Saturday, July 30, 2016

Can’t Be A Redneck If

Since I’m taking a break from politics, I’ve decided to also take a break from being politically correct. In that spirit and inspired by Jeff Foxworthy, here are reasons why someone cannot be a redneck.

In a recent conversation with my husband, I mentioned: I’ve never had a taste for coffee; I’ve always preferred tea. For some reason, that triggered an image of a redneck, pinky in the air, with the tea bag string and tag draped over the edge of a delicate china cup. It was such a jarring picture that I knew immediately: if you don’t drink coffee, you can’t be a redneck.

The same discussion found me admitting: I’ve also never had a taste for hard liquor. Wine and beer, yes. But whiskey? No way. (I’m discounting the Black Russians I drank when I traveled for Colgate Palmolive.) This of course made me realize that you also can’t be a redneck if you don’t drink whiskey. It doesn’t matter if you have a still in your backyard. That just makes you an entrepreneur, not a redneck. It’s like being a drug dealer doesn’t automatically make you an addict. You have to use your product, too.

Here are some other signs most of you will recognize. You can’t be a redneck if you don’t own a pickup truck. Following proper rules of logic: just because you have a truck doesn’t make you a redneck. But you simply cannot be one unless you have a truck. That’s a non-negotiable requirement.

You also can’t be a redneck if you don’t have at least one tattoo. Best if it’s patriotic, or has some woman’s name (girlfriend or your mother, no matter). A woman needs a tattoo, too. Yours should be the name of your favorite country singer. Or maybe a flower.

One requirement you might not have thought about: You can’t be a redneck if your cousins aren’t married. (Keep reading.) To each other. (I told you this wouldn’t be PC.)

Likewise if you’ve never fired a gun of any kind. It could have been for skeet shooting, target practice, hunting or in the military. Or for scaring off your daughter’s boyfriend. Or a neighbor you don’t like. Or a door-to-door salesman. Owning a gun doesn’t get you off the hook, even if it’s a rifle mounted above the windshield of your pickup. You need to have fired one for some reason; that’s a price of entry.

I’m pretty sure you also can’t be a redneck unless you have at least one bumper sticker on your car or truck. I haven’t done enough research to be sure about this, but it makes sense to me. If one of my readers will just tweet this out, I’ll consider it proof enough. And I’m pretty sure that if you’ve never ever had a vehicle up on cinderblocks in your driveway, you can’t be a redneck. Just sayin’.

If you’ve never attended a state fair, you’re no redneck. And you’re missing out on a great experience. If you don’t care about the livestock displays or baked goods contests, if you don’t eat spun sugar (aka cotton candy or candy floss), and don’t enjoy carnival rides, at least go to one to people watch. It’s way more fun than a trip to Walmart.

You can’t be a redneck unless you’ve stood around waiting for someone to light up a cherry bomb, an ash can or a six-inch salute. And especially if your brother didn’t tell you when it was lit; he just ran. And you still have ringing in your ears because it took a few seconds before you realized what was going on.

If you believe the “Dueling Banjos” scene in the movie Deliverance is a classic, you definitely can’t be a redneck. And finally, if you support Hillary Clinton for President, I doubt you’re a redneck. (I couldn’t resist at least a whiff of politics.)

I know there are many more criteria on which to assess whether or not someone could be a redneck. Probably as many ways as there are to peg someone as a pompous intellectual…

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