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  • Rite or Rong, My Take on Rednecks and Rural Livin'
Rite or Rong, My Take on Rednecks and Rural Livin'
Written by
Lola Lolita
July 2011
Written by
Lola Lolita
July 2011

I grew up in the sticks.  Kind of.  We lived in the “country,” which was actually a bunch of houses built atop retired farmland.  Sure, there was a cornfield behind my house.  And the road wasn’t paved.  But it was a far cry from Little House on the Prairie.  Flint, one of the finer cities in Michigan (If you know about Flint, you’ll get that last one.  If you don’t know, look it up.  How do you not know about Flint?), was only ten minutes away.  My home town hosted the Buick Open AND now has one of each kind of fast food restaurant (That’s some big livin’, huh?)  So, I may not be a city girl, but I am somewhat accustomed to civilization.



My parents’ lake cottage, on the other hand, is in rural northern Michigan.  Life is a bit slower there, to say the least.  Showering appears to be optional, as does proper oral hygiene.  It’s on a dirt road as well, only this dirt road is more akin to a cow path than a two-laner.  And the neighborhood is full of rednecks.  Just full of ‘em.  And it is this species, indigenous to rural America, on which we will focus today.

Now, before you go a-judging me for my judginess, I think it’s only fair to reveal that I, too, am part redneck.  Yep.  It’s true.  A full 50%, to be exact (On my dad’s side.  My mother would insist I clarify), though I do not embrace it.  Still, being a part of this species, I feel qualified to be both your tour guide AND the critic on our journey to investigate the curious lives of these upright-walking creatures.  While there are numerous phenomena associated with them, we’re going to concentrate on three.  Let’s see what they’re all about, shall we?

Exhibit A: The They Can’t Seem to Be Able to Afford Washing Detergent for Their Clothes, but Their Car Costs More Than My Two Cars Combined phenomenon.

What the hell is that all about?  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone by someone’s highly neglected mobile home, only to see three high-end pickup trucks populating what passes for a front yard.  It makes me think that they must just be down on their luck, that they really are intelligent people, but they’ve had to make a tough choice between living quarters and motor vehicles.  Well.  That’s not the case at all.  The reason is exactly what you think it is: stupidity and lack of priorities.  I know this because I encountered one of said high-end pickups and its owner just miles from the lake cottage this past weekend.   

I was going 55 in a 55.  He was facing the wrong direction in the opposite lane, pulled out in front of me from that lane, and proceeded to go 20 in that 55.  I slowed my car, waiting for him to get to the side of the road so I could pass (Having lived in a somewhat country-ish setting, I know from experience that this is what people on horses, tractors, and other farm equipment will do).  Did he?  Not quite.  He pulled slightly over, but not enough that I could get by without getting creamed by the people in the opposite lane.  He then mustered all the strength he had to partly lean himself out the window (the part that would fit over his fat-ass stomach) and salute me with the very same finger he uses on his sister.  This was followed by a wheezy, “Eat it, bitch!” and some other unintelligible garble.  The hell?

What happened next is not a source of pride for me, but in my defense, I was still struggling with putting Inner Bitch back in her place.  I was so pissed, I pulled up beside him in that opposite lane once traffic had passed, rolled down my window, and shouted all kinds of insults, not one of which I’m sure he understood, what with having to battle that terrible case of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and genetic mutation resulting from inbreeding.  My husband, who was following in the car behind, had an Inner Dick relapse as well, for he began laying on his horn, causing such confusion I’m sure that redneck is still trying to sort it out.   

(I was absolutely kicking myself for not getting a picture of this guy.  Imagine this: Suspenders, plaid shirt & jeans that haven't been washed in two months, a midnight shadow, dirty finger nails, and googly eyes.)

Exhibit B: The You Will Never Again in Your Life See These Items Together in One Place phenomenon.

Truth be told, this is a practice of rednecks I find endearing, mostly because it lends itself to jokes and laughter long after initially experiencing it.  Why is it that, in areas heavily populated by rednecks, there is a store that carries everything that is not only redneck at its very core, but also quite dangerous when put together? 

Together at last.
Who in their right mind thinks this is a good idea?  Who?  I know, Jasper!  Let’s get good ‘n liquored up, then  go a- fishin’ with our pistols.  Whatcha say, hmm?

Full disclosure: I bought this shirt, as did half my family, with the intent to mock and  to not look like we “ain’t from ‘round here” when we go into town, though I suspect they’ll still be able to tell.

Exhibit C: The They’ve Got Shit for Brains, but They Somehow Still Manage to Survive When the Rest of Us Would Surely Perish phenomenon.

This one is so unfair.  Truly.  Why is it that those of us who are careful, who plan ahead, who consider the consequences of our actions end up being the ones who get hurt or killed as a result of others’ mistakes?  Mistakes like this one, for example.

Can't tell what's wrong here?  Check out the seat.  Blown to bits.
Really?  You think setting off fireworks on a boat, in the middle of a lake, while you’re  on it, with no way to escape, is a good idea?  Seriously.  Look!  Just look at that seat, dammit!  That could have been your face.  Or your arm, or your leg, or your torso. 

But it wasn’t.  No.  It wasn’t.  They’re still walking around just fine, sucking down the Natty Lite so they can have another go of it tonight.  Assholes.

And there it is.  Your in-depth look at three of many phenomena associated with these people.  Why do I care to even document this nonsense?  Because.  This is important stuff.  For one, I happen to absolutely love escaping to nature every weekend, drinking in the sunshine and easy living, and these people are ruining it.  In addition to accosting me, they're making it dangerous to be there, what with their willy-nilly attitude toward booze and things that go boom.  Worse, seems to me their numbers are increasing exponentially.  It won’t be long before they venture out of rural areas, if they haven’t already (And I suspect they have.  Oh boy, do I suspect they have).  The cure?  Education.  The problem? Our society doesn’t value it.  And in all seriousness, who suffers the most?  It’s not them, if that’s what you’re thinking.  It’s us.  The collective.   Because, honestly, who do you think is paying to repair the hand that may or may not get blown off during a fireworks display?  Hint: It’s not the guy with the high-end pickup whose trailer is falling into the swamp.

Next up…River People: Human or Sasquatch?

If you enjoyed reading my piece(s), please visit me on Facebook at Catharsis by Laura and follow me on Twitter at @LauraMiri. For a more wholesome side of me, check out my other blog at familiescopingwithinfantstroke.blogspot.com.

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