Letter From thenLower Rightnby John Shelton ReednFunny BusinessnCleaning out my drawers, I findnregional news items (some newer thannothers) from the worids of religion andnbusiness, with some miscellaneous statisticsnfor garnish. Beginning withnreligion (of a sort):nIn Tupelo, Mississippi (where Elvisnwas born in 1935), two brothers wentnon trial last year for attempting tonmurder Judge Tommy Gardner—bynhexing him. Leroy and John Henry Ivynhired a hoodoo hit man from Jamaica tondo the job, and all was going well untilnthe judge’s wife got suspicious. Seemsnthe Ivy boys called her to ask for anphotograph of her husband and some ofnhis hair.nApparently this sort of thing is bignbusiness in north Mississippi. The Wd//nStreet Journal, ever alert to the commercialnimplications, reported that thenmojo department of A. Schwab DepartmentnStore in Memphis sells aboutntwenty-one tons of hoodoo supplies anyear.nBut if you think weird occult practicesnappeal only to poor ignorant ruralnblack folk, think again. Last year anFloridian dying from a brain tumornoffered his services as a messenger tonthe dead. For $20 Ken McAvoy promisednto deliver your message to anyonenon the other side, and he ofFered anwritten guarantee.nAnd then there’s Sherri Cash, anwell-off ignorant urban white womanna/k/a Venus Moonbaby. Ms. Moonbabyntests auras and sells healing crystalsnat a New Age pharmacy in Atlanta.n’.’There’s a theory,” she told Americanmagazine, “that Atlanta is a reincarnationnof the continent of Atlantis andnthat a lot of people who were innAtlantis together have been pullednback to Atlanta.”nMaybe that explains why somebodynthinks farmers’ market employees innGeorgia need California-style humann48/CHRONICLESnCORRESPONDENCEnpotential training. Last year in an Atlantancourt eight employees of thenDeKalb Farmers’ Market claimed theynwere fired or mistreated after theynrefused to take part in self-actualizationnsessions developed by Werner Erhard.nErhard, you may recall, is the Californiannwho invented “est,” in whichnpeople pay large sums to be locked innhotel ballrooms with strangers and deniednaccess to toilet facilities. Personally,nI prefer mojos and goofer dust.nI’ve said before that the only reasonnto care what Californians do is that wenoften seem to wind up imitating them.nThat said, here’s another enormity tonwatch out for: the Sausalito CitynCouncil has established a “cholesterolfreenzone,” by requiring restaurants tonoffer no-cholesterol food to patrons.nAny decent barbecue joint would gonout of business first.nWonder what Sausalito would makenof this sign from Sharp’s Stop & Shop,nspotted by the Arkansas Times:nFROZENnYOGURTnNIGHTCRAWLERSnActually, that might sound good tonfolks who like raw fish.nSpeaking of raw fish, after BennJones, the actor who played Cooter onnThe Dukes of Hazzard, got elected tonCongress, he told the Washingtonnpress: “You think I don’t have culturenjust because I’m from down in Georgia.nBelieve me, we got culture there.nWe’ve always had sushi. We just usednto call it ‘bait.'”nJones isn’t your usual blow-driednpretty-boy Southern pol. Not to putntoo fine a point on it, he went throughna few wives and a lot of whiskey beforen(as he told the reporters) “I awokennaked in a tattoo parior in Talladega,nAlabama. I knew it was time to changenmy lifestyle. So I went into politics.”nMaybe old Cooter could moonlightnexplaining Southern culture to Californiansnat Berkeley, where a professor ofnbusiness has suggested that courses onnthe cultures of “such subgroups asnMormons, Armenians, and whitenSoutherners” should be required. Ac­nnntually, according to the Chicago Tribune,nProfessor David Vogel was makingnfun of a proposal to require ancourse on the cultures of black, Asian,nHispanic, and “native” Americans, butnit sounds good to me. If anyone needsna consultant I’m available at my usualnrates.nOne Southern difference from Californiansnthat needs explaining was revealednwhen Compton AdvertisingnInc. asked 1,007 adults how old theynfelt, compared to their actual age.nCollege graduates, the financially welloff,ndivorcees, and Californians (notnmutually exclusive groups, obviously)nare likely to feel younger than they are.nSoutherners are more likely to act theirnage: only 59 percent feel spryer thannthey should, compared to 70 percentnof Westerners. This may help to explainnanother difference, reported recentlynin the Wall Street Journal: anmarketing director at the company thatnmakes Northern-brand toilet paper saysnthat “Californians go for more sheets,”nand thus for thinner paper, whilenSoutherners like it thick.nOr then again, maybe Southernersnare just wiping up stuff. Another Journalnstory reported that when Monsantonasked a sample of American womennwho in their households is most likelynto spill and stain things, most pointednthe finger at children under 12. Butnnot in the South Atlantic states, wheren38 percent indicated that their husbandsnwere the main household slobs.nElsewhere only 10 to 18 percentnpicked the old man.nIn other marketing news, the makersnof Mountain Dew last year announcedna campaign to “reposition” that softndrink. Apparently its core market nowncomprises what a former product managerncalls “the pickup truck and constructionnset,” folks who (he told thenWall Street Journal) “had their gloryndays in high school”; for them. MountainnDew is “a nostalgic vehicle back tonthose glory days.” (Shoot, and here Inthought we just liked the way it tastes.)nMovie star Patrick Swayze — a Southerner,nbut a polished one — was to benfeatured in ads designed to appeal toncity slickers. Mr. Swayze achieved star-n