Posts Tagged ‘Rednecks’

EPISODE 3: Rated PG-13 for Near Nudity and Coarse Language


Two groups of six HARDBODIES each have taken over two corners of the pool. The scent of testosterone is more pungent than chlorine. TWO OTHER COUPLES lounge at the other corners. Each couple basks in the Atlanta sun, oiled up like Thanksgiving turkeys.

DOMINIC and GIDEON and THEIR LESS-SWOLLEN-AND-RASHY MOTHER enter the pool area. They are joined by FATHER, no less a hardbody than the 12 mentioned above. However, the appearance of MOTHER and FATHER in the pool area raises the median age by at least 15 years.

MOTHER and FATHER survey the pool area with dismay. BLINDINGLY WHITE MOTHER needs shade.* They head to the covered area with the plush furniture. DOMINIC and GIDEON are reluctant to get in the water with so many people there (i.e., potential victims for which they will get in trouble for splashing). They sit on the plush furniture and contemplate their next moves.

HARDBODY GROUP NO. 1 starts talking about leaving to go to dinner.

I’m down for whatever.

We should eat. They are expecting us there by 7.

I’m down for whatever.

I could eat. Should we go get pizza?

I’m down for whatever.


Conversation amount and volume increase within HARDBODY GROUP NO. 2 out of earshot of MOTHER. They exit.

DOMINIC and GIDEON jump into the pool. FATHER goes to work out (of course). MOTHER sips her beer and pretends to read about TRUMP in The New Yorker (but really just looks at the cartoons).

SPLASHING commences.

MOTHER spots BASTED TURKEY LADY NO. 1 looking around the pool as if to say, “Where are these children’s parents?” She murmurs disapproval to BASTED TURKEY MAN NO. 1. MOTHER sits calmly waiting for THE BASTEDS NO. 1 to see her. BASTED LADY finally does. Her pinched, angry face relaxes slightly.

TWO RUBENESQUE WOMEN carrying large floats, a massive bag of Outback takeout, and an also-oversized speaker enter the pool area. They commence eating. After their meal, they remove their cover-ups to get into the pool. RUBENS NO. 1 is wearing a bathing suit with a keyhole cleavage opening in the front. There is at least a foot of cleavage.

SMALLER-BREASTED MOTHER wonders if she is breaking a rule by not being busty in the pool area, as large teats appear to be the norm.

FATHER returns from his alone time in the gym.

Despite the fact that music already is playing over the speakers in the pool area, RUBENS NO. 2 begins to play loud hip-hop music on her speaker.

F— them! F— her! The b—- can s— my d—! (and similar).

FATHER and MOTHER look at each other in alarm. Such language is to be heard in the privacy of the home via the many action movies they like to watch as a family. It certainly cannot be heard out in the wild. They are outraged. FATHER and MOTHER give the RUBENS TWINS pointed looks. RUBENS NO. 1 notices their distress and nudges RUBENS NO. 2, who changes the song.

MOTHER and FATHER run out of beer in the cooler. MOTHER decides it is time to go make dinner.

She exits.

Moments later, FATHER, DOMINIC and GIDEON exit.



*EXTREMELY PALE MOTHER visited the Dominican Republic last year on a cruise. She put on 50 SPF, a one-piece bathing suit plus hat and cover-up. She stayed in the shade of a building all day and STILL got burned. On her stomach. True story.


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STOP: If you haven’t read “Sentenced to Church, Part I and Part II,” do that now.

Just over 36 hours later, I was in another church: a Methodist church near my house.

Unlike my mother-in-law’s church where parishioners were on me like sharks to chum, the Methodist folks smiled, nodded and generally left me alone. Only the pastor, sporting an Irish brogue and a green jacket perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, officially greeted me.

The start of the ceremony resembled a town hall meeting. Announcements ranged from the results of the bake sale to what the county’s industrial development authority was planning to do with a parcel of land up the road. I noticed that the dress code has changed since I was a regular churchgoer. My parents would not have been pleased if I wore jeans to church, but now it appears jeans, T-shirts, cut-offs and flip-flops are all just fine to wear to hang out with God.

Apparently, this is appropriate church attire.

During the sermon, which was about what Jesus must have been like as a child, I took a look at the bulletin. On the back of the bulletin, under the heading “Prayer Concerns,” was a list of people asking for special thoughts and why. In addition to the expected, such as “fell and broke hip,” “gall bladder surgery” and “soldier injured in Iraq,” there were a few that made me feel as if I now knew too much. Apparently, Bobbie is “causing family problems” and Paige has “legal problems.” I guess those are the times when you chat with God the most.

Up next: “Welcome, sister”


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Dear Readers:

Writer’s block is a nasty beast. It periodically leaves me incapacitated, as is the case lately.

As I’d like to retain the few of you I have left, I present to you a personal essay from the past that has never seen publication. It’s a seven-part series, so I’m set for a while. (Me = drunk on content!)

Warning: The series is likely to offend anyone and everyone.


City Hall, Garden City, Georgia

Sentenced to Church, Part I

Police laser guns are not infallible and neither are their operators. This is what I tell the Garden City, Georgia, judge when I dispute my ticket for going 41 in a 35-mile-per-hour school zone. It is possible the officer tracked another car, but blamed me, I said. Plus, the school zone ended at 8:30, which is the time I was pulled over.

My argument sounded lame, even to me, but it was all I had. The judge took pity and dismissed the ticket on the condition that I complete a certain task: I must attend six church services over the next six weeks and bring proof of my attendance in the form of bulletins.*

Um. What? Isn’t there supposed to be a separation of church and state? And what does speeding have to do with religion anyway? In a small town in Georgia, I guess anything goes.

Though friends and relatives advised me to contact the American Civil Liberties Union, I was just happy to have avoided the $114 fine and the blot on my perfect driving record.

I decided to look at the sentence as an anthropological assignment. I chose to attend six different churches to contrast and compare.


Up next: “Señor Jesus, muévame!”


* True story. I promise.

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Dear Readers (if I have any left):

After radio silence for a month, I give you two posts in two days. What the what?! I know!

I woke up this morning singing that old chestnut “The 12 Days of Christmas” — with a twist. I realized this is the topical post I should have written yesterday:

(Apologies to English composer Frederic Austin)

By Christmas 2013, the media gave to me (sing with me now):

Robin’s boob obsession
Rob Ford’s flagrant crack use
Paula and the “N” word
Weiner’s wiener scandal
Miley Cyrus twerking
Obama’s website screwup
Baldwin’s use of THAT word

More Zimmerman (hold it out for emphasis)

Megyn Kelly’s misstep
The Duck dude’s homophobia
Kingston’s callous comment
And a dumbass on a British Air flight.

Now just try to get that song out of your head.

You’re welcome.

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Dear Santa,

I’m running a bit late on this letter and I apologize. Clearly, I need plenty of help this year. I wish I could have given you more notice; I don’t think the elves can whip up the things on this list.

To borrow from Dr. Seuss and his Grinch:

Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Christmas … perhaps … means a little bit more!

Here’s what I want for Christmas:

1. Some freakin’ patience. I’ve been with my children almost nonstop for weeks and there’s more to come as school is out. I’m trying to limit the “no more wire hangers” moments, but it’s rough.

2. A good, old-fashioned smiting. I know that’s usually God’s area, but I thought maybe you could help out a little with the hypocrites screaming that Phil Robertson‘s Freedom of Speech was violated. A&E isn’t the government, Freedom of Speech does not equal Freedom from Consequences, and weren’t these the same people calling the Dixie Chicks traitors?

3. Awareness of others for certain people. They clamor for attention daily (especially on Facebook) but cannot be bothered to remember other people’s birthdays or other important events.

4. Relief from some of the holiday trappings. Call me Scrooge, but I despise the Elf on the Shelf, “The Nutcracker,” and Christmas cards that start arriving right after Thanksgiving. (I hate them because that means the senders have their shit together. I don’t, especially when it come to cards. I’m thinking New Year’s cards sound good. In 2015.)

5. An end to the ridiculous “Merry Christmas” flap. Look, some people are sensitive to the fact that many people don’t celebrate Christmas. It’s not an attack against Christianity to say “Happy Holidays.” Is there NOTHING else to worry about? Oh wait … see No. 2.

6. The chance for Jack Kingston to live within a poor person’s means for a week. Maybe then he will understand that we are not all born equal. Low-income families certainly don’t choose to be low income. To suggest that children sweep floors to earn their subsidized lunches is beyond crass. He’s a real-life Mr. Potter!

7. Blake Shelton.

8. A silencer for anyone who wants to talk about Crossfit. It works. It’s great. Now shut up. It’s like this:


9. Some cold weather. It doesn’t feel like Christmas when it is 77. Does Mrs. Claus need to make another appeal to the Miser Brothers? (My tropical husband disagrees, but whatever.)

10. A return to robustness for the aforementioned tropical husband. He’s been in bed with a fever since Friday. It means I don’t have to worry about No. 8, but that’s sad for him.

Oh yeah, and peace on earth and goodwill to men (which I’d like to include marriage equality and an end to racism and classism, but maybe that’s just me). Also, an end to poverty.

You may not be able to deliver. If not, I understand. It’s short notice, plus it’s a tall order. I know. And we regular humans should really be doing a better job of walking the walk of loving and understanding our neighbors. (Uh oh. Didn’t I just ask for a smiting? All right. I’ll take the coal.)

Thanks anyway. See you tomorrow night!

Still a believer,

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Paula in happier days

Dear Paula Deen:

I know you are going through a rough time right now. Even with the chaos in Texas (go Wendy!) and the Supreme Court decision on that stupid Defense of Marriage Act (you know how I feel about that), you are still in the spotlight.

By all accounts (from people who know you, worked for you, still work for you, were raised by you, etc.) you are not racist by definition. Hard-driving, stubborn and raunchy, perhaps, but not racist. The plaintiff in that year-old lawsuit (who is white, surprisingly) even admits she never heard you make racist remarks.

It’s never OK to use THAT word (or any derogatory word like that). But I’m willing to cut you some slack on a 30-year-old mistake. (Especially as you apologized. Repeatedly.)

I mean, let’s be honest here: Who hasn’t had some tragic lapses in judgment? Let’s look at some of the decades-old moments for which I need to atone:

  1. St. Patrick’s Day 1993
  2. Fancy Dress 1989
  3. That one time at drama camp …
  4. Dating the dude from Macy’s receiving department (My dad’s observation: “Doesn’t that guy own any shirts with sleeves?”)
  5. This dress:Prom 1985 (It’s no wonder I don’t have a stitch of lace in my closet now. I reached my Designated Lace Quota in 1985.)
  6. This hair: '80s hair(Aqua Net was my best friend.)
  7. While we’re at it, this hair too: Blonde ambition(The ill-advised blonde ambition phase. What the what?)
  8. Being a mean girl to a nice boy who asked me to a dance. And not being a mean girl to a not-so-nice boy who asked me to a different dance. (That boy ended up talking through dinner about all the times in his life he had barfed. I sure know how to pick ’em.)
  9. Not buying that house on Jones Street.
  10. Allowing Neil the Cockatiel to escape the dorm suite I shared with his mom.

I’m sure I’ve committed many more sins than I can remember right now. We all have regrets. We all don’t have to fess up to them in a deposition.

Good luck with everything. You know how people are when they decide to make someone a scapegoat. If you need a personal pick-me-up, read a blog post by Michael Twitty, a fellow who addresses the real problem in an eloquent way.

It’s not all about you; it’s about pervasive, systemic racism. It’s about the real challenges people who are not white face. And white people don’t see and understand these challenges precisely because they are white. (Contrary to common conservative thought, we all can’t get where we want to go through hard work. We are not all born equal.)

We need to get to a point as a nation where difference doesn’t come with judgment. My kids see difference in skin color, but they don’t attach “good” or “bad” labels to that difference.

For example, Dominic noticed that one of his camp counselors, a black woman, was married to a white man. I said that I hoped that didn’t bother him because his daddy and I are an interracial couple too.

Gideon piped up and said, “Oh I know. You are really white and Daddy is brown.”

Dominic replied, “Daddy’s not brown. He’s tan.”

(Note that photo in No. 7 up there and decide for yourself.)

Difference is good.* Judgment is bad.

But I think you know that.

Yours in love of buttery goodness,

* How boring would it be if we were all the same?

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Dear East Dublin Lions Club Members:

I was shocked to learn today that you have decided to cancel the 2013 Redneck Games. According to the Associated Press article, there are four reasons for this decision:

  1. The economy
  2. Low attendance at prior festivals
  3. Sponsors backing out
  4. Scrutiny from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division folks who found fecal bacteria in the Oconee River.

No. 1 is a lame, catch-all excuse, so I won’t even address that.

No. 2 and 3 go hand-in-hand, but it is your own fault: You moved the successful festival from July to Memorial Day Weekend last year. What were you thinking? Surely you weren’t surprised that only a few hardcore fans (ahem … folks like me … ahem) showed up. And the ratio of attendees to media people was about 3:1.

Media attention, Redneck Games 2012

Media attention, Redneck Games 2012

That brings us to No. 4 (maybe this should have been No. 2 — har har). First of all, YUCK! Get that cleaned up! Second, just stop people from going in the river. No big deal. Give ’em some hoses or a set up a sprinkler and they will be fine.

Redneck Riviera, Redneck Games 2011

Redneck Riviera, Redneck Games 2011

I hope you will reconsider. If you embraced technology, got your website up to scratch, and started using social media effectively, you could build on all the media attention from years past and have an amazing, well-attended festival.

You should not deny the public the ability to see this:

Bobbin' for pigs' feet, Redneck Games 2010

Bobbin’ for pigs’ feet, Redneck Games 2010

Or this:

Mudpit belly flop, Redneck Games 2010

Mudpit belly flop, Redneck Games 2010

Or even this:

Stylish attendee, Redneck Games 2011

Stylish attendee, Redneck Games 2011

Please reconsider. Don’t let me down.

Old times, they are not forgotten,

Southern style

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