Sunday, August 7, 2011


No one disputes the power of words.  At least no one with a brain. If you do, please be quiet.

Consider the word BELT. 

Belt the jerk in the kisser.

Buckle your seat belt. Win the bull rider trophy belt. Drive around the beltway. Preserve the green belt. Get burned in the Sun Belt. Freeze your buns off in the Snow Belt. Have a stiff belt of Jack Daniels. Wear a funky belt with your new jeans. Belt out "I Did It My Way" in the shower. Move out of the Bible belt.
A Google search of BELT nets 27,900 results in .18 seconds. After scrolling past seductive shopping choices and the Wikifakepedia listing, a disturbing entry caught my eye.... In the ‘Stroke Belt,’ Erosion of Memory Is More Likely Too. *

The article states that folks living below the Grits Line “have long been known to have more strokes and to be more likely to die from them than people living elsewhere in the country.”
I once lived in Georgia. . . and moved away. I once lived in North Carolina. . . and moved away. I didn't realize the locations were lethal.  I just thought the music was bad.

In case you have never heard of the Grits Line, once you cross it going from north to south, it is the point at which you are automatically served grits instead of toast with your breakfast order.
Breakfast Below the Grits Line
"Southerners are also more likely to experience a decline in cognitive ability over several years - specifically, problems with memory and orientation." I knew living there was hot and sticky, but I had no idea it would make my mind move to Philadelphia while my body stayed in Dixie.

“Experts do not know exactly why more strokes occur in the region stretching across Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee (sometimes additional Southern states are included in the stroke belt).”

Is it the deep fried possum, fried catfish, hushpuppies, fried ham, red-eye gravy and Moon Pies craved by the sons and daughters of Dixie? Too much porch sitting? Too many hours of “Dukes of Hazard” reruns?
Maybe.  Maybe not.  Researchers continue to investigate.

Dr. Gustavo C. Roman, head of the neuroepidemiology section of the American Academy of Neurology says, “This should be a very strong alarm signal.”

Well, duh, Gustavo.  Do you live in Alabama?  Is it already happening to you?

“If you want to keep your marbles, you need to control your blood pressure, excessive weight and other risk factors for stroke.”
Probably Not Keeping Her Marbles

Oh, yes please.  I do want to keep my marbles.
Dr. George Howard, chairman of the biostatistics department at the University of Alabama and principal investigator of the study said, “One of the things we are concerned about is, it does sort of reinforce every negative stereotype about the South, that there are these slow hicks down here.”
Congratulations, Dr. Howard!  
Dr. Howard has just been awarded The Ulysses S. Grant Most Hated Man in the South Award for 2011.

©2011 Mimi McMouth
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