Redneck Review

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

One of These Things is Not Like the Others

If I had not given birth to him without anesthesia, I would think
my first son was adopted. He does not exhibit the same
redneck hillbillyness as the rest of the family.

In kindergarten, he cried the morning of school picture day
until I let him wear dress pants, white shirt, tie, and vest.
(Why not just pin a "beat me up every day for the next 12
years" sign on his back?) At Christmas time, his teacher
asked the kids what they wanted Santa to bring them. My
child said, "A fax machine." It's not like he was operating a
business or anything--he didn't start begging for that until he
was 8. The kindergarten class hatched baby chicks. They
were right by my son's seat. To any other child, this would
have been a treat. Not my boy. "I can hardly get a thing
done, " he complained. "All day long it's cheep! Cheep!

When I dropped him off one morning for 1st grade, he got
out of the car with a rolled-up Gateway Computer catalog in
the back pocket of his jeans.
"Hey, what are you doing?"
"I'm going to tell the duty teacher that you want me to stay in,
and I'm going to sit in the hall and read my magazine."
Uh, no. I think he was reading at 7th grade level at that time.

In 2nd grade, he hooked up his teacher's new computer.
They had been having trouble for a couple months with the
computer in the gifted classroom. He asked the teacher if
he could take a look at it, and fixed it within 5 minutes.
"Mom, I remembered the problem started when they
connected it to internet, so I just did a system restore to
the day before that date."

By 3rd grade he was asking to start his own business as a
computer consultant. "Of course, Mom, you'll have to drive
me to people's houses." He went through my school buildings
asking if the teachers needed their computers set up at the
start of the school year. He did mine and 4 others. At home,
he hooked up 6 speakers and 3 printers to his computer.
Because he could. When it was time for the Missouri school
assessment test, he couldn't sleep the night before. It was
like Christmas Eve. The next morning he woke up and said,
"I can't believe it. The day I have waited so long for is finally
here: MAP testing!"

Now in 4th grade, he's been having trouble with his home
computer. It crashed, so he wiped the hard drive and
re-installed Windows XP Professional instead of XP Home.
He also installed a new sound card. He wants a second
computer so he can run Linux. He really wants to run Linux
and Windows with a partition and choose which system
to use when he boots. I think that's what he said. It makes
no sense to me. I thought Linux was Lennox. It's like telling
a dog how to fly a plane. He says I am not "computer friendly."

About the only redneck thing this boy young 'un likes to do
is ride the 4-wheeler. He won't go without a shirt in the
summer. He doesn't like fried chicken. "Hey, who put the
bone in my chicken?" he demanded when biting into his first
chicken leg. My husband taught him to drive the $300 car.
Just around the yard, because he is only 10.

We have not been able to fit him into our hillbilly mode yet,
but we love him just the same.


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