Compleat Redneck

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

Thursday, April 17, 2003
Mizz Gore asks how my Mama was able to holler William Joseph out the back door to call me to supper if she wouldn't allow anyone to call me by two names. The simplest answer is that Mama Rules don't apply to Mama. The Cletus answer is that we never needed to be called for supper. We usually made supper at both his and my house once we got to know each other. You couldn't be late if you expected to eat. Of course that still leaves the times when mama felt it was necessary to express her displeasure at things I may have inadvertently done to aggravate her so I have to admit I was occasionally called William Joseph but never Billy Joe.

Posting has been light for the last few days. The Tennessee River Valley is intent on killing me and a lot of other people and is dern near succeeding since the pollen count is through the roof. It is now raining a little and washing the air. Maybe things will start to look up. Cletus doesn't seem to have allergies which he attributes to his manly outdoor lifestyle. Bubba says that it is because there is no room for the pollen considering how much Cletus eats and besides, he spends less time outside than any woodcutter we ever heard of.

We are waiting for the story of Mr. Possum's adventure with the home repair people. Cletus says he thinks it will be a goodun.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003
We have had number of requests to give a little background on the BBQ Emporium and its denizens. Okay, we got one such request, but considering the number of people who read this, that is a rteal groundswell. We learned "denizens" from the web and Cletus has been talking about a groundswell of support for his County Commission Candidacy. Back to the background. ( Did you notice there was almost a pun in the last sentence?)

As you who are familiar with the Southern United States, we are right partial to two first names such as Jim Bob, Billy Joe, Mary Ruth and Sally Jo. My Mama wasn't going to ahve any of that so she named me William Joseph and always called me William. She wouldn't put up with anyone even calling me Will or Bill since she was determinde that I would not be one of those people called by two first names. Our familiy name is Roberts. Mama's plan would have probably worked except out elementary school was one of those old three room, two teacher country ones and when I started school, it was in a room with second and third graders. First graders alone would not have picked up on the obvious (in hindsight) conjunction of names. When Mizz Johnson, my first grade teacher read out my full name, the third graders immediately started to calling me Billy Joe Bob. The life Mama had planned for me ended that day. Iwas forever branded. Now I could have gotten away with dropping one name out of two as I got older, but three first names was just too much. I tried to get people tp call me Bill or Joe or even Bob, but I was stuck with three names.

I planned to leave here and go off to college, but I was afraid that the names would follow me and I would be laughed out of the big city so instead of college, I opened BillY Joe Bob's Barbeque. Somehow, it just seemed the right thing to do. Combine an almost perfect Southern name with the perfect Southern food. Okay, BBQ isn't fried, but it is still nigh on to perfect.

Cletus has been my best friend since we were in the seventh grade. He went to the grades 1-12 school over in the town and we met when I went there in the 7th grade. Cletus was know as Ulysses then since that is his real name. His Mama always liked that story of the Greek wars and the great adventure Ulysses had getting back home and she just naturally had to name one of her boys Ulysses. That also turned out to be not such a good idea. See, Cletus' Mama wasn't real interested in history and completely missed that part about the American Civil War or the War of Northern Agression or Recent Unpleasantness as some of the older ladies called it. An Alabama boy named Ulysses was lucky if he lived to adulthood. Even worse, she gave Cletus her maiden name Simpson as a middle name making him Ulysses S. Jones. Cletus and I just had to end up friends. Cletus' daddy says that the story about the Greeks is not true. He says that Cletus' Mama knew all about U.S. Grant and named Cletus Ulysses S. out of sheer meanness. Of course, Mr. Jones does spend as much time away from Mizz Jones as he can and may be just trying to make her look bad. Cletus says that they love each other, they just don't like each other.

As we grew older, Cletus grew to be a right large man and at some point, decided he wanted to be called Cletus. When you are big enough, you can be choose to be called whtever you want.

Later, I'll tell you more about how we came to have the BBQ Emporium.

Everything we write in this weblog is true. The truest parts may be those we make up.

Elroy asked if we had heard about Clyde's new neighbor. Clyde is the Great Mugwamp or whatever the chief idiot is called, of the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. Back when Clyde formed the local chapter, or should that be khapter, we asked him why he thought that there was a need for it in our little community. He said that if we had any sense, we would know that if we didn't do something, in no time we would be overrun with blacks, jews and Chinese. That was a little weird since we had only had one familiy move in in the previous 20 years and we didn't think they really counted as new since the man was from here and had spent 20 years in the Navy and was just moving back home and besides, several of us had some really good acreage we would have liked to foist on this potential teeming mob of newcomers. Lord knows, no one around here would pay what we wanted.

Well as often happens, Clyde was able to get a half dozen other idiots to join the Koven or whatever you call a chapter of the KKK. Cletus has a theory that you can get a few people to sign on for any hairbrained idea. They had a great time parading in their sheets and even tried once to intimidate a woman in the community who invited a black co-worker from over at the Arsenal to spend a Saturday on her farm. We would have stepped in and done something except she marched into their next meeting and let them know how bad she would feel about killing a relative or neighbor, but she would if anyone tried to burn a cross in her yard. Since then, they have kept a pretty low profile except for their annual appearance at the town Christmas parade. We mostly ignore them since we don't believe they are smart enough to do much harm.

Now old Clyde was so concerned about the community at large that he wasn't paying attention when old Mizz Edwards put the property that abuts his on the market and it was bought by one the Smith boys who had been off in the Air Force. The Smith boy is building a house and wants to put in a good sized fish pond so he is building right close to the property line which puts his house about two hundred feet from Clyde's. His wife is black! Old Clyde is fit to be tied. The Klan would do something about it if they could but one of the first things the Smith boy did was show Clyde his collection of really big guns and tell him about the markmanship awards he has earned.

A couple of the Koven members are trying to talk Clyde into doing something but he says there ain't much they can do what with the law just waiting to jump on you.

Cletus says that apparently, old Clyde is nearly as stupid as we thought he was.

Our buddy Ali was in yesterday. We always keep some chicken for him since he doesn't eat pork what with him being a Muslin. Ali is originally from Lebanon and came here 30 years ago to attend college. He says he came on a football scholarship but Cletus says he doesn't think that is right since Ali went to the University of Alabama-Huntsville and UAH doesn't even play football. Ali who is more of a redneck than Cletus always gets all het up when Cletus says that and calls him an ignorant hillbilly. That really gets under Cletus' skin since he was raised in the valley not the hills. It is almost as much fun as listening to Bubba and Cletus. I think Ali played soccer not football but I stay out of their arguments.

Ali got off on the Iraq war. He is not a real fan of the Baathists. He went several years not being able to contact his family in Lebanon because of the Syrians and the Lebanese civil war. Anyway, Ali says that he hopes the majority of Arabs who are not terrorists can now start improving their living conditions and maybe get some industry.

Cletus says that if I am going to call this weblog "Compleat Redneck", then I need to define "redneck". I'll try later.