Compleat Redneck

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

Thursday, June 19, 2003
Cletus had to haul some pigs to market yesterday. You may recall that he had thought up the idea of "free range pork" since his pigs run around doing whatever they please, but he was beat out by some feller up in Ohio who is paying a premium for free range pigs. Cletus thought about taking some pigs up there to sell but it didn't seem economical to do since he would have considerable expense for gasoline and wear and tear on his F250. He ran across a couple of old boys from over on Sand Mountain who were on their way up north of Cleveland to pick up an old 1965 Chevy but he couldn't convince them to put some side boards on their trailer and haul his pigs so he just took them (the pigs) down to the local stock barn and sold them.

Cletus does pretty well with his pigs what with them running around in the woods eating acorns and hickory nuts and dining out at Bubba's on occasion such as when Bubba forgets to run them off before feeding his hogs. Since the hogs kind of come about naturally and Cletus doesn't sink a lot of money in them for feed, he makes a pretty good return on his investment. Let's see, take the price per pound and divide by the investment equals the return on investment. Oh, I seem to remember that you are not allowed to divide by zero so the ROI must be pretty high.

I asked Cletus if it would be possible for him to pay a little on his tab and he said he didn't have enough to pay it all and he just hated to put me to the trouble having to figger the difference. I tried to tell him it was no trouble at all, but he would hear of it. I think I am missing something here, but we had a couple of pieces of pecan pie and all felt better.

Cletus said the German place he and Mary Ruth went to last Saturday was right good and they served a pork cutlet that they called a schnitzel or anyway that's how he thinks it is spelled. He had his with peppers and a spicy sauce and it was good eatin'. Cletus says we should learn how to make those schnitzel things and he thinks our business would boom. I told him I couldn't handle a lot more of his business.

Cletus and Mary Ruth are back on speaking terms after their little set to over the shopping trip. The newspaper editor has agreed to let her write the column on home decorating. I'll try to post one of her columns when it comes out.

We have now suffered through a 24 hour drought. Don't know what we will do if it doesn't rain today. Maybe we will put the boats up and try driving again. I think our weather this spring has been sort of like the weather in England. A few years back, we had an old boy from England in here and he was telling us how it rained a lot and it was a lot greener in England than it is here. Well, if it gets much greener here, we won't be able to stand it. What top soil is not on its way to New Orleans has something green growing out of it. The humidity is about 110% if that is possible but the temperature has stayed down. So far it is not unpleasant.

We see that Mizz Gore here has been in the hospital and seems to be back out all ready. The way they are going with medicine these days, you can be sick and well again before you know it much less before any of your friends know it. Anyway, it is really great that she is back since we are depending on her to let us know when all our red clay top soil goes by her house way down there in Louisiana.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003
Cletus went shopping with Mary Ruth, his lady friend and potential campaign manager, this last weekend. It didn't turn out well. Having been married a number of times, Cletus knows better than to go clothes shopping with any woman since shopping is possibly the most dangerous time a man can spend with a woman. Questions such as; "Do these pants make my rear look big?" will always come up and no answer is good and before you know it, you and Rover are sleeping together. Bubba says that with his wife, the real answer is “No Dear, your rear makes your rear look big,” but he has never had the nerve to say it.

Cletus really didn’t want to spend his Saturday shopping, but this seemed like a perfectly safe trip. As you two long time readers will recall, Mary Ruth is a columnist for our local twice a week newspaper and she has been talking to the editor about starting a gracious living column now that Martha Stewart is fading from the scene. Mary Ruth says the secret to success in any endeavor is to identify the gaps in what people want and be the first to fill them. Anyway, MR wanted to visit some of the cute little stores in Huntsville and see what was coming on the scene (That’s how she talks about this stuff. Her column will be called “The Scene”, that is if she can convince the editor to let her write it.) Anyway, she needed to collect information and although Cletus told her she could learn just about anything she needed to know from a little Internet surfing, she said you needed to see the stuff in person or it just wasn’t the same.

So off they went to Huntsville. MR even agreed to go in Cletus’ new F250 since it has AC and he has painted over the electric coop writing on the doors and all the BBQ Emporium crowd agrees that it a right nice looking truck and the freshly painted flatbed looks good even if Cletus did paint it with a few spray cans. Cletus says it is jealously since he is the only one with a real truck and everyone else has boulevard pickups that you couldn’t throw a bunch of rocks on and do any real work. I have to agree with him since most of the pickups around here haven’t hauled anything heavier than a week’s groceries.

Cletus and MR went to all the malls in Huntsville and there were several of the decorating stores that MR wanted to write about. Along about noon, Cletus said that they could maybe review a restaurant for the paper so they went to German place and had a right good lunch and Cletus even paid since a MR pointed out, he had been the one who suggested they go to lunch and in her opinion, that was asking her out on a date. Cletus tried to say that since she had invited him on the shopping trip, she was the askee, but she wasn’t buying it, pun intended. Cletus told us all that so we would understand that he was being as much a gentleman as MR could have expected considering she has known him forever. I have to say that Cletus is of the old school and opens doors for ladies and even girls and women who aren’t. And, he put on his very best Sunday go to meetin’ clothes instead of his overalls and looked pretty good all dressed up. He didn’t wear a tie or coat since it was about 85 with 99% humidity, but he was dressed nice. I am just telling you this so you will know that Cletus was trying to be on his best behavior.

Well, things were going pretty good for most of the day. They went to several of the “cute” little shops and looked at the home decorating stuff on display and MR made notes on how nice the things were and talked about how her readership would appreciate the hard work she was doing in reviewing what was available to make your house a comfortable place to come home to. Most of the women around here work at least one job plus keep house and raise kids, so making their own frou-frou or whatever that stuff is called, is not something for which they have time. They need to buy the stuff ready made if they are to use it.

The problem with all this was Cletus was seeing a lot of things that sort of made his skin crawl. Now, Lord knows, Cletus is not one to question another persons taste in interior decorating what with him being more of the decorate by throwing dirty clothes around type, but some of the things they were seeing looked like something an eight year old art student with no taste or talent had let his blind dog design. There were lamps that didn’t stand straight and chairs that didn’t sit straight and lots of strange things that Cletus couldn’t even identify. He didn’t want to ask Mary Ruth any questions because he was starting to get the idea that this was not a safe shopping trip after all. So they moved on through the last mall with MR positively glowing over her discoveries and telling Cletus how she could probably get two or three columns from this one trip alone and in a couple of weeks, they could go down to B’Ham or up to Nashville and see how the people in the more cosmopolitan areas were living. Now Cletus thinks that Huntsville is at least as cosmopolitan and either of those towns, but he kept his mouth shut. In fact, he went about two hours without even breathing loud enough to be heard and when they went into the candle store and the teenage girl sprayed some kind of perfume in his direction, he stifled the sneeze and almost blew out his eardrums. He was determined to get out alive.

He says he would have too, if it hadn’t been for "The Lamp". They were in the last store and Cletus could see his escape just twenty feet away, the mall exit. Salvation was at hand. He admits it was his own darn fault. He knew better than to show interest in anything and he almost made it, but there was a lamp that caught his eye. It was multicolored in greens, reds, blues and browns which wasn’t the thing that made him notice it. Both the base and the shade were covered with fluffy feathers. The thing looked like someone had chased a goose through a briar patch and had collected the feathers ripped out by the thorns, dyed them and made the lamp. Cletus stopped and stared at it. Mary Ruth asked him what he thought of it and withoutn thinking, he told her what he really thought.

He said: “A person should never buy anything they would be embarrassed to put in a yard sale.” He really should have been paying attention to the things they had been seeing since it turns out most of the stuff MR liked fell in the same general design category and apparently “The Lamp” was her favorite.

Cletus says he may be out of a campaign manager since MR didn’t say a word all the way back from Huntsville and didn’t invite him in for pecan pie.

Next Saturday, he is going fishing.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003
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