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Etta May leaves them laughing
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When Etta May takes the stage, prepare to laugh. She kept the Park Theater audience rolling Friday night with her wickedly fun combination of sass and Southern humor. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

The reigning Queen of Southern Sass took Park Theater’s stage on Friday night and lit up the room with laughter.

Etta May hit the ground running.

“Oh, I know what you’re thinking,” she said. “With an outfit like this, I don’t need pepper spray. We like to stay informal here in McMinnville.” 

May describes herself as the reigning Queen of Southern Sass and Minnie Pearl with a migraine. 

“Have you been watching the national news? They’re protesting IHOP because they won’t let women breast feed. Don’t protest, just eat at Waffle House. They’ll let you breast feed there. They don’t even care if you don’t have a baby. Just smother, scatter and cover it.” 

She was born and raised in Bald Knob, Ark., with nine older brothers, and that provides fodder for her Southern-infused comedy. She claims a life of hard knocks that includes meeting her husband at a friend’s keg party. They have four children. 

“That’s where most of my comedy comes from. I just wait for my husband or kids to do something stupid, and then I write it down.” 

Her humor was real-life situations that most can relate to. She touched on dieting, children, marriage, divorce and what it’s like to be middle aged.