That’s What You Got, Now Eat It!

That’s What You Got Now Eat it!


Back in 1980 when we moved to Raleigh, NC, there was still a lot of broad sectionalism in the country. Even though we had moved only 400 miles, culturally, the distance was probably a lot farther. It was exciting but at the same time daunting. It’s always a challenge to learn the mannerisms, habits, viewpoints of your new neighbors, not to mention a dialect that was sufficiently different to cause confusion at times (see: “Do you say $9.00?”).

I fit in pretty well with my coworkers and especially with Richard Pack my team leader (there were three on the team including him!). He saw right away that even though he came from Alabama and I came from New Jersey, we really had more in common then not.

We went out to lunch several times a week as a group or just Richard and I and they all made sure I tried foods I hadn’t eaten before. I grew especially  fond of greens since I had always liked spinach and beet greens, Collard, Mustard, and Turnip greens were often offered as vegetables and often combined together.

One day a group of us went to a typical North Carolina lunch restaurant, but one I hadn’t been to before. I was told that they specialized in BBQ sandwiches. So I ordered one and was asked if I wanted cole slaw on it.

I need to explain here that in South Jersey, a BBQ sandwich is a sloppy joe which I like, but is rarely served in diners or restaurants. So, I had been surprised that it was offered, but no one puts cole slaw on a sloppy joe. Therefore I asked for the slaw on the side.

Soon, our orders arrived, and when I saw my sandwich, it was a bun with some white shredded meat on it that was obviously pork and not beef. I stopped the waitress and told her that there had been a mistake. “I ordered a BBQ sandwich”, I said. She took one look at my plate (and having heard my obviously northern accent), replied “That’s what you got now eat it!”

Everyone at the table were amused at my expense and I figured that this was one of those cultural things I needed to learn!

By the way, I discovered I loved that BBQ and always put the cole slaw on top of it.

Davdan @ 2008-2018