Compleat Redneck

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

Thursday, August 14, 2003
Cletus got so excited about the response to his wedding story (one correspondent said it was the best he had read here) that he sat down and wrote out another one.

Love, Suicide, Murder and Other Exciting Things

Back when Billy Joe Bob and I were just barely out of high school, one of the girls a year behind us fell madly in love with a returned Marine. Now all us fellers figgered that he was back a year early because he wasn’t a top-notch Marine, but he wore his uniform around town a couple of times and several of the girls were left drooling over the manly man in uniform. It worked as intended and he got a lot of quick dates with high school girls, the uniform and the Corvette he drove being irresistible. Now I don’t know what happened on the dates-and no proper gentleman would ever presume anything about a lady, but Cindy Lou discovered that she was pregnant about a month after her date with Billy Joe. In those days, it was expected that a gentleman who got a lady in the family way would do the honorable thing and marry her at least until after the youngun was born. The fact was, at least half of the first-born were early arrivals, but nothing was ever said about it since very few families had not had at least one case of premature birth. On top of tradition, Cindy Lou had three big older brothers who were not noted for their understanding attitude toward boys who trifled with their sisters.

Cindy Lou went to Billy Joe and told him she was pregnant expecting that he would say that needed to run down to Trenton, Georgia and get married, Trenton being the marriage capital of North West Georgia and where one went to do such things in a hurry. Cindy Lou didn’t really want to get married or have a baby since she had always planned to go to college and see the world outside our little town, but she knew she had done messed up her life and needed to make the best of what had been handed her. She was shocked when Billy Joe laughed at her and said she was crazy if she thought he was going to marry her and raise who knows whose brat. Well, Cindy Lou was what we called a “good girl’ in those days. Billy Joe was the only boy she had ever been with and she was mighty put down by his words. She cried and bawled and tried to convince him that he needed to marry her, but he just drove her back home and pushed her out. Well, her Mama and Daddy were out to the singing at the Baptist Church and her older sisters and brothers were off in college or out on dates. She was really miserable and the first thing she saw when she went into the house was her Daddy’s rifle hanging over the fireplace. He used it to shoot rats and squirrels that were bothering him. It was a little old single shot 22 and loaded with a short, solid point bullet. Cindy Lou got it down and managed to get it pointed at her heart, or at least where she thought her heart was, her not being real strong in the sciences. She didn’t want to shoot herself in the head because she wasn’t right sure how good a job old George down a the funeral home could do fixin' up a blowed away face and she wanted to look good for her funeral. Anyway, that is what she told her Mama later on. Cindy Lou pulled the trigger and the bullet went through her chest and into her left lung and it hurt something fierce. She would have tried to shoot her self again, but she couldn’t find the bullets and the pain was getting real bad and she wasn't sure she could do it again anyway. She thought about laying down and waiting to die, but then she thought that she would probably bleed on her Mama’s new couch slipcover or the rag rug her Grandma had made and that would be real inconsiderate and she could just imagine the people at the funeral saying: “ Yep, she shot herself, but the worst of it is she bled all over her Mama’s new slipcover” and she wanted to be remembered as a good daughter, then she remembered that she hadn’t written a note explaining how her family was better off without her, but by that time she was getting a little lightheaded and about the only thing she could think to do was call her best friend Mary Ruth (Yep, the one and the same) and tell her what she had done. Mary Ruth didn’t have a date that night because she had been waiting for Billy Joe to get around to asking her out and he hadn’t called and when Cindy Lou called, she got her Daddy to go over to Cindy Lou’s house and haul her down to the hospital. Well, it was a lot worse than it first appeared because by they got to the hospital, Cindy Lou’s had passed out from the blood loss and her lung had collapsed. She was in bad shape and it didn’t look good for her. Mary Ruth’s Mama had found Cindy Lou’s parents and they arrived at the hospital closely followed by all her brothers and sisters. The Doctor told them that he expected her to survive and asked if he could talk to her parents alone. He told them that Cindy Lou was pregnant. Her Daddy suspected that it was Billy Joe, but he couldn’t figger out why Cindy Lou had shot herself since Billy Joe was from a good family and everything should have been fine. He told her Mama they would just have to wait and see.

The next few days were touch and go, but early in the second week, Cindy Lou started talking in her sleep and begging for Billy Joe who, of course, had not been by to see her. Mizz Polly, her Mama, told the brothers to go get Billy Joe and bring him to see Cindy Lou and maybe it would help. Well, old Billy Joe was still getting around and it was about eleven o’clock Saturday night when they finally found him as he was dropping another high school girl off after a date. They politely asked him to drive down to the hospital and talk to Cindy Lou. He said he didn’t have time, so they asked a little less politely and finally just picked him up and threw him in the back of their Daddy’s pickup. Royce Earl, the younger boy got back there with him to keep him from jumping out of the truck and they headed off to the hospital. As they got closer to the hospital, Billy Joe started to whine and cry and talking about what a sorry person he was and how he wasn’t fit to live and someone orta just kill him and save the world a lot of sorrow and woe. Royce Earl thought that it was a little much and sounded a lot like a preacher talking about his sins that led him to redemption, but he figgered that if Billy Joe wanted to die, he should get his wish so he banged on the cab top until JD, the oldest boy, stopped the truck. Royce Earl told JD and Charles Edward that Billy Joe wanted to kill himself. Well, JD had stopped the pickup right at the top of the BB Comer Bridge over the Tennessee river, so Royce Earl and Charles Edward dragged Billy Joe out of the truck and were dangling him over the water two hunnert feet below when JD allowed that they should take him to see Cindy Lou first and let him kill himself on the way home. So they loaded him back in the truck and drove on to the hospital. It was about Midnight.

Billy Joe wasn’t doing real well by then so they sort of toted him into the room. It was well past visiting hours, but none of the hospital staff seemed to notice when the three big fellers carried the whimpering one into the hospital and down to Cindy Lou’s room. Mizz Polly told Billy Joe that he should talk to Cindy Lou and let tell her that he was there. He did like he was told and talked for a few minutes and Cindy Lou seemed to perk up a bit. About 12:30 AM, Royce Earl said that they needed to get Billy Joe on back home. Well, Billy Joe got down on the floor at Mizz Polly’s feet and started just a bellering that the boys were going to kill him. Mizz Polly asked them if that was so and they had to answer their Mama with the truth. She looked at them, at Billy Joe, at them, at Billy Joe, at them, at Billy Joe who was by now a pitiful lump of sniveling dog dung on the floor at her feet. This went on for some time. Finally she told them that Billy Joe wasn’t worth killing but they could run him out of the County and tell him to never come back, so they did. They drove him over to his trailer and help him pack what would fit in his Corvette and Royce Earl drove him to the County Line. The next day, their Daddy explained to Billy Joe’s Daddy that his boys would have to kill Billy Joe if they caught him coming around here and that was that.

Cindy Lou recovered and went on to marry a nice boy from down around Gadsden and they had another half dozen younguns who all turned out right good. The first one was the best though. His uncles always seemed to take more interest in him than the others and he grew up strong and smart and made a Doctor.

We ain’t heard nothing from Billy Joe for all these years. He seems to have listened real good to the warning Cindy Lou’s brothers gave him. On the other hand, a river barge crew reported seeing someone throwing something off the BB Comer Bridge at about 1:00 AM the day after the visit to Cindy Lou in the hospital. The Sheriff said he figgered that the Captain had his times wrong and that he saw the boys and Billy Joe playing around on their way to the hospital. The barge had come down from Chattanooga way and was probably on Eastern Time.

I guess we’ll never know.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003
Cletus' Answer

Well, I have to ask if she bought a good sealer along with the yellow paint. It does no good to paint over paneling if you don't apply a good sealer first. All the grease and smoke stains will bleed right through. While you are there, talk to them about what colors to use as accents. It is not unusual to see green or red trim with yellow rooms. You should also consider what floor covering will bring out the freshness you are seeking. You better get on with it because I bet that truckdriver brings her back real soon

Sunday, August 10, 2003
Cletus says that what is missing from the Blogosphere is an advice column written by an astute and understanding older person. I think he means him.

I have to admit we did get this question so he may be right.

Boys, my wife for the third time she done runned off with other fellers. The first time it was with some feller she met over the Internet and she come dragging back home bout three days after I throwed that dern computer out and I had to go digging through the trash pile out back for it. Hit upset my dogs sumpun fierce. Then she went over and stayed with old Charlie Smith at his doublewide for a few months until it got cold and he didn't have no gas in his tank and she come back home just as I was gittin back on my feet from her coming back from the Internet feller and now she done run off with some truckdriving feller and I don't know when she might turn up if'n she ever does. To beat all, she took the onliest Merle Haggard record I had left from them fits she pitches. My question is do I have to paint the insides of my trailer that pukey yeller she brought home from the Sherwin-Williams or can I just leave the panlin like it is?

I suppose it would take someone like Cletus to answer that one.

We were pretty shocked to get an email from New York City. Cletus says that if he had know that people that far away read this stuff, he would have dressed better. Mizz Indigo asked if there was anyone at the wedding wearing bib overalls or overhauls as people around here call them. No since by the time the wedding came off, Mizz Misty had cut the invite list down to eliminate anyone with real character. Cletus is known to wear overhauls but he didn't go to the wedding. Anyway, we have added the New York feller over on the left. He goes by the handle of largeheartedboy and is one of them cosmopolitan people you read about. Of course, if the truth be known, he seems to hail from Decatur so just how cosmopolitan could he be, but he obviously knows good eatin' so in our book, he is okay no matter where he hangs his hat. Go on over there and see him. I'm sure he'll make you welcome. A big old plate of BBQ will sure 'nough get you invited in.

Oh, and while we were at it, we updated the URL for Christopher Johnson who has moved from Blogspot.