Compleat Redneck

Commentary from the boondocks. If it makes any sense, it is just by chance.

Friday, January 31, 2003
Cletus came in this morning looking a little down in the dumps. I asked him if someone had died and he said he was just depressed because he had finally figured out why he hates Boomers. Well, you woulda thought someone had thrown a polecat through the screen door when he said that. See, about 100% of our elite clientele are more or less "Boomers" mostly more as very few people who come in here are on diets. Let me tell you, I might carefully cut off the fat from the pork I barbeque to make it healthier, but hushpuppies (deep fat-fried cornmeal), french fries (deep fat-fried spuds) cole slaw ( cabbage with lots of mayonaise) and a pound or so of pork BBQ are not going to take the weight off. Where was I? Oh, Boomers. Well seeing as most of us are Boomers we naturally looked hard in Cletus' direction although we tried to make sure he did notice us looking hard at him and grinned real big when he looked our way. Have I ever mentioned that Cletus is a large man, or that he spends his days cutting and loading wood or that he has always been thought of as being just a little crazy since that Clayton Sims thing I wrote about a while ago?

Cletus didn't pay us no mind. He just sat down with a couple pieces of pecan pie and a gallon of non-skim milk and sat about drowning his sorrows. Finally someone asked him why he hated Boomers?

He finished off his milk and pie and looked around at the gathered audience.

"I get up and go to work everyday more or less. I went to Viet Nam when the draft board called me even though I didn't know where the place was. I work with the Boy Scouts, coach Little League and help out in the food pantry whenever I can. I ain't never done anything bad to anybody what I didn't feel bad and apologize and try to make it up to them. I don't make a lot of money but I share it with people who have less than me. I ain't no saint, but I go to Church regular and try to be a good neighbor. I been married and divorced a bunch, but I never hit or abused no woman or youngun. The best truck I ever owned is the old F250 and I bought it real used. You could buy a house like mine for the price of a good mess of greens. I don't think I'll ever be rich and I figure I'll work on the day I die. All I ever wanted was to have a family and friends. I love my country although I ain't crazy about a lot of the politicians, but them damn Boomers have ruined it for me. All I hear from the "experts" is how selfish I am and how I only care about what I want just because I was born in 1948. Sommers out there are them damn boomers who have ruined it for the all of us who just happen to have been born in certain years and I hate 'em."

Well, we all kind of relaxed because we probably aren't Boomers either since we are all a lot like Cletus except for all them wives and divorces.

See you next week when our special will be deep fat-fried catfish filets, hushpuppies, your choice of taters and a side of cole slaw: $4.99. Don't forget to ask for a piece of our homemade pecan pie: $1.99. All you can drink Sweet Tea: $1.00. Unsweet Tea: You gotta be kidding.

Thursday, January 30, 2003
Cletus here. Old Billy Joe Bob had to let me on his computer to put some new links over on the left. The truth is the boy ain't half bright, bless his heart. If he couldn't cook up a storm, he would be as useless as submarine in a desert. As you can see, I don't really need him to translate for me as I write pretty good English even if I do say so, and I speak it at least as good as he does, which by the way is not saying a lot.

As you can see, I added Mizzes Yourish, Morawski and Indigo. Now I would have spelled that Mrs. or Miss but I don't know which so I just used the age old Southern spelling Mizz. We been reading Mizzes Yourish and Morawski for a long time, but just discovered Mizz Indigo (Ain't that a cute name) after Mr. Possum linked to her post about the use of the term "Bless her (or his ) Heart" and other things we commonly say a round here.

As for Bubba's question about all you nice folk being real, I know you are even if you are generated by a million Pentium processors working in parallel trying to reproduce all of Shakespeare's works and the blogosphere is just the waste electrons.

Could be you know. They got to send all them leftover electrons somewhere.

Cletus says he is thrilled by all the nice people he has met through blogging. I asked him when he started blogging and he said he was talking about this blog since he seems to be the source of all the good ideas. Bubba said that he thought Cletus should start his own blog. Said he could call it Gas From Cletus and share with the blogosphere all his deep and interesting thoughts and besides how did he know any of the people writing blogs were real. Cletus said he knows he is real. I pointed out that Mr. Possum doesn't believe that Cletus is real and that we had never received the Dreamland BBQ for when we were inducted into the Axis of Weevil. Cletus said that was probably because Mr. Oglesby didn't trust me to not try reverse engineering the recipe and therefore putting the AOW in a legal problem with the Dreamland folks and he just couldn't risk it. Bubba rolled his eyes and said that Cletus had been hanging around the rocket scientists too much and wasn't Cletus getting high-falutin with all his fancy talk about engineering and legal problems.

Cletus said that he was just trying to understand the concerns of his constituency ( I think what he said was concerns of his constitents, but I do a lot of translating when I quote Cletus) since he has to have his platform nailed down soon if he is to beat all those other fellows out of the gate. Bubba asked where he was building this platform and said he better not be using any lumber he just happened to find down on the cow farm. Cletus said that it was already obvious that he would be spending half his campaign time answering questions about his half-bright brother and that he was talking about his campaign platform not some stand-alone porch or something. Bubba said he thought a stand-alone porch was called a Gazebo not a platform.

I left them arguing over pecan pie. That doesn't sound right. They are arguing while eating pecan pie.

I read Indigo's Insights post about talking Southern. Most of the things that Cletus says I write in normal English since I would spend more time explaining what he said than writing it if I wrote it how he said it which is a lot like this sentence except he uses words like "feller" and "fixin to" and colorful expressions for politicians that I can't write in a "G" rated blog.

We are proud Southerners here at the BBQ Emporium but our Gramma always said you should always try to make your guests feel welcome and don't make them guess where the outhouse is. I think Gramma made that up on her own since she never owned a copy of Emily Post's book.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003
Cletus got to talking about the Iraq thing and said it reminded him of when he was a little kid and Clayton Sims was taking kids lunch money. Clayton was a whole lot bigger than the other kids and he would hide in the bushes and wait for them to come along, jump out and take their lunch money. Their choices were give him the 25 cents or get beat up. The kids who could afford to brought extra lunch money and those that couldn't went hungry. Clayton grew bigger and fatter and braver as the year went on and even took to taking the money right in the classroom with ther teacher watching. He would walk in and everyone would give him the money. The teacher never suspected anything since all the kids were afraid to tell on Clayton.

Well, Cletus was the lone exception mostly because he usually brought a biscuit and baloney from home what with his familiy not having a lot and his Daddy being out of work. Along about Christmas, Mr. Jones got a job over in Huntsville and when school started back in January, Cletus had his 25 cents for a real school lunch with milk and dessert and everything. About ten in the morning the class went to gym. Everyone saw Clayton jump out of the bushes tell Cletus to give him his lunch money. The next thing they saw was Clayton hitting the ground out cold. A few thought Cletus had killed him although they couldn't figure out how a 90 pounder could kill a 180 pounder. After that Clayton gave up on the lunch money taking business. He almost never bullied anyone and when he did, his heart didn't seem to be in it.

We all remembered it happening and we sat and thought about it after Cletus retold it. Finally someone asked: "Cletus, exactly how did you manage to knock old Clayton down?"

Cletus grinned. "You remember how we had to wrap our books in brown paper to protect them. Well that day I had a big old red brick wrapped up like a book. When I hit Clayton up side his head with the brick, he hit the ground. Seems to me Old Saddam needs to be hit up side his head with a big old brick."

Cletus found this over at Rachel Lucas' site. He says it reminds him of the time Billy Ray Smith got suspended from his job as a mailman or rural letter carrier as Billy Ray insists on being called. It was during one of the times when there was a rash of shootings in Post Offices. The day before Billy Ray's suspension, there had been shootings at two Post Offices. Billy Ray was in early as always sorting the mail for his route and listening to the conversation of all the other rural letter carriers who were carrying on about the previous days postal incidents and how awful it was and how you just never knew when someone would go crazy from the pressure of working in the Post Office and start shooting people. Billy Ray who had served two tours in Viet Nam, one as an Infantryman and one as a doorgunner didn't consider the Post Office a high stress job since getting shot at got on his nerves a lot more than old Mizz Snodgrass' gripes about her mail. He listened to the whining and said nothing until he was ready to leave on his route when he said; "Yep, that's right, you never know when one of them Nam vets may go off his rocker and start shooting people". He left without another word and went out to deliver his mail. When he returned that afternoon, there was a Postal Inspector there to investigate his "threat" against the Postmistress and he was suspended with pay during the investigation.

Well, he came into the BBQ Emporium everyday of his suspension on his way hunting or fishing and kept us up to date on the progress of the inspection. About a month later, he was reinstated and went back to work, tanned and rested as he called it. He still laughs about it today. The investigator found that he had only repeated something the Postmistress had said and Billy Ray's wife was the substitute letter carrier and they used the extra money she got for her month substituting for him to build a nice porch on the doublewide.

The Postmistress asked to be reassigned to a more "civilized' town. Bless her heart.

Mr. Possum posted some more from his book on writing. He didn't write the book he got it for Christmas. I think this blog is a perfect example of what the book writer was talking about. You'll notice that we are a little free form here since that's the ways our conversations go and it just wouldn't sound right if I were to go making little coherent sentences as if I were a real educated writer type person since that would be getting above my raisin' and Cletus would really make fun of me even more than he already does so you can see why this blog reads the way it does. If you think this is bad, you should read our local weekly paper the one Cletus' girlfriend Mary Ruth writes for it is really freeform and it has a real editor and everything. Cletus says that I need to use more punctuation so please note the use of random commas.

Mr. Possum would probably disagree about the editor being real educated since he is an Alabama graduate but around here we take whatever education we can get.

Colder than all get out around here then it starts to rain. Ever see Alabama red clay when it is wet? How about walking in it? Well, Cletus came in this morning with the stuff all over his boots. Said he had been helping Bubba with the cows and there was a washout and he had to run through the clay to get a cow back in the pasture. I asked him if was absolutely necessary for him to track it in here. Cletus said he sat up last night and watched the State of the Union speech and now thinks he may have to be a Republican afterall. He really liked the part about the family of four making $40,000 only paying $45 in taxes because it showed the President was thinking about the little guy. He said he has been trying to figure out how much a single guy working as cutting wood will save in taxes. Bubba pointed out that Cletus had never reported any income so it didn't really matter how much taxes were cut since he didn't pay any.

Cletus ignored him and went on to his view of the President's other points. He said he really liked the part about the AIDS help to Africa because he figures we should try to help those less fortunate than ourselves. It's sort of like visiting the sick and shut-in, taking them meals and helping around the house with things they need done. He said he thinks the President made a pretty good case for going to war with Saddam but he is concerned about the younguns in the service. Cletus and Bubba have some nieces and nephews in the National Guard and Reserves and we all have friends in the military. We get some soldiers from over at Redstone in here and several of them are gone overseas so we naturally worry.

Cletus says that from what he had read about this Saddam fellow, he ain't all there and you don't know what he will do next. We all agreed that the time has come to do something, but we are still worried.

After Cletus got down off his soapbox, I showed him all the red clay he dragged in and he is down cleaning up his mess. I can see he is building up a real appetite.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003
Cletus says he is confused by all the talk he hears that the Iraq thing is just about oil. He says that since the US is the one pushing the sanctions (That's what he reads) then if the US needs Iraq's oil, just lift the sanctions. He says that he obviously needs to think aout that some more since he has to be missing something. Afterall, some movie actors say it is about oil and they obviously know more than he does.

Cletus says he is a little nervous about the position some of the national Democrats are taking. He says he has about half decided to run for Commissioner as a Democrat and if there really are bugs, gas and nukes in Iraq, there might be a backlash against Democrats that would cost him the election. Bubba said that he doubted any backlash would make it all the way down to the County level since we don't have a lot of Republicans around here when we are voting for local offices. See, we like to get the local stuff out of the way during the Democratic Primary and save the Fall for hunting and other important things.

So Cletus fixed me an email address so that people could write and comment on the entertaining and stimulating things they read here. It is not working out quite as I expected. Oh, I got a couple of emails from Mr. Possum and few other nice people, but most have been from people offering me ways to get rich using my computer. Now if I knew enough about this computer to get any money using it, I might just give up the old BBQ Emporium. I bet you don't have to start the computer money making business as early in the morning as you start the BBQ.

Reminds me of the time one of the rocket scientists told Bubba that he was going to get into the cattle business. Bubba told him there was no money in the cattle business and he had better be careful. About a year later the rocket scientist told Bubba that he was wrong about there not being money in the cattle business. He said: "There is $50,000 of my money in the cattle business." Seems to me that a person could put a lot of his money into the work from your home computer business just like he can the cattle business.

Cletus read this over my shoulder and says he thinks the problem with me not getting email is the lack of entertaining and stimulating posts.

It has been so cold around here that we have not had a lot of customers. We Alabamans handle snow pretty well except for the getting to school and work part, but cold weather really lays us up. Of course we consider 40* cold. This last week it hit 0* a couple of times and we had to shut down the State. (Cletus was reading over my shoulder and says I should have spelled it "Alabamians". Bubba says he doesn't know what he is talking about. Why on earth would we ever add an extra syllable in there. We only do that on one syllable words. Anyway, they are out in the dining room arguing about that so choose whichever spelling you like.) OK, where was I? Oh, yeah. It has been cold around here. Bobby Joe Terrell says his water was froze up and his wife is really upset at him since she told him to get out there and cover up the pipe he had been working on before it turned cold. Bobby Joe went hunting instead and then he had to take Friday off from work to fix his pipes. Of course that only took about an hour and he spent the rest of the day in here. He trys to match Cletus bite for bite in the eating department. Since Bobby Joe pays for his eats, it works out pretty good for the ole BBQ Emporium bottonline.

Cletus told Bobby Joe that he was running for County Commissioner. Bobby Joe got real excited about that. Seems he always wanted to operate a backhoe and if Cletus gets to be County Commisioner, he figures he can get on the County payroll as a backhoe operator. Cletus told him that he wasn't planning on any patronage jobs. Bobby Joe said he didn't know what a patronage was and anyway he wanted to be a backhoe operator. Cletus asked if it would have killed Bobby Joe to have listened just one day in school. Bobby Joe said he did. He remembers the day that Mr. Smith took the boys out and told them about the difference between boys and girls. Cletus said that was when they were in the 10th grade and Bobby Joe was the only one who hadn't figured it out for himself by then.

Bubba said that it was turning into the stupidest conversation he had ever heard. He asked if Bobby Joe and Cletus would like to go down to his farm and help him feed his cows. Bubba is one of them gentleman farmers. He has about 300 head of cattle and usually has a hired hand to take care of them. His hand is laid up with the flu that is going round and Bubba is having to feed the cows himself. He says his hand gets sick whenever the weather gets bad.

I had better get to work since I see some of the rocket scientists have just pulled into the parking lot. They may not be as entertaining as Cletus, but at least they pay for what they eat.

Monday, January 27, 2003
Cletus says he has been wondering why I never comment on the Iraq and North Korea situations. I told him it was because I didn't know anything other than what I read in the paper. He said he had been thinking about it and had called the NY Times to give his opinion, but they didn't seem interested. Bubba said that he agreed with the NY Times assessment but that he was sure we would hear what Cletus thought anyway. Cletus said that he didn't really know what the right thing to do is, but that his opinion was at least as valid as some actor's. Everyone in the BBQ Emporium agreed with him on that.