Compleat Redneck

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

Friday, June 27, 2003
Cletus is astounded. We seem to have twice as many readers as we thought. Of course, an as likely explanation is that people add comments under different names just too make us feel better. Bubba says he thinks that no one reads this thing and that either Cletus or I pretended to be other people and put the comments on. Cletus showed him the blogs of the people who commented about our comments section and Bubba now agrees that we didn't make them up. He says the evidence is that the other blogs are obviously written by intelligent, educated people and that leaves the two of us out. What he can't understand is why intelligent people would read this drivel to make comments so he is reserving final judgment to see if their true natures emerge. Well, no pecan pie for Mr. Smartmouth.

Cletus said that he was listening to NPR this morning and they had a segment on "hipsters". He was surprised to learn that yet again he is on the leading edge of fashion. Of course, that is only because 80's fashions seem to have come back around.

Cletus has a big weekend planned. He and Mary Ruth are headed off to Birmingham to the big Galleria Mall to check out the latest in home fashions. MR is planning to write something in next week's column. Cletus says he will definitely not be talking aout any of the "accessories" they see. After listening to NPR, Cletus says that he could make a fortune by buying up all the stuff people have stored in the 2 million self-storage places around North Alabama. That stuff is bound to back in fashion by now. What on earth is in all those storage bins? Cletus says that there have been times between wives and trailers when he needed to store a few things, but he just can't see that there can be that much stuff to be stored. Bubba said that Cletus would need a few of those bins himself if he didn't have the use of their Mama's barn. The thing with Mizz Jones barn is you have to navigate the wasps, rattlesnakes, fire ants, assorted spiders and the blackberry thicket to get to it. I wonder, is the proper term for a big bunch of blackberry vines "thicket"?

Cletus says he is going down there and pick a quart of blackberries and Mizz Jones is going to make up a big blackberry pie and he is going to eat the whole thing. We are a little doubtful about the picking part.

In response to Nate McCord, Cletus says that electric windows are a big waste of electricity. Bubba said that it didn't matter since the battery was being constantly recharged and he didn't think that there was any waste involved. They argued over that for an hour or so and then Cletus mentioined "Car Talk" on NPR and that really set Bubba off. He has been listening to "Car Talk" ever since it came on our local NPR station (he insists he only listens to NPR for "Car Talk") and he thinks that NPR should hire him instead of Tom and Ray because he is right more often than they are about what the problems are with caller's cars. I have to admit that Bubba is darn good but I am not sure the country is ready for Cletus and Bubba Jones, the Ratchet Brothers although I am sure there is a demand out there for someone to diagnose problems with 20 year old F250's.

See comments are really a dangerous thing. One little comment resulted in a whole paragraph of drivel and here we are charter members of the Society to Save the Electron. Mr. Possum is headed off to the beach next week. I wonder of he will see large numbers of beached electrons. If so, we hope he helps them back in the water, but it seems he is planning on devoting his time to eating and observing human nature.

Thursday, June 26, 2003
Since we always try to keep up with Mr. Possum, who Cletus considers to be the ulimate blogger (I think it has something to do with his fascination that a possum can type, much less compose semi-coherent sentences). We set out to do this just as we got updated to the new Blogger and it has been an adventure. So far, we have not been able to get the Holoscan flag to come up, but we really are trying. When your IT guy thinks a possum is posting on the Internet, you may have a problem. We don't have a clue how to police comments so please keep it clean since this is a family blog.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003
Cletus says he has found a motto for his life. He will adopt Hanlon's Razor (I have seen it as Heinlein's Razor which makes sense) which says: "Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity." Bubba thought for awhile and allowed that he agreed with that since a lot of the things that happen are easier explained by stupidity than malice. Elroy said that the really scary things happen when stupidity and malice marry up. Elmer, who is one of our older customers and who doesn't hear too well, said he didn't even know they were going together. Well, that caused a few minutes of confusion as we tried to explain that Elroy was not talking about real people getting married, just trying to make a joke. Elmer said as a man who had been married for 55 years, he could tell you marriage is no joking matter. Since none of us could figure out exactly what he meant, we let it drop.

After we got back to Cletus' motto, we decided that Elroy was right about the really scary part, but that there was plenty of plain old stupidity going around to satisfy all but the pickiest people.

We all read the political humor stuff posted by Mizz Indigo and we agree with her that it is not really funny. Now we are not real proponents of government trying to fix all the problems that beset us, but there are a some things we can't do ourselves. Cletus says that he always thought that the bigger the problems, the higher up in government it should be. He says it doesn't make a lot of sense to have the Federal government building community playgrounds and local governments can't provide for national defense. See, that's always happening around here, we are talking about stupidity and the next thing you now, some segues into discussion of government. Anyway, Elroy says he doesn't think that people in government are naturally stupid which comment led Cletus to ask if that meant government stupidity was learned behavior. Well, as you can see, that line of conversation was going nowhere good.

This morning, one of the rocket scientists was in and he was talking about the referendum on the tax plan. He says that it doesn't look good unless the Governor and the rest of the state leaders get out and really push for the vote over the next 10 weeks and that doesn't seem to be happening. We have an interesting situation here in Alabama. We have Republican Governor who has proposed and ushered through the legislature a large tax increase referendum. The Lt.Gov. who is a Democrat says she is not going to work to get the referendum passed and doesn't yet know if she will vote for it. Cletus thinks maybe Mizz Baxley is setting herself up to run for Governor in 2006. The rocket scientist says the tax plan will cost him a couple of thousand dollars a year, but that he will probably vote for it since the alternative looks a lot worse.

I think we got into this mess because the legislature, much like many of us individually, spent like crazy when times were good and there was nothing left in the piggy bank when times got bad. Now we have to pay the fiddler and probably the banjo player, too. Lordy, I hate paying the banjo player. It doesn't seem to be right to have to listen to a banjo and pay for it too. Cletus asked if that was one of them metaphors he has heard about. I don't think so. I just don't like banjo "music". Now I kind of like a good mandolin and guitar together, but banjo and fiddles you can have my share of. This paragraph is beginning to look like it was written by old Wally, the handyman, who has never been known to complete a sentence on a single subject so say good night Cletus.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003
Boy is Cletus upset! He just read that Mr. Possum is taking a couple of weeks off from blogging and Cletus feels that his life has been ruined. We tried to convince him that there were other learned and erudite sites, but you know Cletus. Once he gets his mind on something it is like a steel trap. You need a crowbar to open it.

Cletus says he just doesn't understand this since it seems through reading the article that the author is complaining about the government insisting it have some kind of control over the distribution of goods paid for by American citizen's tax dollars. That seems sensible to all of us here at the BBQ Emporium, but then we are only a bunch of insensitive rednecks and obviously do not understand the intricacies of international do-goodism. After all, we do think that if the American taxpayer is going to be giving out goods and services around the world, that we should get credit for it. We seem to get credit whenever anything goes wrong. It seems to us that money or goods provided to an NGO are for two reasons: to help the people receiving them and to show that the good old USA is composed of good people that you wouldn't want to hurt or kill. But then, we ain't all that smart so best ignore our ramblings.

Cletus also read some ranting about the abolition of the estate tax and how it was going to means that all the national wealth was going to migrate to a few people. Well, we agree with the sentiment. In fact, we think that all tax rates should be adjusted so that everyone ends up with the same amount of disposable cash regardless of education, the hours they work, how hard they work or any innovations they may make. Of course, we will be cutting back considerable on the operating hours of the BBQ Emporium once that happens, buy what the heck, better we all live in poverty than a few become wealthy.

Cletus says he has decided to vote for the Guv's tax plan. He doesn't have any kids. but he says he figures he is still paying for his own education. Bubba suggested that he has over paid all ready.

Monday, June 23, 2003
Cletus is fit to be tied. He just learned that there is a plan to put a quarry in on the hill down below his place. The first he heard of it was when it appeared in the newspaper. The article said that the County Commisioner was in a meeting where the whole thing was discussed, but did he bother to let his friends and neighbors know what was going on. No! Cletus said we orta just go down and shoot the people who are planning on ruining our lives. Bubba said he didn't think you could just go around shooting people even if they did deserve it. That got Cletus off on how he always knew getting police was a bad idea. According to him, in the good old days, if someone offended you, you just shot them. Now none of the rest of us remember it quite that way, but Cletus is right about it being a more polite place back in the old days when people kind of handled their own problems and didn't call the police for every little thing.

Now Cletus is not as upset as some of the people with a lot of money invested in big houses that will be overlooking the quarry and probably shaking off their foundations from the blasting. He is more concerned with the emotional impact the blasting will have on his pigs since he read somewhere that loud noises cause stress in animals and he is really serious about the "free range" pork idea and stressed out pigs don't grow as fast as those in a calming environment. I don't know. I haven't noticed a lot of difference in the pigs I get from Cletus and any others when it comes to BBQ. I told him so and he said I was a Philistine which I thought was one of them guys that the Israelites were always killing in the Bible, but that may have been the Philadelphians or Phoenicians. Anyway, I have no idea what he is talking about and I am right sure he doesn't either.

Elroy and I have an on going discussion about the correct use of "right" as used in the above sentence. He says it should only be used to connotate certainty as in: "I am right sure today is Monday". I hold to a less certain usage as in "I am right sure it will hit 90 before suppertime". Since we have long since decided to forego the finer details of grammar, we won't worry about it.

Anyway, back to the quarry. Cletus says this pretty well seals it for him. He is right certain that he will run for Commissioner. We here at the BBQ Emporium can hardly wait.

Mary Ruth is not a happy woman. Last week, I told you how she was trying to sell her editor on the idea of having a column on home decorating. Well, he didn't exactly turn her down, but he said it would have to be a part of her weekly community news column. Now, I don't know if you are familiar with small town weekly newspapers, but the community new consists of who is sick, who visited the shut-ins, what families got together and went fishing, who is seeing who, who is schedules for medical treatments that not everyone needs to know about and other important stuff. For example this week, one of the community columns says: "LD Jones is in the Huntsville Hospital to have his prostrate removed. LD has been having problems for sometime and Earline says she has had it with the twenty trips to the bathroom every night." Now that seems to me to be more information than is absolutely necessary and it also seems that if LD is prostrate, it would be awfully hard to... oh never mind. Anyway, Mary Ruth has to put her "genteel" living reviews between the usual community news and the birthdays and anniversary listings. I think she is right that wonderful words about the latest in window curtains will lose some impact when placed amidst the news of our community.