Thursday, June 25, 2009

Where to find a redneck if you must . . .

And the tale continues . . .

My first real brush with a redneck traumatized both me and my mama and even had lasting repercussions on my little sister. I was my minding my own little eight-year-old business (isn’t that always how it is when you run into a redneck?), drawing pictures of kittens and hearts when Bud Epperson turned away from making glue chips in his desk tray and informed me that he was going to marry me.

“I’m gonna marry you,” he said.

I thought maybe he’d gotten too good a whiff of that glue, but he was dead serious –or as serious as you can get in the fourth grade—and he said, “I’m gonna hold you down and cut your fingernails and you’re gonna milk cows. I’m gonna marry you.”

Of course I was horrified and ran straight home to ask my mother if he really could cut my fingernails and make me milk cows.

Horrified her ownself, Mama immediately enrolled my sister and I in Charm School. Apparently, she thought teaching us to eat with the right fork and walk with books on our heads would not only whip us into marriageable shape, but would also make us unrecognizable to the average, every day redneck.

Sadly, redneckedness rubs off on you a lot faster than charm does.

Oh, sure, my sister and I learned how to artfully apply makeup, how to win beauty pageants and the proper way to cross your legs (at the ankles, knees pressed together, which incidentally I found out later, is also a perfectly acceptable form of birth control and is still being taught in many a Texas school).

Mama knew a lot about charm, having pulled herself up by her own petticoats and escaped a life of redneckedness.

She also knew that rednecks are a lot like Cheese Doodles. Once you’ve had one, you pretty much want the whole bag and then you’d spend the rest of your life with Doodle Dust down the front of your shirt.

And so it was that my sister and I were shielded from blatant redneckedness until well after the age when many southern girls lose their virginity in the back bed of a pickup truck hanging onto a gun rack, which was always my mother’s greatest fear. It turns out there are worse things that could happen.

My own personal redneck rode into my life the same way he rode out—riding to the rescue of a blonde. The first time, the blonde was me.

It was my own fault for putting myself in a situation that required rescuing. The particular situation that led me to this particular redneck was, of course, another redneck, because everyone knows the easiest way to get over one redneck is to run right out and jump on a new one (I said the easiest way—not the best way).

While rednecks can be found roaming freely most anywhere in the continental United States, there are proven habitats that tend to attract them in large numbers, and most of them are in Texas. These places include but are not limited to: anywhere that beer, bait and ammo are sold, any establishment where meat is fried, and anyplace they might get to see some boobies, including company picnics, tractor pulls and family reunions.

A redneck will never look a gift boobie in the mouth, and will fall all over themselves to get a peek at even one, lone boobie. They don’t even care what the boobies look like. You could have tits you can fold like a pair of socks and a redneck will still want to see ‘em.

And, as one of my redneck friends informed me, the only bad boobie is a covered-up boobie.
Now, if you’re looking for a redneck to keep, the Home Depot is by far your best bet. Being at the Home Depot suggests that he is willing and able to fix things, has the money to pay for the things he needs to fix things, and if he pulls out that little orange credit card, you can surmise that he is able to make a commitment at least once a month. You may also surmise that if he’s getting things to fix things at the Home Depot, the home he’s fixing does not come with wheels and a trailer hitch.
I met my own personal redneck not at the Home Depot, but at the South Austin meat market. Needless to say (or maybe not), both of my boobies were covered.

On the advice of a friend who knew I needed to move all my personal possessions out from under the nose of Previous Redneck, I took myself down to the meat market to enlist the help of a man she called “Fluf.”

I was immediately wary when she referred to him as Fluf, but, being acquainted with more than my fair share of rednecks, I took this with a grain of salt. Besides, I’d left half my shoes at the Ex Redneck’s house. They weren’t my favorite shoes, mind you, but I wanted them back. Another woman could take my place in his bed, but I’d spit nails before she took my place in my shoes.
And though I was fully clothed on meat market day—as I am on most days—Fluf later told me that there was sufficient evidence that my boobies were worth a little wait.

With very little malice and absolutely no forethought, I waltzed myself into the meat market full of fear and false bravado, and with good reason. Fluf looked like a machete-wielding, swarthy, southern version of Yosemite Sam.

Not to mention the fact that I was told he could bend a crowbar with his bare hands—not a bad trait when you’re looking for someone to move all of your earthly belongings out of the house of another redneck.

One thing I knew for sure was that he in no way resembled anything remotely related to fluff, at least until I learned the origin of the moniker.

FLUF, he told me later, was an acronym for Fat Lazy Ugly Fucker, and was bestowed on him by friends at the Baptist Boys’ Ranch.

If it is true that all good boys go to heaven, then boys on the fence go to the Boys’ Ranch, where they are taught survival of the quickest and the slickest.

Fluf was neither fat nor lazy or ugly, but he could indeed be a fucker when the occasion called for it, especially after copious amounts of tequila—a fact he seemed proud of, because he had a t-shirt that said, Instant Asshole, Just Add Tequila. But as I mentioned, these are all things I learned later.
While I balked at the nickname, there’s one thing you have to know about rednecks is that they’ve appropriated the Native American custom of naming people for their attributes, abilities or behavior, such “Barn,” as in, her butt’s big as a barn door, “One Arm Amy,” on account of she only had one arm, and “Smidge,” as in premature ejaculator.” So, if you’re planning on saddling yourself a redneck anytime soon, you may as well pick your own nickname, or you’ll be assigned one and it will stick, whether you like it or not.

Anyhow, on that fateful day at the meat market, Fluf was behind the counter, blithely butchering a feral hog. Horrified, I tried not to stare, as I am a Hypothetical Vegetarian, which is to say I eat meat but I feel bad about it, and I prefer not to eat anything while it still has a face.

But standing there in Aisle Five, flanked by pork butts and bacon, I realized that I did, in fact, have a pig in my life, and this guy with the machete and appeared to know how to handle a pig. Not that I wanted him to filet my ex, but it was nice to know I had options.

Later, we discovered that we both had misgivings about the other. He thought I was a social worker, and I thought he was an ex-con. It turns out both of us were mostly right.

Tentatively, we exchanged telephone numbers and I hightailed it out of there before he continued his assault on the hog and before I could change my mind.


Chris said...

Hmmm . You may have good story here. This guy sounds very familiar. Go with it ... you have my full support

Kit Frazier said...

It does sound familiar, doesn't it?

Barnes & Noble Round Rock Signing

Barnes & Noble Round Rock Signing
My friend Pantera with Tahoe & Me

Tahoe and a new friend at the signing