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Redneck Economics

There is a group of folks—varied in degrees, I might add—who are commonly known as rednecks. I am among said group, but consider myself to be far to one side of the scale, and at times unrecognizable as one of the members.

One particular facet of the group—mostly men, but I’ve come across a few ladies who fit the bill—believe it is only necessary to work when they run out of money. Typically, they have very few bills—utilities and a cell phone are the most common—and as a general rule they are two to three months behind on the monthly installments for those basic necessities. Another basic to the lifestyle is an older car or pickup—paid for—which is usually uninsured and often broke-down.

The following is a perfect illustration:

redneck-golfer-9688051On one of the many Saturdays my buddy Jaybird and I played golf while I lived in Spicewood Beach, we were accompanied by several of the local rednecks that subscribe to the theory of redneck economics. Jaybird, by the way, is one of the hardest working guys I know. I jokingly called him a slacker one day, and he still holds me in contempt for the remark. Every now and then—out of the blue—he’ll look at me with fire in his eyes and say, “Slacker, huh?”

One of the guys among the seven or eight in our “foursome” was a long-haired fellow in his late forties. Our little golf course was never crowded, so the group could sometimes be more than the prescribed four that applies on a “real” golf course. We had a hard-and-fast rule though: No more than eight to a foursome.

This guy was the epitome of the sub-group I speak of, and while we were standing in one of the fairways, waiting our turn to hit, he sighed and said, “Jaybird, looks like I’m gonna have to git back to work.” It was common knowledge he hadn’t worked for a month or so.

Jaybird sarcastically replied, “Sorry to hear that, bub. How come you have to go back to work?”

The guy turned his head slowly, stared at Jaybird with one eye closed and the other one narrowed to a slit. The expression on his face was one that imparted the idea, he didn’t know if he should fight Jaybird, or leave him alone because he was just plain stupid. Finally, the suspense at a riveting pitch, he spit on the ground then looked back at Jaybird and said—he said this as if he were talking to someone who couldn’t understand English, or the basic principles of life in general–“I’m out of freakin’, money, dumb-ass!”

I cannot explain “redneck economics” any better than that.

 

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Some Peoples’ Cats

The only cat I ever owned was an orange and white striped little ball of terror I named, Nashville after the 1966 hit song, Nashville Cats, by The Lovin’ Spoonful. The cat was cool in a terrifying kind of way.

Problem was, you see, I was not necessarily meant to own a cat. I played pretty rough with the little critter, and loved to scare the daylights out of him every chance I got. The roughhousing made him mean, and constantly scaring him caused him to be sneaky.

Nashville catAs the ornery little critter started growing up, he figured he owed some payback to humans, and I had to warn anybody who came to visit. Still, even when they knew it might happen, he still scared them pretty good. He’d hide behind the couch, or a curtain, and come flying out, pounce on a hand or foot, hiss, growl, then vanish. I got used to it, but visitors… not so much.

I finally had to give Nashville away when my first son Billy was born. It was immediately apparent the cat thought the new human in the cage (crib) was fair game, and the first time we found it crouched below the crib twitching its tail, it was goodbye, Nashville Cat. We gave him to some “friends” of ours. Funny… they never spoke to us after that.

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‘At Ain’t No Bunk!

Ah seed a young feller in a lil blue car

Ah node ride away heez a row-day-o star

Is bucket-sized at wuz black azz night

Wuz a look on ‘is face, sayed he’s a ready ta fight

 

calf roper

Ah node loss a cowboyz long time aygo

Most from a drugstore an not row-day-os

They chawed toobaca, cussed an drunk beer

Wore pointy-toe boots an was never afeared

 

They rode ‘em a bull, wuz juss a machine

An roped a old cow a munchin its feed

Them boyz wood fight if a dood drop ‘is ‘at

Or if a consarn galoot hit dare boot winny spat

 

Yep, ah use-ta ride wit a orneree bunch

We rode are horze an got are nose puncht

Them wuz a dayz when we wuz fulla some spunk

Now it’s cowchiz we ride, an ‘at ain’t no bunk

 

Copyright © 2012 C. Mashburn

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Buzz Cut!

Hair cuttin’ ain’t changed much in the last fifty or so years. They still cover you with that sheet thingy to keep the hair off you, the chairs are pretty much the same, and they still use those darn clippers. I don’t like hair clippers, mainly because the noise they make when you turn them on makes me nervous. They make a loud clacking noise then settle into an electric hum, but it’s the initial “clack” that gets to me. The sound tends to summon up some real bad memories that get my eyes wide and my old ticker to thumpin’.

Okay. Some of you are out there snickering and saying, “Oh? This is the dude that ain’t afraid a nothing?”

Well let me tell you something: I used to be afraid; I used to be scared to death. The situations that made me afraid varied, but the source was always the same… my old man. One of the times he scared me the most, was on those Saturday mornings he’d set me down in a dining room chair in the kitchen for what he called a “hair cut”.

The problem was, he wasn’t any good at cutting hair, and that, combined with the fact it scared the daylights out of me just being in the same room with him, made for one gut-twisting Saturday morning.

Dad was a crew cut, flat top, kinda guy, and boy when the Beatles hit the States, you shoulda heard him cuss them boys. He didn’t like long hair on a boy. He was a red neck all the way.

My brothers and I should have been so lucky as to be able to sport a nice crew-cut or flat-top, but due to the old man’s lack of expertise with the clippers, we spent the majority of our childhood with what’s known as a “buzz-cut”. He always set out to do a regular cut, but it just never quite worked out. Seems it always came down to that last little finishing touch, an “oops”, a cussing fit, then… buzz cut.13162050_10208195540359540_322867260_n

Many times, sitting in that chair for thirty minutes or longer all tensed up with fear was almost more than I could take. The guy meant well, and I’m sure he would’ve sent us to the barber if he’d been able to afford it, but I wonder sometimes if he knew, or cared, what he was doing to us. Sometimes, I think he knew full well the fear he instilled in us, and I think he enjoyed it. And, I don’t think that was a good thing. A kid shouldn’t have to live in constant fear of a parent.

Things have changed; not for all kids, but I’d say for the majority of them. Parents today give their children a lot more say in what happens in their lives. It’s a two edged sword though, and I’m not so sure the way it is now is better than the way it was then. It seems to me there is a severe lack of discipline, which has led to a generation of young people who have little and many times absolutely no respect for their parents, or, for that matter, adults in general. I think we might have gone too far the other direction, if you know what I mean.

 

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Beside Myself

About four summers ago, I was driving through the small east Texas burg of Trinity in my old pickup when I suddenly found myself beside myself—in an odd sort of way. A carload of teenage boys had slid to a halt in the lane to my left, and it didn’t take me but a second to realize I was to be their entertainment til the light changed. Read the rest of this entry »

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It Was Bound To Happen!

This is a true story. It happened in the summer of 1998 when Sherry and I lived in Pflugerville. It was a dawning of the ages, I suspect. I hope it brings a smile to your face; it does mine, every time I read it.

The Grouchy Old Man

 Was not long ago this happenin’ happent

On a Saturday as I best recall

Out the window I saw some kids in a tree

And thought, what if they should fall Read the rest of this entry »

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Figments Of My E-magination

old guy computerIt’s kind of weird having friends you’ve never laid eyes on. Same is true for all the old friends from the past. Haven’t seen some of them in 50 years, but it’s almost like you’ve spent your whole life with them. Except when they post their picture… THAT changes everything! Read the rest of this entry »

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