More and more I keep noticing people say "I says" in a sentence when describing an event.
Is it proper english to say, for example, "So I says to him, why don't you go get in the truck and drive away?"
I'm really confused as I was always taught to use said in those instances, as it is past tense. It doesn't sound right to my ear, but maybe it is some weird exception to the English language.
"I says" (or "says I", "sez I", etc.) is not a recent development: you can find it in dialogue in 19th century fiction, for instance, and the OED records it from 1682. It's also common in other persons, e.g. the colloquial jeer "Says you!", expressing scepticism.
As you say ("as you says"?), its form is non-standard ("I says", not "I say"); presumably the use of an irregular present tense form makes a narrative more vivid and piquant.
I'm a native AmE speaker, and I would sound funny or out of place using "I says." It's more of a phrase used by gangster-type tough guys in movies, or maybe people who were born and raised in Brooklyn.
Usually the person who uses "says" also uses "deeze" and "dem" instead of "these" and "them."
Yes; in BrE, it's associated with non-standard forms of English, such as rural dialects and Cockney. It's also popular in literary English, where non-standard dialects are imitated (e.g. in the stories of W.W. Jacobs).