Barefoot at Slate

Hello Prudie,

Jamie T. from Philadelphia recently inquired about proper footwear in public. You observed, “The idea of entering a place of food service without shoes (or a shirt) seems vaguely Appalachian to Prudie.”

I have visited many places of food service across America in my 45 years, and since I moved to Appalachia in 1985, I have continued the practice. Oddly enough, I have never observed anyone entering an Appalachian eatery barefoot.

Since your Appalachian epithet would seem authoritative (I cannot imagine Prudie substituting a different ethnic group in her admonition), would you please document the claim? Prudie, your behavior here is incorrect, impolite, and unjust.

–Steve Booth-Butterfield,Morgantown, W.Va.

Dear Steve,

Prudie is contrite and apologizes profusely for the slur. As penance, she promises to retire the hillbilly stereotype from this day forward.

–Prudie, repentantly