted to. I realize that those of us who eat meat are responsible for the death of animals, just as those who don’t are responsible for the death of that many more vegetables, but I don’t feel the need to do the killing myself, and I certainly don’t mean to display various parts of the animal’s remains on my wall.
4. Chevrolet vs. Ford: A lot of people in the South just love trying to convince each other that a Chevy’s a whole lot better than a Ford, and vice versa. I wonder, “Who really cares?” I’ll take whichever one gives me better gas mileage, is more reliable and is at the right price. All too often, the winner of that little test isn’t Chevy or Ford. I suspect if either had focused on those criteria a lot sooner, the automotive industry wouldn’t be in the fix it’s in right now.
5. The Confederate Flag: One of my great, great, great grandfathers — at least I think that’s how many “greats” there should be — was actually a Confederate soldier. I’m proud of his service to his country, even though I think that the country he gave his life serving was horribly misguided. But even though I have no idea what his own personal political beliefs might have been back then, I would point out that there are plenty of honest, good people who have been tricked into action by others with a political agenda.
6. Jeff Foxworthy: He may have made rednecks funny —make that funnier! — but I assure you that I have no posters of him or signed autographs. The whole “You might be a redneck if…”  thing was funny for a while, but that wore of a long time ago.
7. Nascar: I’m going to catch some flack for this one, but I just can’t make myself get into car racing. If there’s a major crash, I’ll watch a clip of that over and over again, and I’ll marvel every time that someone could actually survive such a thing. But just sitting in the stands and watching cars going around and around in circles for hours? Nah, not for me.
8. Golf: Because we live in a warm climate, we’re supposed to be all over the golf courses year round, even in winter. I’d love to be able to play. I just can’t get into the game.
9. Country Music: There are maybe five country songs I can deal with when I’m in the right mood. I’m in that mood about once every 9 or ten years.
10. Wrestling: I don’t have anything against the academic sport from high school or college. It’s that version they do in coliseums generally pronounced, “Rasslin'” that just doesn’t do much for me. I know some of the injuries are real, but I also know that most of the outcomes are predetermined, which makes it, in my view, less of a “sport” than a soap opera.
11. “Settin'” On the Porch: Short attention span and sitting around on a porch doing absolutely nothing are a bad combination. Give me a laptop on that porch with a Wifi connection, along with a fan if it’s summer time, and then we’ll talk.
12. Fishing: I’m not crazy about the water in general, anyway, but I’ve never really had a great deal of fun when I used to be taken fishing as a kid. I don’t like killing a worm on a hook, even though it’s “only a worm,”  and I’m not crazy about sitting around for an hour waiting for a nibble. And don’t think for a minute that I’d be up for cleaning the catch! I’d rather show up later in time for the fish fry.
13. Oversized Belt Buckles: Whether they depict the Confederate flag, some silly quote about beer, a message like “Keep On Truckin'”  or the wearer’s pick in the illicit Chevy vs. Ford question, I’d just as soon not draw attention to my gut, thanks.
14. Larry the Cable Guy: Like Foxworthy, his schtick is funny…for a few minutes. Then I’m ready to move on.
15. Beef Jerky: I don’t know why this is so big. I just tried it for the first time about a year ago; at least now I know I wasn’t ever missing anything.
16. “Rural” Comedies: With the sole exception of The Andy Griffith Show, all those Southern comedies just don’t do much for me. There were some funny moments in Green Acres, I’ll admit, but shows like Gomer Pyle, USMC and Petticoat Junction just never did it for me.
17. Guns: I don’t mind the notion that people have the right to own a gun, even if you want to ignore the rest of that line in the Constitution. But no one needs to own an AK-47. There should be some limits.
18. Hee Haw: Yeah, there were a few funny bits once in a while. But they were perpetuating the very stereotype many then wound up resenting later. There’s nothing funny about that kind of double standard.
19. Walmart: I’m the first to admit that I shop there. And at least once a week. But not because it’s Walmart: because it generally has the lowest prices for the things I need. There are plenty of things I can’t stand about the place. For instance, I’m sure the constant practice of stacking boxes of stuff waiting to be unloaded and shelved down the main aisles is a violation of some kind of fire code, not to mention a major nuisance to easy navigation. And any store that builds 36 cash register lines so it can then have no more than six open at any one time clearly is a victim of poor planning. But at the end of the paycheck, saving money has to count for something.
20. Tobacco: I know it’s a big deal for the South, but I’m not into tobacco of any kind: no pipes, no cigars, no cigarettes, and no chewing. I’ve always considered it a blessing that I’m mildly allergic to cigarette smoke; that’s what kept me from even considering ever trying a smoke. And as I got older and hypochondria kicked in, the fear of possible cancer took care of the rest.