A Lexicon of Inconsistencies (or: A Boston/Brasstown Dictionary)

A Run:

  1. Something that one goes on. A popular form of exercise. Can be performed anywhere, though areas featuring trees and/or water are preferred. Can require many accoutrements. Hazards include: damage to knees and an annoying moral superiority. Can also be a social activity.
  2. A way of tying up a dog without being cruel. A long rope is tied at five to six feet up between two trees, or between a tree and a house. This rope should be at least three yards or so long. A second rope is affixed to this so that it can move easily along the first, and hangs vertically down around eight to twelve feet in length. to this is affixed a leash, and to this the dog. This allows the dog to run around outside without running off or into the road or after any animals or people.


  1. Any gathering involving the use of an outdoor grill. Usually involving Hamburgers and hotdogs.
  2. A sauce. Can be gotten in mass-produced form at supermarkets, or, for significantly more, in fancy small-batch form at farmers markets and pop-up shops. It comes in a variety of flavors.
  3. Really delicious Korean Chicken
  4. A style of meat preparation, usually done on Pork, though there is a style for chicken. Preparation takes sometimes days if done correctly. Frequently a family affair. Sometimes involves an entire pig. Something for which one “gets a hankering.”

Cold Brew:

  1. A high-priced alternative to Dunkin’ Donuts Every Flavor Iced Coffee. It can be found in all the most pretentious coffee shops. Hipsters sip it smuggly, the bearded ones pushing their dubiously real glasses up their noses as they ask those sporting lipstick and rings if they’ve heard of cold brew before? An exciting new way to show off your coffee cred while you continue to delude yourself you are something better than a yuppie.
  2. Something I drank as a teenager at a small, incongrous coffee shop on a hill just outside of downtown Murphy, a curious placement. I would wait there for my dad to come pick me up after I got done with my shift at Lowes. The owner knew everyone’s name, and if she didn’t she became quite agitated. She would try out new drinks on her regulars. My standard order was the cold-brewed peaberry, to which I added soy-milk. It tasted like nothing else before or since: full, mellow, nutty. No hint of bitterness. Not like the proprietor. The customers would joke that she should sample less of her product. Maybe then we’d know fewer details about her divorce.

Cold Brew Tea:

  1. Even better for you than regular tea, way better than coffee. Soaked overnight in temperature-controlled cold water for eighteen hours, infused with local herbs and fruits, and just a little sweetener. You can get it at Whole Foods, or from a stall at the South Station Farmers Market, where it is sold by a pale, thin man in his thirties with a standard-issue not-your-average-beard, clad in a straw trilby (what is the point), a skinny tie, and a vest in 90 degree heat. Because of their special brewing process, it contains no acids and none of the bitterness, and retails for upwards of $4/cup.
  2. More commonly referred to as Sun Tea. Sometimes in summer it just gets too hot to even turn on the stove. Hot enough that you can actually fry an egg on the hood of a car parked in the sun. But you still gotta have tea. Take the biggest jar you can find (we always used an old bulk Helman’s jar. I never knew what anyone had ever needed that much mayonnaise for) and… oh about six or seven tea bags (Lipton works just fine, but use whatever you want.) and throw them in there. Fill it up with cold water (if the tap can even get cold on a day like this) and add some honey (we used the honey our neighbors’ bees made) and some mint from the bank if you feel like it. Then you just set it in a nice sunny spot for a few hours and let nature do the rest. Tastes like summer in a jar. No bitterness and crisp as can be. Tastes like summer in a jar. not to be confused with Sweet Tea.


  1. A quick-bread made with cornmeal and sugar, as well as other ingredients. Makes more sense in muffin form. Could be a passable dessert with a lemon frosting.
  2. A savory bread served with lunch or supper. Contains no sugar. Used to sop up juices from messes of greens or beans, or gravy from meat dishes. Contributes to the heartiness of a meal.


  1. Something to buy as a novelty for the novelty of lighting a real fire in your real fire-place, or for your camping trip to Vermont.
  2. The primary method of heating in the winter. Usually placed in a Wood-Stove. Some people still cut their own. Some pawn class or engagement rings for a cord. If used correctly, can keep a house at around sixty-five degrees until spring comes.


  1. A superfood. It’s sooooooooooo good for you. So much better than spinach. Put it in every salad and on every sandwich as a replacement for every other green. It doesn’t matter if the flavors or textures aren’t quite right together. A major component of both the macro and paleo diets. Never cook it, it must always be eaten raw for full slimming effect. Can be made into a smoothie for added health benefits, allowing kale to be the main component of all three daily meals. Can also be roasted and made into chips. This process removes the heartiness but allows one to feel like one is consuming potato chips, though in chip form kale does nothing to reduce one’s hunger, as potato chips would. Kale chips are marketed as a “guilt free” alternative to starch-based chips, though at upwards of $5/small bag this label is a bit baffling.
  2. Used to make a mess o’ greens if tragedy strikes and you can’t get your hands on any collards. Must be cooked until it surrenders, then about five minutes more for good measure. Makes great feed for pigs and cows, especially in winter, seein as it’ll survive a few good frosts. Dirt cheap, since you can’t pay it to stop growin and nobody really wants it because it smells so damn bad. Good way to tell if folks is poor is if they’re eatin it.

Mason Jar:

  1. A moderately expensive way to advertise how cool and quirky and DIY you are. Extra points if it has a handle, a stem, or a straw in the lid. Use them as conspicuously as possible: carry your kale and quinoa salad to work in it, use it to carry your cold-brew coffee, as your water-bottle… did you know they come in colors??!!? (For slightly more, of course) and even ceramics for hot beverages (you can’t fit a lid on it but it’s just so decorative, such a statement, you know?) See also: Chic.
  2. Primarily for canning. First you boil em (outside on the camp-stove, too hot inside) then you fill em with: jams (blackberry, blueberry, sour cherry, etc.) tomatoes, pickles (cucumber: dill, bread and butter, sweet, watermelon rind, eggs, pigs feet, chicken feet, beets, dilly beans, etc. you cin pickle jest bout anythin), beans, all that. Try not to burn yer fangers. Make sure there’s enough, it’s gotta last all year, store-bought stuff’s too expensive. As you empty the jars they become the cups you offer company to hide the fact that mostly you drink outta old yogurt and sour-cream containers because real glasses like Martha Stewart and your grandmother’ve got are too expensive. No sense wastin perfectly good cups, jest no need to show em. You’re alright bein poor but jest not that poor. When you move up north all your yankee friends make fun a ya fer drinkin outta jars til Martha herself starts to doin it. You wonder if maybe them goverment people hit her harder’n she’s lettin on.

Mobile Home:

  1. A new, exciting way to live simply. You can experience the freeing benefits of the Small Home at the same time as the freeing benefits of travel and the new nomadic lifestyle (made up almost entirely of descendents of those who persecuted nomadic peoples nearly out of existence). Eschew materialism by getting a custom-built small mobile home designed specifically for your comfort and for maximum efficiency. A great way to make a statement about how your generation rejects the conventional white-picket-fence priorities of the (white, suburban, middle-class) boomers for a lower-impact, less self-centered existence. Not to be confused with:
  2. That super trashy (and super funny) thing those super trashy (and super funny) rednecks live in. If someone is ignorant, poor, and rural, a good way to mock them is to suggest they live in one of these. Bonus points if they have a southern accent. Shameful. Something to scoff at. See also: Trailer, Trailer Trash.
  3. What several close friends, many old folks, and lots of other people in my town lived in. Affordable housing, great if you didn’t need much space. Some people also used them for business offices. Many of the double-wide trailers I’ve visited were kept immaculately clean, and housed very kind, thoughtful, family and community oriented people. A better, more spacious layout than most Boston apartments of comparable price.
  4. What the “park” made by unscrupulous developers down by Brasstown creek contains. They sell the double-wides in the flood zone to people who can’t afford anything else, or even flood insurance. Back before people knew about this place and developers drove up the price of land til people couldn’t afford to even live on their own, nobody lived down there for good reason. There’s a reason we say “Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.” But it does rise, and when it does, it takes all them little trailers with it. If they’re real lucky, nobody gets killed. Within six months those developers have got the debris from the flood cleaned up, new trailers, and a “for sale” sign out, waiting to fleece their next group of victims.


  1. The newest craze in upscale cuisine, especially at restaurants with menus featuring buzzwords like “seasonal,” and “local.” An unexpected flavor for the sophisticated palette.
  2. According to the Hayesville High School Code of Conduct, it is a suspendable offense to knowingly and willfully consume Ramps in quantity before attending class. As everyone knows, ramps produce THE. VILEST. FARTS. A Ramp Hunt is a fine, disgusting tradition in which boys will go out into the woods at night, dig up as many ramps as they can find, and make a big ole breakfast of em before goin to school to stink out a test they didn’t study fer. Now when I say stink out, I mean it. Get serval boys in a room with ramp-farts, people’s eyes are waterin, people are gaggin, it’s awful and you understand exactly why it’s banned. Ramps have ended marriages. Ramp-banning has been featured in pre-nups. It’d be funny that rich citified yankees were tryin to make em fancy if it weren’t like to cause an ecological problem. See, our creeks used to be full of ginseng, then city folks realized it was good for you and paid top-dollar for it. Now it don’t grow here no more. Looks like ramps are next.


  1. It’s a superfood! At least I think it is? It’s so good in agua fresca! Just add it and some basil to your water or your gin (in a Mason Jar of course) for a great, refreshing summer flavor. If you eat nothing but watermelon for a week it will flush all the toxins out of your body. Your skin will never look better. See also: Cleanse.
  2. The cheapest store-bought fruit in the summer. Bring home three or four at a time. Eat a quarter at each meal-time. That’ll keep you goin… well, that and popsicles, for about two weeks. Hopefully by then this heat will break. Right now it’s just too hot to eat and we can’t justify the expense of putting in a A/C.

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