I have heretofore expressed my deep disdain regarding the all too human practice of preconceived notions. Yes, the captain of the cheerleading squad could be the biggest Star Trek nerd you’ve ever seen and the quiet boy who made a habit out of hiding in the shadows at school could turn out to be the world’s most successful stand-up comic. You miss a lot of amazing people if you don’t take the time to find out what’s under the surface.
Of course, I could sit here and preach until my face turns blue (I’ve done it before), but even the most vigilant can get caught with their guard down. Truth be told there are two assumption so large as to be on a national scale. These assumptions could very well be the end of us all if they aren’t dealt with: Not every person who lives below the Mason-Dixon Line is a redneck and not every person who lives above the Mason-Dixon Line is the love child of Tony Soprano and Pick-a-Ho from Jersey Shore.
Rednecks first? Allrighty then:
We all know them. Their wardrobe consists of a different shade of cammo for every occasion. Those novelty hats with two holsters for beer cans and a straw contraption for easy access to the mouth aren’t funny—they’re a way of life. Most of them have names derived from the “Ooter” suffix: Cooter, Scooter, Shooter...you get the idea. They can more than likely tell you what a possum tastes like and whether it tastes better when killed on asphalt vs. concrete. Their houses are mobile, but their garage-mahals are not. Their front yards are such a mass of rusted metal and weeds that just looking at it puts one in need of a Tetanus shot. The number of hound dogs they own is roughly equivalent to the human population of a small African nation.
Get the idea? You’ve heard the crap jokes before.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that we don’t have rednecks in the South. As a matter of fact, we have quite a few “Ooters” among our populace. If you are born and raised below the Mason-Dixon Line, there is a very strong possibility that there is more than one redneck sprouting on your family tree. We love them as we would love our crazy Aunt Ina who sits in a duck blind in the front yard of her suburban home, shooting at squirrels.
Yes, we all know about the carbon copy redneck character that Jeff Foxworthy idealizes in his stand-up routines. Now, I’m going to tell you a few things you might not know about rednecks: You will never come across someone with bigger hearts than the majority of rednecks I know. They would give you the camouflaged shirts off of their backs, no questions asked. They aren’t all out in the swamp marrying their cousins, either. No, they’re not all dumb hicks by a long shot: Some of them own million dollar corporations, hold medical degrees and law degrees—they just like to have their own special brand of fun.
I’ll tell you another little thing about rednecks that might come in handy: In the event of an invasion or the Apocalypse, you are going to want a redneck around because they are survivors and—in spite of being the objects of other’s ridicule and disdain—their aforementioned big hearts will compel them to take you in. Finally, those individuals above the Mason-Dixon Line who revel in casting aspersions about rednecks are missing one point that they need to think about: The North has rednecks too, but ours are classier.
With regard to matters North, I have to admit that hearing a Yankee accent hasn’t, from time to time, been music to my ears. Nonetheless, if Northerners can take a more cautious look at rednecks, the least I can do is return the favor.
Previously, my thinking was that if the South is so backward and deplorable, then why in the hell do all of the Yankees keep moving down here? I mean, they practically flock in like refugees from a war zone, but the complaints—oy—they just keep pouring in.
In the legal arena, there is a law called “Coming to the Nuisance.” For example, zoning laws may state that a strip joint can’t open up within one mile of a home, church or daycare/school. All well and good—Thou shalt not display bosoms for profit near impressionable adults, Jesus or children. So let it be written, so let it be done.
...But, if a strip joint is already open and working full steam, someone can’t come and build a house, church or daycare/school and retroactively claim the protection of the law. In other words, a person can’t “come to the nuisance” and bitch about it. The Yankees hath come to the nuisance.
Okay, okay, I still believe that to some extent—I’m a work in progress. I will say that I’ve had a lot more interaction with folks from the North with Baby Belle 1 attending St. Mary Catholic. After getting to know some of them, I can tell you without hesitation that they are loving and devoted parents with God in their lives and good in their hearts just like us Southerners, so we can’t be that different.