If it wasn't for the South, the United States would be a rude nation.

Southerners are all about manners. Your "bringing up" is most important. Every Southern child is taught to say yes ma'am and no ma'am, yes sir and no sir. We salute the flag, honor our fighting men and women, and go to church on Sunday.

And heaven forbid, if you back talk a grownup! Most folks in these parts still believe in corporal punishment. That can take the form of a belt, switch, ruler and in one personal instance -- the Webster's Dictionary. I remember my own run-in with the law. I was in third grade when I found myself in violation of some mundane classroom rule. My transgression required a trip to the principal's office. He heard my side of the story, dismissed it outright and promptly ordered me to assume the position.

I probably would've escaped with just three licks --- but I just had to open my mouth. I explained that I was excused from corporal punishment because I was just a private. I thought it was funny. He did not. And after ten pops with a fiberglass board, neither did I.

The point, kind readers, is that manners and upbringing matter in Dixie.

And Oxford, Mississippi is just that kind of town. It's a place where hospitality matters, where folks look after their neighbors, where gentlemen hold open doors for ladies, and where a stranger will offer you a kind word. It's places like Oxford that reassure the nation we're not all on the express train to the lake of fire!

If Britney Spears had been born in Oxford she would've learned never to leave her house without first putting on some panties.

And that brings me to one of the best books I've ever seen -- "Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank -- And Other Words of Delicate Southern Wisdom."

It is featured prominently at Oxford's main bookstore on the town square. And might I say --- it should be required reading for every stage mother in the nation. I remember being invited to a local beauty pageant. I've never seen so many mothers smearing dollops of makeup on their daughters, putting them in outfits that would make Britney's momma blush. The whole affair was a bit obscene.

You might be surprised, by the way, to know that Britney is from the South. Her upbring is suspect, I must say. At least she didn't find herself in a "motherly way." She left that bit of scandal to her 16 year old sister --- now with child.

You know, somebody might want to send a copy of that book to Britney's momma. And would it be impolite to suggest somebody knock her upside the head with it?