After seeing postings on Facebook and lots of Twitter feed about the show, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”, I tivoed a couple of episodes to see just what this show is about. As much of a trainwreck as this show was to me, I could not stop myself from watching it. After finishing the second episode, I felt this strong need to do some calculus and read some Shakespeare. I mean, I am Southern, I have had my share of good times, and I have been around some real hillbillies, but this show shocked me. At first, I felt sorry for the family, just imagining what people were saying and thinking about them. But as I continued to watch the episodes, I realized, these people have no shame in their game! It got me to thinking about some of my childhood experiences, and some of the redneck behaviors I have been around. Here are some stories from my childhood that involve redneck memories and activities. And I have so many of them, I will only be sharing a few, but not to worry, you will see more blogs that describe in detail my Browns Summit upbringin!!!! Yee Haw!!!!
My poor Dad was always the only man in the house. Most of our pets while I was growing up also happened to be female. So this poor man was always surrounded by a ton of estrogen. All of his buddies were blessed to have sons. And when they started trying to get their sons into camping, my Dad got the bright idea that if he bought a camper, he may be able to get my Mom and I to enjoy camping. He knew my Mom and I were too ‘hoighty toighty’ to sleep in a tent, so he thought his best chance was with a camper. So he bought a pop-up camper and when he brought it home, he proudly opened it up to display this newfound ‘vacation paradise’ to my Mom and I. As we sat in this thing that smelled of mothballs, he told us stories of going camping in all kinds of newfound places and the adventures we were going to have. My Mom was not happy about this new purchase and the idea of camping, but since my only ‘outdoors experience’ had been an overnight trip in a cabin during my brief stint in the Girl Scouts, I thought I would give it a shot. So my Dad informed us that the following weekend, we would be joining friends for a weekend trip at a campground about an hour away to break in the camper. That weekend arrived, and as I watched my Mom and Dad pack up the camper and the truck with the camping supplies, I quickly learned that camping and beer drinking go hand in hand. It was Friday afternoon, and we would be coming back on Sunday, but I watched them load 5 cases of beer into the camper. So we headed out and met our friends, and we went to the campground and parked our camper in the woods beside the lake. A radio came out blaring the likes of Randy Travis, Charlie Daniels Band and Conway Twitty, and my Dad and his buddy cracked open their first beers. In my fascination with how much beer it takes to survive 48 hours in the woods, I had not thought about the fact that our camper did not house a functioning bathroom with shower, toilet and sink. So my Mom, who was already fed up with camping and pined to be in her air conditioned house, was overjoyed when I inquired about restroom facilities and needs, and was more than happy to take me and show me the ‘Bath House’. She knew that this detail would start swaying me from being on the fence about camping, and slowly get me to her side. I was appalled at the thought of having to schlep to the Bath House every time I had to pee, and even worse, carrying my shower items and clean clothes in front of the entire campground when it was time to get clean. As we headed back to our camper, my Dad and our friends had fired up the grill to begin dinner, and I think my Dad and his buddy were on beer 16 about this time. They were having a blast ‘grilling up meat’ while being in ‘the heart of the woods’! They enjoyed spraying bug spray into lighter fluid while singing along to good old Merle Haggard. After dinner, I headed inside to bed, because I had noticed during my tour of the Bath House and the rest of the campground, that they had a very nice pool and waterslide. So I felt the quicker I went to sleep, the sooner daylight would come and I could go work on my tan.
The next morning arrived, and after breakfast, my Mom, her friend and son, and myself headed to the pool. My Dad and his buddy had been up to the wee hours of the morning, so they were hanging back recuperating and promised to join us soon. Our friends’s son and myself immediately jumped in the pool and began having a blast. A while later, my Dad walked up to the fence to talk to my Mom and her friend, where they were lounging in pool chairs to see if there was anything they needed for him to bring from the campsite. My Dad had on his swim trunks, but was shirtless. As my Dad talked to the both of them, he put his arm up to lean into the fence. As he did this, a trail of foam starting coming out from his armpit. I got out of the water and headed over, and realized I was not the only person who had noticed this. My Mom had noticed too, and was standing up staring at his armpit through the chainlink fence. That is when she noticed, that my Dad was still a tiny bit drunk from the night before, and when he had went to shower that morning, he forgot to rinse the soap from his armpits, and when he put on his deodorant later, it created the foam. My Dad laughed and thought it was the greatest thing ever. My Mom yelled at him to go hop back in the shower and rinse off properly. Instead, he just hopped the chain link fence, and with beer in one hand (it was only 10am, but he was on vacation, and its never too early) and cigarette in mouth, he plopped himself right into the kiddie pool to rinse himself off. Who needs the Bath House when the kiddie pool will do the trick!!!!
For a few years, my Mom and I were shot down when we tried to get my Dad out of his camping phase. We complained endlessly about camping, but instead of being defeated, he would sell the pop-up camper and buy a travel camper with fully functioning air conditioner and bathroom equipped with a shower. He was determined to get us to like camping somehow, some way. For years, we had been camping with friends at the one campground about an hour away from our home, but they had just increased their rates, so my penny-pinching Dad and his buddy, decided to research other campgrounds in the area to rebel against this rate increase. They found a campground that was just as nice, and much cheaper, however, the catch was that it was an ‘alcohol free’ campground. When my Mom and her friend heard about this, they laughed. How could my Dad and his buddy book us at a campground where they could not enjoy their beer?!?!?!? Well, we would find out…..
After we had set up camp, it was time for us to fire up the grill to start dinner. I noticed that my Dad was drinking a lot of Pepsi, and his buddy was drinking a lot of Dr Pepper. Normally, my parents and I drank Coke, so I was kind of confused as to why my Dad was drinking so much Pepsi. As dinner was nearly finished, I went to the cooler to grab a Coke for myself, and I noticed in the cooler that there were cans of Budweiser in there. I was confused, because this was an ‘alcohol free’ campground. I shut the cooler and did not say anything. A few minutes later, I noticed my Dad go into the cooler, grab a can, and immediately, go inside the camper. I followed him inside the camper to ask him about the beer. When I walked in the camper, he was wrapping a sticker around his Budweiser can. The sticker was the exact replica of a Pepsi Cola can, but if you looked closely, instead of it saying, ‘Pepsi Cola’, it said, ‘Peppi Coola’. My Dad smiled his big grin at me, and walked out of the camper. I looked at the stickers, and then, saw the ones that his buddy was using. They were the exact replica of a Dr Pepper can, but when you looked closely, they said, “Dr Pooper”. So these two jackasses had managed to save money on camping costs, and even though we were at an ‘alcohol free’ campground, managed to still enjoy their beer!!
I was in college in Charlotte, NC, and my Dad called me one evening to tell me he would be in Charlotte that weekend for a car show at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The guy I was dating at the time was in a fraternity and they were going to work a food stand at the car show and I was planning on helping them out. So I advised my Dad I would be there, and looked forward to seeing him and his buddy. The weekend arrived, and I went with my boyfriend and some of his fraterity brothers at 6am to head to the Speedway. We set up our food stand, and as the gates opened at 8am, my boyfriend quickly pointed out my Dad and his buddy. They each had a beer in hand (you could drink at the car show, and even bring your own beer inside) and were pulling my childhood red wagon behind them. On the red wagon was their cooler full of beer. My boyfriend and I went and greeted them, and brought them to our food stand to introduce to everyone. The fraternity brother in charge of the stand advised everyone that my Dad and his buddy would eat for free anytime they wanted anything. Huge mistake, buddy. You are here to make money for your charity, and now, you have advised my penny-pinching father and his cheapskate buddy that they can eat for free. My Dad and his buddy set off to go walk and tour the car show, and they told us they would be back later. Around lunchtime, they came back, and they were both feeling pretty good. We fed them cheeseburgers and hot dogs, and they set off to go tour more of the car show. Before they left, I told my Dad that I would be done around 5pm, and that we should all go to dinner somewhere other than the Speedway. So my Dad told me to find him when we were done. As we closed up the food stand, my boyfriend and I decided to go walk around the car show to find my Dad and his buddy, so we could take them to dinner. We walked all through the car show, and one of my boyfriend’s brothers, even rode his bicycle around the race track looking for them, and no luck, we could not find them. So we decided to go out into the parking lot to see if maybe they were hanging out in the parking lot waiting for us to finish. We walked through rows and rows of cars, until we finally spotted my Dad’s red Toyota truck. As we approached, my boyfriend mumbled, “What the hell?”. I looked, and noticed legs, coming from underneath my Dad’s truck. We ran up to find my Dad passed out underneath his truck. From his stomach up, was underneath the truck, while the rest of him was out in the open. His legs were completely fried from the sun. We woke him up, and I asked him what the hell he was doing. He informed us that he and his buddy were hot and drunk after lunch, and since they had seen most of the car show, they decided to come take a nap out at the truck, so they would be feeling better by the time to go to dinner with us. My Dad said that since the sun was glaring, he decided to lay underneath his truck in the shade. I asked him where his buddy was at, and he said ‘in the bed of the truck’. So we walked around to the bed of his truck, and his poor buddy, passed out, wearing sunglasses and a hat, was fried as could be, as he laid on the back of the truck. We woke him up and decided to take these two fools back to my boyfriend’s apartment so they could clean up. They were so dehydrated, so we gave them Gatorade and water, and no sooner than we had pulled up to the apartment, they had already cracked open another beer. My boyfriend and myself could not help from laughing at how ridiculously sunburnt these two were, along with laughing at them and the red wagon pulling around their cooler of beer. Only my Dad would seek refuge from the sun underneath his truck, but manage to leave his legs out, but he advised us he did that, ‘so his buddy would realize he was underneath the truck’. Only in North Carolina, and with the last name ‘Powell’…..