Monday, October 26, 2009

Don't Flaunt It; or, Redneck Fail

There's nothing wrong with being a redneck – in fact, I'm proud to be one – but I don't see the need to always flaunt it. And if you're going to flaunt it, at least do it tastefully, if that's possible.

I was driving up Highway 45 this afternoon when I passed a nice white minivan. And on the trunk were a pair of mudflap girl stickers. You know the ones I'm talking about, the kind usually found on the mud flaps of a big rig. I'm going to assume the guy has kids, because, you know, he was driving a minivan. Epic Parenting Fail.

Speaking of Epic Parenting Fails, here's one. And another one. And then there's that sign in Birmingham for a local "caferteria." And then there are people who hang fake bull testicles from their trailer hitch. And then there are people who paint their cars to look like a stock car. And then there are those Carl Hogan Automotive commercials. And then there's the mullet. And then there's Billy Ray Cyrus. Might as well hang a sign around your neck that says, "Howdy, I'm just a dumb ol' redneck! Shoot!"

So what I'm saying is, rednecks can be dignified. We can have class. We don't have to fulfill all the negative stereotypes. So next time, Mr. Minivan, try one of those "My Child Is An Honor Student" bumper stickers. They're annoying, sure, but at least they doesn't make me want to call social services on you.

Today's Redneck Thought: "Son, don't pistol whip your sister." My wife, to our 5-year-old son

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Tight Spot; or, Just a Little Mud

See this picture here? I captured it in West Point last week on the way home from Starkville. Yes, that is a huge chunk of grass sticking out of the top. I can only imagine what this guy did. I thought about asking him when he pulled into a gas station, but then I chickened out.

So I tried to think what sort of situation he could possibly have gotten into. It looks like he rolled the thing, but I saw no damage to the vehicle. The placement and pattern of the mud splatter baffle me. Maybe a sod truck dropped part of his load as the guy drove past him.

This is one of those "write your own caption" pictures, I guess. And it reminds me how rednecks tend to find themselves in odd predicaments. Like a Charlie Daniels song, or like the time I got married – just kidding, wifey! – or like the time me and three friends slept in the front of a Ford Ranger, instead of our tent, because we thought we heard wild hogs running close by.

I mean, aren't some of the best Southern stories about being in a pickle? Like Jerry Clower and the coon huntin' story. Or Ron White getting literally thrown out of a bar in New York. We just have a knack for getting in a "tight spot," to quote Ulysses Everett McGill.

But as long as you come out the other side with no more than a little mud on you, I guess you're OK.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I Hate Walmart; or, No Smiley Face Here

I don't know if I've ever mentioned this, but I hate Walmart. I loathe going there, and of course, I go all the time. It's like they've got a gun to my head. "Oh yeah, where else you gonna shop on your budget? Kroger? Ha! That's for rich people, folks who drive Dodge Magnums."

It might have something to do with the fact that I worked at a Walmart the summer after my senior year of high school. I thoroughly did not enjoy it. Checking out 50 jars of baby food at a time, installing toilet paper dispensers, "zoning" – I hated it, plus it was interfering with my baseball. I finally called in "sick" one day because I knew it was probably going to be my last baseball game, ever. It was – an all-star tournament in Monroe, La. I never went back to work at that joint.

Later on, as I was trying to save money for getting married, I worked about a month at a Sam's Club in St. Louis. That much time in a walk-in freezer messes with a man's brain (and sanity).

Exacerbating my misery was incompetent management, but that's another rant for another day. The only thing I gained from those experiences was a greater appreciation for the college degree I eventually earned. Nothing wrong with working at Walmart, but it ain't for me. I'd rather dig ditches or be a kamikaze pilot.

Is it anti-American of me to hate Walmart? I'm all for capitalism, but there's such a thing as being too ubiquitous (see: Notre Dame football, Ryan Seacrest, Chris Berman). And Walmart just has no personality. I mean, they had to steal the (ubiquitous) smiley face, which they didn't even come up with. It's a dull, depressing place to me. It's where Collin Raye's subject in "Little Rock" went to start over while rehabbing.

This brings me to a Web site I came across earlier today. The only fun thing about going to Walmart is the, um, scenery. Especially late, late at night. The Web site,, is devoted to documenting the odd assortment of folks who darken Walmart's automatic doors. Frightening stuff.

So I'm with my wife. We need a Target here.