I have reached an epiphany. I’ve finally seen the light, and tasted to see that the Kool-Aid is good. Wait… what was the question again? Oh.
Anyway, the topic of one of my favorite people ever, Miss Paula Deen (aka My play-Granny), came up, and as always, I had my Southern drawl in my back pocket, ret ta go! All of a sudden, a thought came to me: What if Paula Deen had not been born and raised in Jaw-juh, and the southern accent + hospitable host thing was just a sham? After a quick check on Wikipedia, and cross referencing with material on the Food Network’s website (should just be renamed Paula’s House, IMO), I did confirm that Ms. Deen *swoon* was indeed dirty south mind blown dirty south bred… catfish fried up dirty south fed… sleep in a cot pickin’ dirty south bed…1
Then, the fun began.
But… what if? I dreamed up some ridiculous situations, placing my beloved Miz Paula’s place of origin in such places as Australia, Canada, and even Mexico. I then realized that the most ridiculous place that I could imagine Paula’s born turf is right in NE America: New Jersey. What if Paula spent her adolescence fist-pumping along the Jersey Shore, instead of preparing for debutante balls? What if she sounded more like Fran Drescher, instead of the lovable southern gramma we know her as? What if she were a Long Island (yeah, I know it’s in NY) Lolita instead of a Georgia Peach? Would you love her then?
So the tan ISN’T from laying hours outside with the sweet tea?!
[photo courtesy of the Food Network]
If I were in charge of the (fake) Paula’s press, the Wikipedia article would be as follows:
Paula Deen (born Claudia Francesca DiBucci on January 19, 1947) is an American cook, restaurateur,author, Emmy Award-winning television personality, and all around bag of awesome.
Deen resides in Savannah, Georgia, where she owns and operates The Lady and Sons restaurant with her sons, who people only check for just to see their mama. She has also published five cookbooks. 92.48% of the recipes contained in all of the cookbooks include some byproduct of butter, which gains her gajillions of fans each day. She continues to use the surname Deen from her first marriage professionally, although she married some schmuck a few years back whose last name contains no “POW!” factor, and is therefore deemed irrelevant.
Claudia was born around the corner from the New Jersey Devil. She grew up eating in diners, as New Jersey does not have any kind shortage of them at all, and it was at the Wing and a Prayer Diner2 that she found her calling. A frequent customer/part-time busboy, Frank Magoo (who was quite nearsighted and had bad hearing), often called Claudia by the wrong names, usually yelling at the top of his lungs. One day, when demanding Claudia for beans, he said, “Paula… Deen (like a bell ringing)!” and she began to draft her escape plan.
As documented in official sources, DiBucci claims to have suffered from agoraphobia and would not leave her house. Could you blame her though? She was in Jersey. *fist pumps* She is a proficient Southern cook, a talent she used to help her deal with her condition, and also to stack that cheese and get out of dodge ASAPtually. In 1986, she felt well enough to take a job as a bank teller, where she and three of her friends proceeded to lead a string of successful bank robberies, otherwise, setting it off. After that she and her sons moved to Savannah, by way of Greyhound. She legally changed her name to Paula Deen, and began a catering service, never to be known as Claudia again. She made sandwiches and other meals, which her sons Jamie and Bobby delivered, since they weren’t going to make Thriller or anything.
Fame didn’t take long at all to reach Lady Paula. When Paula blew up, she blew up expeditiously. These days, Paula’s face is everywhere, from her signature line of cookware to the cakes in the Walmarts. She’s got more pages with her name on it than the law should allow. She found Bad Boy’s basement, then cooked a good Southern meal for its inhabitants (They later got the itis, and didn’t get a chance to escape. #SucksToBeYouHomie). She will be here from sea to shining sea, so if you harbor any resentment towards her charm, her style, or her ability to make deep fried butter sound like the most awesomefreakindelicious thing ever, you might as well trade the frown for a spot on a VH1 “love” show. Good night and good luck.
And that…is just proof that I’m long overdue for rest.
Hoping to Catch You in Hibernation,
1- Ludacris, “Throw Dem Bows”
2- From Tyler Perry’s “The Family That Preys”