Compleat Redneck

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

Friday, May 12, 2006
Cletus says he read that lawn services are having problems because of the price of gas. He says it really because of a lack of good business sense. He said a feller he knows has a lawn service and buys Dodge 4WD duelly pickups to pull his mowers around. Gas is the least of his worries.

Anyway, Cletus says he would have had a similar problem in the woodcutting business if he hadn't of used the old F250 as his primary hauling truck. Actually, it was his only hauling truck except when he managed to beg, borrow or steal one of ours when the F250 was broken.

Cletus says he and Mary Ruth may have to cut back on their weekend trips if the price of gas continues to increase. Seems that the old budget can only stretch so far and it is either give up driving distance or food.

Cletus says he was in Huntsville earlier this week and ate at place called "Granny G's". Right good eating it was too. Cletus had the chicken fingers, fried corn and fried green tomatoes. He says there's no way he's eating BBQ at a place that serves fried green tomatoes. He sampled some catfish and it was really good. Granny G's rates four pecan pie slices on the Cletus scale which goes from 0-4. The Cletus scale has a special rating of 10 possible. No one has ever gotten a ten slice rating. Cletus says he doesn't know what it would take but he is looking for finding the restaurant which deserves one and then spending the rest of his days there.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Cletus says he and some other fellers were talking about the Alabama Governor race and got to wondering how it is that all politicians seem to have a different idea of ethics than what their Grammas taught Cletus and his friends.

It is a thing to wonder about. Bubba says he heard a story about one of the candidates in the 2002 race who was willing to listen to anyone for 20 minutes for a mere $20,000 contribution. Of course, we are talking about talking to people who want to sell somethinng to the state government or more likely just get some taxpayer money given to them.

And, no, it wasn't Seigelman who was trolling for dollars although he seems to have a different view of ethics than that held by the average Alabaman. Cletus says the Huntsville Times had a long article about Siegelman last week and he seems to think that as long as you do good (whatever that is), the rest doesn't matter.

Remember to vote early and often in the upcoming primaries.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Cletus says he thinks it is not good Blogging manners to repost entries as we did yesterday. Bubba said in that case, Cletus needed to work on some new li--er stories so we don't have to post things from yesteryear.

Cletus said that reminded him of how much he enjoyed the old westerns on TV when he was a kid. Bubba asked if that included last week when Cletus spent a lot of time watching tapes of westerns. Cletus said he was thinking more of the Cisco Kid and the Lone Ranger, although he was right partial to some Bonanza shows.

Elroy opined that this is a pretty weak post since no one cares aout the TV shows Cletus liked or likes as the case may be.

I think I agree with Elroy.

Monday, May 08, 2006
Cletus' uncle Floyd came by this morning. For our long term reader, you'll remember (or not) that Floyd is the one what won the Georgia lottery back several years ago. For our other reader, we have put the original post below.

Floyd seems to be doing real good. Cletus mentioned that $35,000 isn't all that much and wasn't the pay out time running out right soon. Floyd said he guessed it was but it didn't really matter since he and Myrt are getting up in years and they have been fairly successful in their investments. It turns out that Myrt has a real touch with stocks. She bought Dell back when it first went public and sold it just before the bottom fell out in 2000. Recently she bought Google. Floyd says he figures they can live pretty good for the time they have left. Cletus noticed that they had a new RV. Floyd said it was a "pusher" which he explained was a diesel hanging off the back. Cletus said it looked like one of them country music star buses and Floyd siad it was the same chassis but his was a little better equipped since he lives in it. We went out and looked it over. Bubba was impressed with the tile which Floyd said was Italian marble.

Cletus says he may have to re-evaluate his opinion about the lottery ruining Floyd's life.

Here's the original story.

Saturday morning was about the usual assortment of people here in the BBQ Emporium for breakfast, which we only serve on Saturdays. There was Cletus and Bubba as usual and a few rocket scientists headed out for a day of hunting. We call everyone who works down at Redstone Arsenal a rocket scientist since that’s what they do down there. One of the scientists said that he was looking forward to Tennessee finally getting their lottery up and running so that he could go buy a ticket. Cletus said they could leave him out of that trip. Someone asked if he believed the lottery was wrong and he said no. One of the scientists asked if it was because he knew his chances of winning were so low and Cletus said no, it was because he was afraid he might win. He said his Uncle Floyd and Aunt Myrt won the Georgia lottery and it ruined their lives. Someone had to go and ask how it ruined their lives and Cletus was off and running. Here is the story as he told it.

Well, I’m sure most of you remember my Uncle Floyd McLain and Aunt Myrt. They lived on my Gramma McLain’s farm and took care of her until she passed on a few years ago. Uncle Floyd was her youngest born in 1926 and he never left home. He married Myrt and they moved into Gramma McLain’s house and lived there until after they won the lottery. They never had any younguns and Gramma used to say that it was because Myrt was cursed. Sometimes when me and Bubba and all our cousins were there, Myrt would look at us and say that a curse could be a blessing. I never did figure that out. Anyway, Gramma let Myrt cook for the family on Sundays and Floyd took care of her farm and animals after he finished his day down at the shirt mill. Floyd worked down there as a forklift driver and Myrt worked as a sewing machine operator and after a few years they were making six dollars an hour each, had doctor insurance and what with living with Gramma, pretty well had it made. Floyd even bought himself a little boat and on Saturdays, he would tow it down to the boat launch at the B.B. Comer Bridge and spend the day fishing. He never went fishing on Sundays like the rest of us because Gramma wouldn’t stand for anyone living under her roof defiling the Lord’s Day by fishing.
Floyd had an old Dodge pickup with one of them slant sixes and he never drove faster than about 50 and a little slower when he was towing his boat. He used to say that the people on US 431 were really nice since almost all of them honked and waved at him when they passed. Well, Gramma was getting along in years and she divided up her property among her younguns. She gave Floyd and Myrt the house and the farmland to the rest. Floyd didn’t seem real happy, but Gramma explained that a house was more valuable that a few acres of land. Floyd said he guessed he could spend some money and fix the holes in the walls and maybe get some insulation and that settled that.

A few months later, Gramma passed on to her reward and Floyd started fixing up the house so you wouldn’t have known it. He replaced windows and fixed the roof and painted the place and put in a Bermuda grass lawn.
About then, one of the scientists said that he thought this story was about the lottery. Cletus said he was getting to that, but he just showing that Floyd and Myrt had a good life before they won the lottery.

Floyd was working overtime to get the money to fix up his house and one night on his break, he heard one the night crew talking about seeing a six-legged calf over at Rising Fawn, Georgia. That was something he had never imagined could exist and as Myrt said, he became obsessed with going to see the calf and all the other wonders they had over there. Floyd was spending all his time and money on fixing up his house, but one Saturday night, he told Myrt that he had saved up forty dollars and they were going to Rising Fawn the next day to see the six-legged calf. Well, they never missed church and there had even been talk of making Floyd a Deacon, so Myrt thought he had completely lost his mind. But like a dutiful wife should, she got up early and fixed them some baloney sandwiches for lunch, but Floyd said to leave them. They were going to eat lunch in the Huddle House at Rising Fawn.

They headed off down highway 35 and got on the Interstate at Ft. Payne. It was Floyd’s first time on the Interstate and he got the old Dodge up to sixty and headed to Georgia. Floyd never had had his tires balanced and the Dodge fairly bounced its way to Georgia but neither of them really noticed since it never was the smoothest thing on the road. They got down to Rising Fawn and it was everything Floyd had imagined although the six-legged calf was pickled and the other attractions weren’t exactly as he thought they would be. He and Myrt had a great day and ate lunch in the Huddle House and that was good although they agreed that it wasn’t as good as what Myrt cooked up on Sundays. Myrt said that she would give the Huddle House food a few extra points since she didn’t have to cook it and they had a good laugh over that.

After they ate, Floyd drove over to the filling station to get gas. Now he never put more that five dollars worth of gas in the Dodge at one time, but he saw that price was thirty cents a gallon less than back in Alabama, so he decided to fill it up. He had a twenty dollar bill left from his $40, but try as he may, he couldn’t get more than $19 in the tank. He went in to pay and saw a little sign that said he could win a million dollars in the Georgia lottery. He had a dollar left. He stood there for the longest time thinking about how gambling is a sin, but then he had already skipped church and wasted money eating out so he told the girl to give him one of them lottery tickets.
The next Sunday, Floyd came down here to the BBQ Emporium and looked in the newspaper to see if he had won any money. He had learned his numbers by heart, but he wrote the ones in the paper down and went back home where he and Myrt got their lottery ticket out. Myrt read off the numbers Floyd brought back and he checked the lottery ticket. Then Floyd read the numbers while Myrt checked the ticket. After doing that about a dozen times, Floyd drove back to the Emporium and wrote the numbers down again. After a few dozen more checks, they finally decided that they had won the lottery. They also noticed that they had missed church for the second Sunday in a row.

Floyd read the back of the ticket on how to get your money and discovered that he was going to get his million dollars paid out over 20 years. That didn’t seem to be quite the same as being a millionaire, but it was still more money than he ever imagined. He and Myrt got up on Monday and drove back to Georgia to get their first payment. The lottery people deducted $15,000 for taxes, but $35,000 was still more money than either Floyd or Myrt had ever seen. On the way home, Floyd bought a new Dodge pickup with an automatic transmission and a V8 motor, air-conditioning and duellies in the back. Floyd usually paid cash for what he bought and all he had was the lottery check, but when he told the car salesman that he would have to go the bank to cash it, the salesman’s boss got all excited and said that Floyd could just take the truck and come pay them when he had time. By the time they got home, there were people waiting at their house and a woman from the TV station to interview them and they were on the 6:00 News with Floyd saying that he had bought a new pickup and Myrt saying that she was going to buy one of them side-by-side refrigerators and maybe some new curtains for the living room. Myrt’s brother Freddy asked if they could give him the money to buy a new chainsaw for his logging business and several other people asked Floyd if he wanted to invest in their businesses.

The next day, they went in to work and were called into the manager’s office. He told them that he was having to let some people go since business was slow. Since they were rich, he knew that they wouldn’t want to take work from the poor working people so he was letting them go first. When they got home, the preacher was waiting on the porch. He said that gambling was a sin, but that if Floyd would give 10% to the Church, they could get down right then and there and pray for his soul. Floyd wasn’t feeling too good right then so he told the preacher he would think about it. Before the day was over, Floyd and Myrt got a dozen calls from people wanting to help them invest their money, a bunch asking them to give some of the money to the caller because they should help the poor and several calls trying to sell them land in Florida.

Well, that went on for about a week until one day Floyd said to Myrt that they needed to just go for a drive in the new pickup. They drove off toward Huntsville and passed a big Dodge pickup like theirs and it was pulling a trailer behind it at about 60 MPH. Floyd followed it into a gas station and asked the driver where he got the trailer. The man said it was a fifth-wheeler and you could buy them most anywhere. Floyd drove into Huntsville and although it made him real nervous with all the other cars and trucks around, he found an “RV’ place. That’s what it said on the sign out front, but they had a lot of them little trailers and some houses with motors and steering wheels and everything. The salesman showed Floyd how some people hooked cars to the back of the big RV’s as he called them. Floyd stood there thinking about the six-legged calf and all the wonders the he had never seen. He and Myrt traded the almost new pickup for a 30 foot RV and a little old Dodge car. They went back home and Floyd spent a few days getting someone to buy the old home place. He practiced driving the RV and then towing the car. He even got a ticket for driving 70 in a 65 out near Gurley.

After a month or so, Floyd and Myrt got in the RV and headed west. We haven’t seen them since. That was about 15 years ago. We get a card from them at Christmas. They have a post office box somewhere in Texas. You can write them there and Floyd has a cell phone so we can call him if someone dies, but they never come back here. Mama always says that Floyd was a happy man until he won the lottery and now he is a vagabond spending his winters in some place called Tempe, Arizona.

“See”, Cletus said, “Winning the lottery ruined his life. You couldn’t give me one of those lottery tickets.”

Cletus and Mary Ruth went down to Mobile during our short break from Blogging.

Cletus says that during the trip he noticed something that some politician needs to pick up on. What he noticed is that only about 5% of the bridges have been named and none of the culverts. He says he seems to remember that Siegelman's solution for state budget problems was a lottery which had less chance than the proverbial snowball and Riley had his tax increase idea which was a bit less likely than the lottery ( there are a goodly number of Alabamans who play the lottery, but the only tax increase advocates are newspaper editorial writers).

Cletus says a real smart candidate would latch on to his idea of selling naming rights to various pieces of state property. For instance, Senator Lowell Barron got a section of Alabama highway 35 named for him for simply doing his job as Senator. He should have paid for it with hard cash.

Cletus says he figures there are millions to be made. You could price bridges according to length and height, culverts by diameter and length, roads by the mile and even toilets and urinals at the rest stops. Cletus says he figures there are a lot of exes who would pay to name the restroom fixtures.

Cletus says he thinks he will contact a couple of candidates right after he copyrights the idea.