Prioleau Alexander: Red State Rules For Blue State Transplants

“The South in a nutshell …”

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As everyone knows, Blue State residents are pouring into Red States like box wine into Nancy Pelosi’s brittle visage. 

There’s nothing we can do about the second invasion of the South, of course, but maybe we can get the ones moving here to assimilate into this foreign region known as Dixie.

So, if you’re a newcomer and want to shuffle off that Blue coil, just follow some basic rules …

Order the “half and half” tea at lunch. The sweet tea will dissolve your teeth, and unsweet is just brown water. Only children drink Coke at lunch, and ordering water comes across as cheap. 



Barbeque is pork. Beef barbeque exists only in Texas. Your favorite barbeque sauce is now “mustard-based.”

Odds are you will be invited to a “pig pickin’” at some point, so don’t be shocked: It’s a whole roasted pig, gutted and cut open like a butterfly, lying on his back with its legs spread. It may still have its face. You’ll need to go full caveman for your din-din. 

Don’t honk. Ever. If you honk, make sure you have time to stop the car and get into a fistfight. 

Insist your children call everyone Sir or Ma’am. Beat them if needed, but they’ll ultimately thank you. You would not believe what a youngster can get away with in Dixie by going full Eddie Haskell.

When you open a store door, look around behind you to see if anyone else is approaching as well. If they are less than ten yards away, hold it open for them.

If someone approaches you with their dog, ask if it’s sweet, and pet it. Even if your dog-allergies will put you into immediate and fatal anaphylactic shock, pet the dog. 


“Nod or say hello to people when you pass someone on the sidewalk …”


Nod or say hello to people when you pass someone on the sidewalk. South Carolina is not a jungle, where eye contact equals a gunfight. (Note: If they don’t say hello back, you have the added benefit of knowing the individual is a Blue State prick).

Don’t start a non-profit. Rich Blue State wives who came before you already have the Palmetto State at an 8:1 people to charities ratio. 

Never speak ill of hunting. The percentage of Red State people who actually hunt is fairly low, but everyone supports hunting in theory.

If you’re lucky enough to then be invited on a hunt, the answer is, “Yes. Hell yes!” Inviting a transplant on a hunt is a huge deal, and if it means skipping your chemo for the day, so be it. If you know absolutely nothing about guns or hunting, go buy a fractured-wrist brace and overdo it with the tape. Tell your host, “I can’t shoot today, but I wasn’t missing the chance to spend a day in the field!”


Where should you invest your political capital? Our Palmetto Political Stock Index has got you covered!


If you decide to own some guns — now that you’re in a place that recognizes the Constitution — it’s easiest to just buy American. If someone asks you why you chose that model, you can say, “I only buy American.” (Note: You never even need to load the guns. Southerners can sense “ownership” on you).

Cars are not a big deal in the South. I’ve lived here for 61 years, and I’ve literally never even known someone who owned a Porsche. If you’re rich and want locals to know it, buy a 45-year-old rusted-up Suburban. Everyone knows you’ve got to be rich to keep a hog like that going.

Learn to identify hunting dogs by their breed. If your neighbor has one, say this exactly: “That’s a good lookin’ _____. You hunt him?” 

Whatever the neighbor’s response may be, reply by saying, “Got a good lookin’ head on him.” Don’t worry what that means … that’s getting into Southerner 303, and you just need the 101 basics. 

FYI, hunting dogs are never rescues. Don’t bring up your long record of “rescues” during the conversation.



Serve only really good liquor to guests. At your funeral, you don’t want people saying things like, “I’m gonna miss that guy. Sure won’t miss the liquor he served, but I’ll miss him.”

College athletics are huge, ergo you’ll encounter exactly zero people who believe men should compete in women’s athletics. You are free to believe whatever you want — but don’t offer that one up, even if you’re surrounded by local liberal friends. (Our liberals are liberals, not retarded).

Men don’t use straws.

If you have a public disagreement with someone you don’t know, do not raise your voice. I cannot emphasize this enough: Southerners hear only two volumes: Calm, and “It’s time for violence.”

If you moved to South Carolina without experiencing a summer, you will soon encounter Hell’s Front Porch. It gets bad, then worse, then really bad.  

If you want to offer advice to a committee you’ve been on less than ten years, begin the thought using these exact words: “You know, I was talking to my preacher about this exact thing, and he said ______.”



Do not speed … at least not until you have a SC driver’s license. In terms of bumper stickers, ask yourself, “If I got pulled over by Sheriff Buford T. Justice, would this sticker put him in a better mood?”

Dunkin’ Donuts is now dead to you. You eat Krispy Kreme.

Buy some Goody’s Powders at the Zippy Mart and have a couple in your console when a local is catching a ride. What are they for? Again, don’t worry about it — that’s Southern 303.

If you’re going to go all in on being a local, choose an ACC or SEC college to pull for. However, know in advance everyone hates Alabama and Duke.

Southern hospitality is real. We treat others as equals. Another newspaper I write for got a letter from a black NYC academic who brought his family to Charleston, and he wrote, “For an entire week, we were just people. No one reminded me I was black, and I never saw a single sign that I was a victim who had to be cared for. Everyone treated us with graciousness and respect. I got back to NYC, and was immediately bombarded by the usual “Blacks Need Saving by White People” nonsense. We’re already planning our next trip to South Carolina.” 

That’s the South in a nutshell.

What matters here is your actions. What you say … do … and don’t do. If you’re new here, take it from me: The natives you meet will assume you are an honorable trustworthy person and a potential friend. Be that. If you aren’t, they’ll know soon enough — and Southerners have long memories.



Prioleau Alexander is a freelance writer, focusing mostly on politics and non-fiction humor. He is the author of four books: ‘You Want Fries With That?,’ ‘Dispatches Along the Way,’ ‘Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?‘ and ‘They Don’t Call It The Submission Process For Nothing.’ 



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JustCallMeAva Top fan May 3, 2024 at 8:36 am

Your writing in this one is almost tolerable Prioleau, until you put the major emphasis on guns and hunting culture. And that hunting culture it not near as central to our way of life as Mr. Alexander would like to believe. Sure we own guns, we just don’t worship them. Before you say that I must not be from here, you should know that my family was literally on the first boat that landed in what is now Charleston. The other side moved down to SC from Jamestown, but have been in the US since the 1600’s. We’re as South Carolina as you can possibly get if you’re not Native American. Our large family is a mixed bag of Republicans, Democrats, and the odd (and they really are odd) Libertarians. We’re in church every Sunday or we haven’t gone in a month of Sundays. We’re high school dropouts and PhDs. We do not sit around and talk hunting OR politics. Fishing, boats, etc.? Hell yeah. Other applicable rules? Alligators were here first. Get used to them. Snakes too. Also, please learn the difference between “good snakes” and the kind that will kill you quick. And no, unless you live in one of the state’s major metropolitan areas, you’re not getting a Publix or a Costco anytime soon. If those things are central to your existence, please find a SC city that has those things before you move to somewhere that doesn’t.

The Devil Went Down to SC May 3, 2024 at 12:49 pm

I’ll stop complaining about transplants if one of these states takes Drunkle off our hands. Send all the folks you like.

No takesies-backsies.

Dum Spiro Spero Top fan May 3, 2024 at 3:40 pm

Interesting piece. When I grew up in small-town, rural South Carolina,, as my forebears had done five generations before me, Yankees and Republicans were few and far between and were largely ignored. Now they are everywhere. Kind of repeals the theory of evolution.

Lord Barfington May 3, 2024 at 5:47 pm

Be sure to get a lobotomy so you’re just as stupid as everyone else. That way you’ll fit in with all the other dumbass crackers, like the author of this piece.

BTW, the University of California at Berkeley is now an ACC team. Go Golden Bears!

The Dude Top fan May 5, 2024 at 9:28 am

Hmmm, all Southerners are stupid? Very tolerant and enlightened view.

River Top fan May 3, 2024 at 8:05 pm

Most importantly, leave your blue state voting habits behind.

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VERITAS Top fan May 3, 2024 at 8:10 pm

Mr. Alexander, some day soon I’ll send you a piece on living in my part of the country, upper Midwest-North Country, where it gets “nipply” in the winter and the inexperienced can freeze their handsand feet off. Goodbyes take an hour and lefse is served at holiday meals. Every region has its silent culture, meaning “it just is.” Keep writing, Prioleau, you get it

davismcclam Top fan May 3, 2024 at 8:28 pm

I would love to meet you. You really get it.

Ontos Top fan May 4, 2024 at 7:04 am

LOL, well said.

Mark Houde Top fan May 4, 2024 at 6:56 pm

The NYC academic now knows exactly what kind of folks we are and how we treat others. Loved that story. I must confess, I’ve used a straw on occasion but I compensate for it by installing binary triggers on my AR’s.

Sheriff Buford T. Justice Top fan May 6, 2024 at 1:31 pm

I am in total agreement with you. Very well said.


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