The protagonist of this book lived in Virginia till she was 12. Are you laughing yet? If not, you may not enjoy this book. It is one of those that takes as its premise the idea that merely being Southern (even as questionably Southern as the heroine) is hilarious.

We had a woman from Canada in the shop recently who assured us that Canadians make fun of the people in northern Canada “the same way that people in the states make fun of Southerners.” We had not been aware that people in the U.S. made fun of Southerners, any more than anyone else. “All the rednecks are in the north,” she blithely assured us, speaking at that point of Canada.

She was, I must remind you, in the South at the time. The Southern United States, that is.

She shared with us how difficult it had been for her to move here from Toronto, considering the reputation we had. She also complained that our local weather reports did not show Canadian weather. Apparently — and I did not know this because I don’t watch TV news — Canada is right there on the map, but they don’t mention the weather in Toronto.

We are 1148.31 miles from Toronto. We probably don’t need to know the weather there before we decide what to wear in the morning. I did not say this to her. I did not mention that I came here from California and had never felt that I was surrounded by rednecks. I did not mention that we have lots of Canadian customers, and none has ever before called us rednecks. I did not say, “Sugar, don’t they teach y’all not to insult your hosts, up there where you come from?” Instead, I suggested that she get her news online. I sympathized because we are a small town, and she was accustomed to big city media. I shared with her that I like to read the New York and San Francisco papers online, and that it was easy to do so. She suggested that we in the U.S. are just insular.

Now, The Princess had left the room rather frostily back when this woman said we were rednecks, so she didn’t get to hear that we are insular rednecks. I assume that this poor woman was in the throes of terrible homesickness, and had no idea what she was saying. Of course, she had already admitted that she makes fun of the people of Northern Canada.

And I was reminded of her by this book, because it is absolutely taken for granted that the New Yorkers in it will automatically look down upon Southerners. Anything you say, if said in a Southern accent, sounds stupid. This book says so. The heroine gets all defensive about being a Southerner (remember, she lived in Virginia till she was twelve).

If you want to read something funny about the South, read Florence King. Crazy Aunt Purl is funny about being Southern. Granny is funny about living in the South. The Mile-High Hair Club isn’t funny.

Another thing that isn’t funny is that I emailed my encyclopedia entry in and got a response saying it was blank. “Hmm,” thought I, unconcerned, “I’ll send it again.” I went to open my copy of the file and — it was blank. My hours of work were gone.

I am hoping that one of you will read this and put something in the comments like “Oh, that happens all the time. Just change the font size and it will all reappear.”

Pokey said that I could reset my computer to think it was Sunday again, and it would reappear, but I haven’t figured out how to do that. I think she may be having me on — it sounds like Superman turning the world backwards. Sent an email you regret? Posted more details of your private or corporate life than you should on your blog? Just move the computer back in time and it will be gone.

Well, not anything you sent out, presumably, but it would be great if I could do a little time-travel and get my article back.

I had just returned from a lecture on spiritual lethargy when I discovered this loss. And I was at work until the lecture, and taking #2 son to the dentist before that, where I was given an estimate that startled me. And before that, I was getting no sleep because Nadia the psychotic cat gets in the middle of the bed and pushes us out.

I know that this seems unlikely. She is such a sweet-looking cat. And small, compared to a human. But she is selfish. Spiritually lethargic. And a major blanket hog.

Whenever she does this, my husband wakes me up repeatedly to complain that the cat has stolen all the covers and is pushing him out of bed. While kneading his stomach and purring deafeningly loudly.

What I am supposed to do about this I do not know. But it doubles the number of times I am awakened during the night, since I am awakened not only when she mistreats me, but also when she mistreats him. Sometimes she pushes us both to the absolute edges of the bed — opposite edges — at the same time. She doesn’t look that big, does she? It may be that she is one of those shape-changing cats. She turns into a griffin or something after midnight.

Anyway, I have not gotten any knitting or sewing done since the last pictures I posted. I will not have time to redo the article till tomorrow. And I am not in the mood for any more tacky jokes about Southerners. Or Northern Canadians, either. Northern Canadians, I salute you. Dymuniadau da.