I cannot speak for the locals but the southern diet does not appear particularly suited to the promotion of regularity. I won’t say they do not recognize the existence of green foods but lettuce seems hard to come by. My first southern meal, for example, down in Georgia consisted of a pork chop, rice and gravy, macaroni and cheese, and a little bowl of turnip greens. The greens were quite tasty their having been cooked mostly in fat; the one other green food, beans, came sprinkled liberally with bits of bacon. For desert I had a piece of fried chicken followed by another order of macaroni and cheese.
Breakfasts consist generally of eggs, plus grits sometimes with cheese, plus some meat, bacon or sausage, with biscuits sometimes with gravy, sometimes not. Indeed, your southerner appears an aggressive meat eater. A poster for sale read, “There is a place for all God’s creatures great and small—right beside the rice and gravy.” If theology can be injected into something southerners will do it; the same can of course be said of vegetarians, though they are perhaps more spiritual and less scripturally oriented.
This diet had the effect of stopping me up. Though I must say the heat probably had something too to do with this. One can say properly that the sun “beats down”. Out walking I have sweated clean through my under garment. I am inclined genetically to be a fierce sweater being of Anglo Saxon extraction and fair skinned. I did not during the first days properly lubricate. I cannot, without becoming indelicate, go into detail on this point, but once in an effort to relieve myself of my stoppage, I remembered, this is how Elvis died, and so kept myself from blacking out from my exertions.
Heat contributed in additional ways. My bowels tend to be excited by exercise and in this heat exercise is impossible and perhaps unnatural. The very occasional jogger must be masochistic and were he to jog in the more rural areas he is asking to be taunted or run over. But I am happy to report that in the more cosmopolitan Charleston, I located a salad, strewn with strips of an excellent fried chicken and that, along with a brisk walk in the cooler evening, has restored me to my natural balance.