Compleat Redneck

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

Thursday, July 10, 2003
Cletus just read Larry Anderson's account of his speeding tickets and would like to remind everyone that he himself has a ticket from the Alabama Highway Patrol for doing over 160 in a 50. Of course, he says technically he was never doing over 160 in the 50 since he was braking real hard the whole time except when he turned around and tried to get away.

By the way, he has seen the alleged fast Mercedes and it is a piece of junk. Won't even run! I pointed out that Larry has never said that it was running now. Cletus says that if you say a car will do 140, then it orta run, not be up on blocks. Elroy said that just showed that old Larry is a classy redneck. He has a Mercedes up on blocks while the best most of us can do is an old Ford Falcon. Of course, Hyard (I think his name is Howard, but since I have never seen it written down, I spell it the way we say it) down the road has a whole bunch of 65-67 Mustangs up on blocks so he may be classy too.

Cletus said he still was not impressed with the Mercedes since he didn't think it wasn't nearly as quick as a 67 Dodge R/T. Elroy replied that he figgered that was true but the Mercedes would go around corners and had real brakes.

Anyway happy birthday to Mr. Oglesby that other lover of fine automobiles.

Blogging would be a lot easier if I had ever learned how to type. Of course, my top speed of three words a minute allows me plenty of time to think about what I am saying (Okay, so it doesn't show) but it would be nice to get up to the blinding speed of that great American and my second childhood hero (apologies to Lewis Grizzard) Terry Oglesby who I am certain can hit 30 or 40 words a minute for short stretches without all the mistakes that creep in here which I have to correct the next day.

Why if I could type 30 words a minute, I could tell all the things Cletus says and does. That consists mostly of eating and talking (talking being how he says things) so maybe I already do tell it all.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003
Cletus read where the The Possum's Boy hurt his ankle and said it reminded him of the time old Jerry Dale Evans racked himself up with the Harley. That set everyone's head anodding as we sort of savored the memory. We are well stocked with crazy people around here, in fact, there are those who say we are well over our fair share. But old Jerry Dale was over on one of those little mustaches on the Bell Curve of craziness where any sembalnce of normality has ceased to exist. (Note the pun! We are on a roll today) JD learned about Harleys at his Daddy's side and by the time he was in high school, he had his own little Harley repair shop. He had gone to work for the local Harley dealer as soon as he turned 16, but they brought in one of the Japanese bike lines (rice burners JD called them) and JD quit because he refused to be on the same premises as non-Harley iron. He never has owned a car as far as any of us know. He rides his Hog regardless of the weather and sneers at the rest of us for not having taste.

Strangely, JD decided he could improve on perfection and got into the Harley hotrodding business and turned out to be right good at it. People came from all over to get him to make their Hogs faster and more reliable. This was in the days before Harley sold out to the bowling machine company and before they went independent again and started building reliable bikes. JD's specialty was big 100 CI motors. He would take an old Harley 52 or 74 (I think those are the right numbers) and make them into big motors with way too much power for any sane person.

When he first set out to build a big motor, he had some problems and it was starting to get him down. We all noticed that he was having some kind of problem because he got where he hardly ever beat anyone up and we would see him out without his leathers and Bubba even saw him riding in a pickup with a woman. We thought he had found a woman friend and was trying to act semi-normal. Now this was back in the days before Hogs became fashionable and JD ran with a pretty rough crowd. It wasn't like the Starbucks crowd that seems to ride Harleys today. Cletus says it has gotten so you don't know whether to laugh or run when you see a feller on a Harley. In days we are talking about, Harley riders tended to be purty rough people and in saying riders, I am talking aout the women. The drivers were nuts.

JD came into the Emporium for breakfast one morning and Cletus just asked him right out what was the matter. It was like someone lifted one of them big old Hogs off him. He started talking about his problem. It seems his big old motor was causing a problem at higher speeds. At around a hundred, the whole bike started to sort of rotate about the motor. As he described it, the front would sort of twist around and a rotating wave would go from the front to the back of the bike and then repeat. It was scary sounding. He and Cletus talked a while about what he had done to solve the problem and some of the rocket scientists got into the talk and they were having good old time. JD loud how it made him a little nervous when it happened and he didn't feel he could sell one of his motors till he solved the problem. Everyone agreed that it made sense to fix it before letting someone out on the street. 0ne of the rocket scientists asked if the vibration went away when JD slowed the bike down. "Yep", he said, "and the funny thing is, it stops if'n you crank it on up to about 110. Right then and there, we all decided that JD was far crazier than anyone else we knew.

A few months later, JD came in for breakfast with casts on his right arm and both legs. We all figgered that he had had a wreak on one of his bikes, but as tetchy as he can be, no one wanted to ask. Of course, Cletus finally did. This is the story. Seems JD had one of his big old Hogs in for a clutch and was testing it on a stand when the bike jumped off. He broke his bones when he threw himself between the bike and the wall of his shop so the paint would not be damaged.

I couldn't make this stuff up.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003
Cletus put a visitor counter on the Blog and now we at the BBQ Emporium are getting seriously worried. There are far more people at least looking at the site than we ever imagined. Now we really are starting to question the sanity of the world. Even worse, Cletus helped old Kudzuboy put a counter on his page and he seems to be getting a lot more hits than us. Explain that if you can? There you get the story of his weekend and here you get stimulating repartee yet more people go there.

Oh, sorry, Bubba says he bets it is just Cletus opening the pages to see if the numbers goes up. That makes sense, but why does he have to look so much more often on Kudzu's page?

If there are more than two people reading this, we'll have to try to improve the writing. That will be hard. We will probably have to go to college at Auburn and to exacerbate the situation, we would have to be a denizen of Opelika.

Cletus is all excited that his hero Mr. Possum has returned from vacation. He slunk around here last week like he had lost his best friend and the friend took the old F250 when he left. Buibba told him that the Possum man didn't take the F250 since he coulda never got all them younguns in it and there ain't no way Mizz Reba would ever let him put them in the bed for such a long trip what with it raining and all. Elroy said he thought that the bed of a pickup was the best place for younguns cause then you didn't have to listen to them. Bubba said he thought that the Possum family was probably more sophisticated than the average BBQ Emporium denizen (boy, I love that word. My favorites are exacerbate and Opelika which may get slipped into this before it is finished) and were past letting children ride in the bed of a pickup since it is not the safest thing to do. One more cherished redneck tradition bites the dust on the horns of safety and propriety. Why it's getting so that you can't even shoot someone who really deserves it. Not like the good old days at all.

Anyway, Cletus is happy that Mr. Possum is back and he thinks we orta flatter him by imitating his style and writing about how we spent our Fourth. We orta talk about the barbeques we did and how we got together for fireworks and the good time we had. I told him that after cooking up a lot more BBQ for the Fourth, I didn't go home and barbeque anything else. In fact, I had a nice salmon fillet with a dill sauce, a light spinach salad, a blueberry and strawberry pie with whipped cream topping (red, white and blue) and a nice glass of wine. Cletus said I was being un-American or at least un-redneck and he thought I was getting above my raising.

Bubba said he didn't do much either after he took care of the livestock. He just laid around all day and enjoyed himself. The grandkids came by and they set off some fireworks.

Elroy said it reminded him one one New Years when he found himself up in Knoxville having driven a truck up there for some nice gentlemen who paid him well and dropped him off at the bus station where he found he had missed the last bus to Huntsville. He set out hitching and about the time he was froze, two girls in a pickup stopped and said he could ride with them to Scottsboro but he would have to ride in the back since their Daddy had told them not to pick up hitchhikers. Since it looked like his best bet, he climbed in and off they went. Elroy hunkered down up against the cab to get out of the wind but he still might near froze because that steel bed just sucked the heat out of him. Along about Oak Ridge, it started raining and even if that blowin' rain had done old Chuck Berry's Ford agood, it wasn't doing Elroy much good at all. It wasn't bad as long as the pickup was doing 70, but when it started to rain hard, the driver slowed down and the rain being no longer kept away by the airstream over the cab, started to fall fairly regular on Elroy and freezing on him and the truck. Plus, the bed started to fill with water since it appeared that the drain holes were clogged up.

A few miles past Oak Ridge, the girls pulled into a rest stop, got out and looked in the bed at Elroy. He was so cold he could barely move and he was beginning to think that one of them thermias was setting in. He says he has never been right clear on hypos and hypers, but he was colder than he had ever been including the time Cletus and him fell in the Paint Rock River in February. One of the girls said to the other that he looked like he might be dead. He managed to mumble "Not yet". The girls talked it over and decided that they had three options. They could let him stay in the back where he would probably die and they would be stuck explaining to their Daddy how they came to have a dead man in the pickup when they weren't supposed to be giving people rides. They could put him out at the rest stop, but it wasn't heated and he would still probably die. One of them said she was pretty sure that would be the same as killing him and she was sure it was a sin even if they didn't mean to. The third options was to let him ride in the cab but then he might turn bad and attack them. They talked about it for quite a while as Elroy got colder and colder. Elroy was getting right concerned about how the discussion was going since he figgered he would freeze to death right there in the parking lot before they decided what to do and the whole thing would be one of them moot points he had read about but never before fully appreciated. He managed to croak out a promise that he would behave himself and they helped him out of the bed and into the cab. They turned the heater way up high and got back on the Interstate. They went along for a few miles and Elroy started to thaw out. The passenger, who was sitting in the middle was getting pretty nervous about him being in the cab and no longer frozen. She suggested to the driver that maybe if she drove real fast, Elroy wouldn't be able to attack them since it would mean sure death for him too.

I tell you, there ain't a lot of logic going around at two AM on a Tennessee Interstate. The driver pushed the pickup to 75, the rain came down harder and Elroy started to really regret going for the easy money. He tried to strike up a conversation and after a few miles, he figgered out that he knew the girl's Daddy. Once he told them that, they calmed down and even drove him to his house. By that time it was four AM and Elroy was dried out. He decided that he was finsihed with the distilled beverages transportation business since it could kill you.

We all sat and thought about his story although we couldn't see what it had to do with the Fourth of July. Cletus asked Elroy about that and he said he wasn't talking about the Fourth reminding him of the pickup ride. He was still back on Mr. Possum's trip to Gulf Shores.

"So who were the girls?" Bubba asked. "Beats me", Elroy replied. "I figgered out that if'n I didn't do something, I was gonna die so I lied about knowing their Daddy and once I got out of that truck, I never wanted to see them again".

He says the moral of the story is "Don't hitchhike". I'm not sure. Maybe the moral is I need to shut down the liars corner or get better liars.

Monday, July 07, 2003
Cletus has been reading some of the big time bloggers such as Prof. Reynolds and has decided that we should put in high speed internet connections in our booths and become one of those Internet Cafes so our customers could surf the net while they have barbeque and catfish. Bubba said he would have to run over to their Mama's and tell her that Cletus had finally completely lost his mind, not that it was that great a loss but Mizz Jones would want to know. Now I imagine that a few of the rocket scientists might surf the net while they ate BBQ, but somehow I don't think most people would. Elroy said he thinks that Internet Cafes are more like meeting places where people get together to talk and maybe study and read, not to chow down on BBQ and catfish. Cletus pointed out that there is a lot of talking going along here although it appeared that only he ever read anything.

I guess that argument would have gone on all day but one of the younger rocket scientists came in for a sausage biscuit and got to talking about the baby his wife is expecting any day now. All the old fellers were shocked when he said he was taking off three months to stay with the baby and his wife is going back to work after two weeks. For a few minutes after he left, there was one of them eerie silences you read about in them terror novels, then Bubba spoke up and said he guessed it was alright. He had heard about such things but had never known anyone who actually did it. Cletus said that if we remembered, he took off when his boy was born and stayed with him until he was about 6 and went to school. Elroy asked what he had taken off from and Cletus said he had put his distilled beverages business on hold. Bubba suggested that it was more of forced retirement since the County busted up his equipment. Cletus said it didn't matter why he took off, the fact is, he was a stay at home Dad for several years and his boy turned out right good even if he did say so. We had to agree on that. The boy is a good'un but that's probably because of his Mama.

These modern times. I guess we'll just have to get used to them.