Redneck Review

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Can't We Just Get Along?

The other day I was reading Alexandrialeigh's recollection of life
with her younger sister, and it reminded me of my dear sibling. I
saw that Redneck Diva had a sister post on Saturday, but hers
was not the source of my thieving. Mine was already in the can.
Check these two out if you haven't already, because they're much
better than mine.

Sis is 20 months younger than me, but who's counting? Well, she
is, to be truthful. In fact, when somebody gave us their condolences
at our father's funeral, and mentioned how she had red hair, and I
had brown, Sis said, "Hers would be gray, but she colors it." Maybe
it's just me, but I did not think that was appropriate.

We had our battles growing up. I had to include her in all the
neighborhood games. By the time we hit middle school, we
each had our own set of friends. I tortured her as a sibling will,
making fun of her purple bedroom with Donny Osmond posters.
The one act that irritated her most was when I saw her wearing
some kind of silver plastic sandals, and told her she had "boy toes."
She was outraged! I had found her Achilles heel in those sandals.
Whenever I wanted to needle her, all I had to do was lean over
and whisper, "boy toes."

Since I was older, I got my license and a car first. But I had to
drive her to school. Be careful what you wish for, huh? Living
in Missouri, we were occasionally sent home from school early
due to snowstorms. My Hillbilly Dad had always said to put
more weight in the back if you had to drive on snow. We lived
at the top of a quarter-mile hill, and I had a Chevy Vega, bright
yellow with a black stripe down the side. (The color had nothing
to do with the way it slid around in snow--I'm just bragging about
what a fine car I had!!!) When I found out we were being
dismissed early, I waited in the hall for Sis and told her, "You
need to get in the hatch so we can make it up the hill." She
hurried past me and said, "Uh uh. I'm riding the bus home!"
Oooh! I was spittin' mad. I couldn't wait to tell on her. I was
hoping she would get in trouble and have to ride the bus all the
time, but no such luck.

I never did much to hurt her physically, though there was the
time she was cleaning her ear with a bobby pin and I "accidentally"
bumped her arm. I wouldn't have been in so much trouble if it
wasn't for all that blood. (Let this be a lesson to you, kids. Don't
ever put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear.) The only
other physical thing I remember was regularly chasing her for
revenge so I could thump her on the back. That sound of a
lung rattling against her ribs was quite satisfying.

Don't go thinking Sis was an angel, and I was a bully. Check out
her transgressions. She loved to get me in trouble. A clever ruse
was to call me around the corner with the lure of, "C'mere. I've
got something to tell you." And I fell for it. I'd go around the
corner, and Sis would promptly CLAP her hands together and
start screaming, "OW! Mom! She slapped me!" Now this was
not a lung-thumping...I hadn't laid a hand on her.

Mom was a teacher at a school about 20 minutes away. After
school, before Mom got home, it was our job to fix supper. I
didn't like to cook, so Sis did the cooking, and I did the dishes.
Fair enough, one would think. Sis always cooked spaghetti or
lasagna. I hate both. She would dump something in a pan, then
say, "Oh, I didn't want that pan. I want this pan." So I had extra
dishes to wash, and a meal that I didn't like.

Another example: when I was 18 or 19, I played on a fast-pitch
softball team sponsored by a hole-in-the-wall bar called Al's Tavern.
Most of the girls were older, but a friend and I had been asked to
join their team. After a win, the owner of Al's said to come on to
the tavern. We drank soda, they drank beer. This might be something
I had neglected to tell the parental units. But Sis made sure they knew.
She rushed home one evening to tell them that she had seen my car
parked in front of Al's Tavern. They questioned me, but since I was
a good kid, I pointed out that if I wanted to sneak around, I would
not have parked my screaming yellow car in front of a bar less than
two miles from our house. They said they knew there was a good
explanation. Sis was spittin' mad this time.

How about the piece de resistance? When I had knee surgery the
first time, I was on crutches for 10 days. While recuperating, I had
fallen down an 8-step flight of stairs at my parents' split-level home.
It made them nervous when I went crutching up or down the stairs.
Dad was at work, and Mom had to run to town. She left me at home
with Sis, with strict instructions not to leave the family room. We
had a bathroom down there, and she told Sis if I needed anything
from upstairs, that she was to get it for me. I sat with my leg propped
up in a recliner. Sis and I watched some TV. She was nice enough.
Then I needed a drink. I asked her nicely if she could go up to the
kitchen to get me a glass of water. "Sure," she said. She returned
with one of those green Tupperware glasses full of water. I took a
drink and almost spit it out. It was hot water. Sis laughed an evil
laugh. I asked why she brought me hot water. She shrugged. "You
didn't say you wanted cold water."

We are still on speaking terms. I don't see her very often, but she
is a laugh riot when I do. And I know better than to go around the
corner to hear a secret.

#3 Official Answer: What Would Rednecks Do?

The question this week was "What would a Redneck Mama do if
she was in the recliner watching TV and her son ran in to tell her
the cat was stalking a chipmunk?"

The official answer is to try and save the chipmunk by catching it
and putting it in a tree. OK, I didn't say it was a smart Redneck
Mama. More details can be found here.

The scoring for this week goes like this:

Rebecca: (3)
Scolding child for interrupting TV
Using child to bring food
Alternate use for chipmunk

Deadpanann (2)
Letting child learn from mistakes

Bert Ford (3)
Animal killing
Wild animal casserole
Skinning a cat

Redneck Diva (3)
VHS tape
America's Funniest Videos

So it looks like we have a 3-way tie for first, which puts Miss Ann
in second and reminds her that if you can't run with the big dogs,
you might as well stay on the porch. Hey, it was only one point. You
don't really have to stay on the porch. You can run around with those
fleabags if you want. Please come back and play again next week,
and maybe I won't get so smart-alecky with you.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

From the Benadryl Files

Deadpanann, yo' mama was good for two posts for me this week.
That's mighty neighborly of her. I hope your broken finger enjoyed
the Benadryl more than I did.

It all started with a trip to the dentist for the pulling of the wisdom
teeth. I lived in Sheldon, Missouri, and my dentist was in Cabool.
Why? I had worked near Cabool the previous year, and had quite
a bit of dental work done there. I liked the dentist. He gave me
headphones to listen to The Best of Alabama while he gouged
around in my mouth. He also gave me nitrous.

I got a Friday appointment when I had a day off from work. I stayed
with my friend Cheri, who lived near Cabool. The tooth extraction
wasn't too bad. I'm sure I had some type of painkiller, since I don't
remember being in pain. On Sunday morning, I had a rash. Cheri
thought it was measles. Yeah, that's a disease people actually had
before all this newfangled vaccine business. I told her I'd already
had the measles, in 9th grade. Uh huh...I was a late bloomer. I
remembered that I had them, because the secretary and nurse looked
me over in the office, and then sent me home. My friends had a good
laugh at my expense, because I had measles.

Cheri didn't believe me. She called my Hillbilly Mama, who confirmed
that I had indeed had the measles. By that time my rash had started
to itch. And spread. It was on my palms and also the inside of my
mouth. HM told Cheri that if it kept spreading, I probably should go
to the doctor. Yeah. On Sunday. By afternoon we decided to go
to the emergency room in Mansfield. That's the best I remember...
it was some town on Hwy 60 on the way to Springfield.

I felt kind of dumb, going to the emergency room for a rash. But the
itching was driving me crazy. I waited in the exam room for a while,
then a nurse came in and asked me the problem. Like she couldn't
see that I had red spots all over me. She turned my arms over, looked
at both sides, and then said, "Drop your pants." I didn't want to,
because I was really really cold. I told her I had spots on my legs too,
but when the pants came off, we saw that the spots had all run together
My thighs were puffy red blobs. That nursed talked a little faster
then, and called in a doctor. They decided that I was in the midst
of an allergic reaction to the ampicillin the dentist had given me after
pulling my wisdom teeth. They gave me a shot of Benadryl, and the
nurse said it was a good thing I came in, because the swelling would
have gotten worse as I kept taking the ampicillin, and my throat
could have swelled shut. Good to know.

They observed me for a little while, wrote out a couple of
prescriptions, and then told me I could go home. The nurse said,
"I hope you didn't drive yourself here." I thought, "It's a little late to
tell me that now. What if I had?" Because I was in no shape to drive.
I climbed into Cheri's little red Ford Escort and felt like I had no
bones in my body. At least I wasn't cold anymore. Cheri talked,
but all I heard was her droning. I couldn't make out the words.

My head felt like a balloon, but without the helium. It didn't want
to float. It wanted to roll down my right shoulder, pause for dramatic
effect at my elbow hanging out the car window, shout "Look at ME
everybody," then do a swan dive (well, as good a swan dive a balloon
head with no arms or legs could do), and skim like a skipping stone
along the weedy Hwy 60 right-of-way that the MoDOT crews had
neglected. Benadryl was not my friend.

I missed three days of work, then Cheri missed work to drive me
back to Sheldon. I went back to work teaching PE to elementary
children. The woman principal came to my building to check on
me, probably to ascertain whether I had just really wanted a long
weekend. I held out my arms and told her proudly, "See? My spots
are almost all gone now." She asked if I had someone staying with
me, and I said, "Yes." Then she told me I should go home and get
better, and not to worry about work. Right in the middle of 1st hour!
Apparently, Atarax was not my friend, either.

#3 What Would Rednecks Do?

And now, for something completely different. It is time for this
week's Redneck reality question.

What were minding your own business in your recliner,
watching a marathon of MTV's Real World, and your son ran
into the house hollerin' "Mom! The cat is stalking something!"?
Upon further investigation, you discovered the cat was shopping
for chipmunk for supper, in full view of your young children

What would a Mama Redneck do?

The official answer will be posted on Sunday, July 31. There may
be more than one correct answer, however.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Hillbilly Mama, Medicine Woman

I was reading Deadpanann's tale of her "breakdown" the other day,
and she gave me the most scathingly brilliant idea. Oh, wait...that
was Hayley Mills in The Trouble With Angels. Anyway, Deadpanann
mentioned that her mother once gave her Benadryl for a broken
finger. That got me thinking about my Hillbilly Mama, and how she
thought she knew doctorin' better than my doctor.

During my third year of college, I had knee surgery to remove a
torn cartilage. The lateral meniscus of my left knee, to be specific.
This was so long ago that I didn't just have the three-band-aid
arthroscopic drive-thru snip-job, but a major surgery which resulted
in five days in the hospital. I have an attractive little five-inch scar
as a memento. The thing is, they cut through my muscle and nerves
to take out that jaggedy ol' troublemaking cartilage, and then had
to give me therapy on leg-lifting and crutch-walking to sponge up
all the available insurance money they could.

Three years later, I had arthroscopic surgery on the same knee
for the same thing. Yeah, apparently the cartilage can regenerate
part of the rim, and tear again. At least that's what they told me.
My book-learnin' taught me that cartilage doesn't grow back, but
who was I to argue with an orthopedic surgeon? So the point I'm
making here is that I've had both types of surgery, and the second
one was nothing. I was up and around in no time with it.

Now to the HM part of the story. That first surgery was in my
college town just before Christmas break. My parents came out
for the operation, and took me home after I was released. It was
a 4-hour drive back to Hooterville. My doctor gave me a
prescription for a painkiller, because let me tell you, this ordeal
was mighty painful.

I sat sideways in the back seat of the family sedan, with my leg
propped out straight. My HM went to fill the prescription at the
hospital pharmacy. She came back and handed me a bottle of
Tylenol #4 With Codeine. It did not look like there were many
pills in the bottle. She saw me holding it up and peering through
the plastic. "Oh, I just had him fill half the prescription. I don't
want you to get hooked on them."

WHAAAAT? I'd just had nerve-slashing, bone-scraping surgery,
had a four-hour ride ahead of me, and she was worried that I might
get "hooked" on painkillers? Yo! Mama! Had you been watching
too much Mod Squad and Baretta? Had I ever given you one minute
of trouble in adolescence? I didn't drink, I didn't smoke, I didn't
hang out at the Head Shop on Main Street. Whatever gave you
the idea that I didn't need something to deaden that throbbing
toothache in my knee? I swallowed one for the road, and promptly
fell asleep for the duration of the trip. That is what Tylenol #4 With
Codeine does for me. WooHoo! Gotta call my drug pusher, HM,
because there's nothing I like better than a high old time of nodding
off to sleep for 4 hours within 5 minutes of ingesting my downers.

My HM does not remember the events happening this way. It is
not something I can forget.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

I Can Read the Writing on the Wall

Well, since you've all been good, I will tell you that story about "the
writing on the wall" that I promised a couple of days ago.

At one of my schools long ago, we had an LD teacher who was a
little different. LD stands for learning disability. These kids have
been tested and found to have a measurable problem in some area.
It might be reading, it might be math, it might be both. The point I
am making is that this is just a normal cross-section of kids who
have a learning problems. They are not troublemakers. They
exhibit the same kinds of behaviors you would get from other
middle school kids who are not in that class.

Let's rename this teacher "Donna." She didn't quite fit in with the rest
of us, but we didn't really know why. She tried to make conversation
with us at lunch, and in the teachers' lounge, but we didn't know how
to respond to some of her comments. We did try to be nice.

One day Donna said, "I just don't know what to do. Every day after
the kids leave, I see that somebody has written "F*** me" on the
blackboard right behind my desk. I erase it, but the next day after
they leave, I see that it is there again."

Now how do you respond to something like this? We don't exactly
need to call in the CIA. You are an adult. These kids are 11-14
years old. How can they outsmart you every day for two weeks?
How can you not notice who goes behind you while you are sitting
at your desk? If you are out in the room helping another student,
how can you not know who is up and roaming around? Why do
students think they have the right to write on the board? Do they
do it because they think it's a joke, or because they hate your guts?

We all gave Donna our advice:

Don't leave the chalk on the chalk tray. Keep it in your desk.
Don't let anyone walk behind your desk.
Don't let anyone out of his seat without permission.
When you are in the hall between classes, make sure they all sit
down when they enter the room.

She must have solved the problem, because we quit hearing about
it. But then my two good friends and I would slap a hand to our
forehead when we did something really dumb, and exclaim,
"F*** me!" Donna didn't know. We weren't really making fun of
her. She just gave us a good saying to use.

So here's the point I'm trying to make: There comes a time when
you have to be able to read the writing on the wall. If you want
to be a middle school teacher, you have to be on your toes. You
have to want to join that circus. You must be willing to be the
clown and the lion tamer, to walk that high wire between "buddy"
and "prison guard." And if you slip, you must be willing to bounce
back up and learn from that mistake, and make adjustments. Not
all people are cut out for this job. If you can not control your little
corner of the Big Top, you can not contribute to the maximum
development of each little performer in the circus that is your
school. Kids this age are fighting for independence. It is a normal
phase of development that allows them to break away from
adult influence in order to become mature adults. They must be
guided in the right direction--not forced. If you can't develop a
comfortable, yet respectful, learning environment for them, you
should try a high school position, or maybe another line of work.

Donna should have read the writing on the wall.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

When I Think Back on All the Crap I Learned in High School...

Let's continue with yesterday's post of my public education, by way
of Mr. Paul Simon's "Kodachrome."

Here are a few things I learned in high school:

A chili bean can shoot out of your nose if you laugh hard enough
during lunch time.

A gerbil will not stay in the teacher's top desk drawer until you are
ready to surprise her, but will wander freely from drawer to drawer.

If you take Advanced Chemistry by way of independent study, you
can complete all 30 modules in the first 6 weeks, and have the rest
of the year to goof off while unsupervised.

The wooden chairs in studyhall are the best for popping your spine.

If the whole class says they forgot to read the assigned chapter in
the mythology book, the teacher will say, "Well, do it next time"
and turn on I Love Lucy reruns.

If you set a pencil on the edge of your desk and give it a good
karate chop, it will stick in the ceiling.

A superball will bounce from wall-to-wall about 40-eleven times
if you fling it just right.

Pay attention when somebody flings the superball.

Shorthand is kind of like a secret code.

Don't sit in the back row unless you want to be a volunteer to
work problems on the board in trigonometry.

Open lunch hour allows students to return to 5th hour classes
with a good buzz on.

When the coolest girl in school gets green hair from swimmng
in a chlorinated pool, nobody teases her.

A Japanese exchange student does not know that you should
put the shower curtain inside the tub.

OF means to multiply!!! As in, "20 percent of 500 is ______."

I before E except after C, or when sounded as A, like in
neighbor and weigh.

A squared plus B squared equals C squared.

If you use your track shoes to play drums on a teammate's
skull, that teammate will have to get a tetanus shot.

Pith balls are scientific paraphernalia, and not meant to be a
source of humor for 9th graders.

If you drop a chunk of potassium into water, it will explode.

I don't know if this is what I was supposed to learn, but it was
good enough to make me valedictorian.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


We returned home from a trip to see Charlie and the
Chocolate Factory to find our pool had some serious
drainage issues. Not a good thing when it's 98 degrees
and two kids are counting on their nightly swim. We
grabbed the hose to try and fill the void. As of now, it
has been filling for 4 hours, and is only about 6 inches
deeper. Oh, don't worry about the kids--they got in and
"swam" anyway. That water is going to be really cold

My Life of Education Hasn't Hurt Me None

Remember that Paul Simon classic, Kodachrome? Probably not,
you young whippersnappers. It goes like this: "When I think back
on all the crap I learned in high's a wonder I can think
at all. And though my life of education hasn't hurt me none...I can
read the writing on the wall." Don't I sing right purty? I don't know
why I was thinking about that song, except it was a summer song
from back in the day.

Then I was reading Redneck Diva's tale of baking a turkey when
there was a peak alert, which means that you are supposed to
conserve energy and not do things like bake during peak hours
of electrical usage. And thanks, Diva, because I had no hot water
and took a COLD shower Sunday because for some reason the
breaker tripped for our water heater. I think you used just a little
too much electricity before it had a chance to come this way, and
in my mind now turkey = cold shower.

All this got me to thinking that I don't cook too much that doesn't
come out of a box or a can. I hope they teach the kids that stuff
these days, though I did hear one of my students ask another, "If
I bring a can of corn to the old people's dinner, will you cook it
for me?" As far as I know, the kids only spend about 2 weeks
of their Family and Consumer Science (FACS) class on cooking.

Way back when I had it, it was called Home Economics. They
didn't teach us much useful stuff, either. I learned how to make
a cheese souffle. Yeah. That's one of our staples here in Missouri.
Cheese souffle. I don't remember how to make it, mainly because
it tasted like puffy burned cheese. I also learned how to make an
apron, and how to sew a dress from a McCalls' pattern. Both
are skills which I do not need. First of all, even when I cook, I
don't wear an apron. What does that mean--that you're a slob
and know ahead of time that you're going to spill stuff? And I
don't sew myself dresses, because I don't wear dresses, and if
the urge ever strikes me, I'll go to Wal-mart and fork over $19.96
for one already made instead of buying the pattern and material
and thread.

Tomorrow I will elaborate on some other crap I learned in high
school. And if everybody is really good, sometime I will tell you
a story about writing on the wall.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Where Has Summer Gone?

You know summer is almost over when your kid complains that you
woke him up from a good dream--about his teacher. No, it's not
like that. This is the 7-year-old. His first grade teacher is moving up
to teach second grade, and he is in her class again. That's a good
thing. He really bonded with her.

This is the kid who doesn't like school. The one who was sent to
the principal's office in Kindergarten. The only reason he tolerates
school is that he loves his teacher. "I love Miss ***** and you the
same, Mom. But I can only hug her if I am not supposed to be
doing my work."

He hugs other teachers too. I guess that is how he gets away with
stuff and doesn't get in serious trouble. First grade was better than
Kindergarten. He did lose his scissor privileges for cutting his own
hair. At least he didn't scalp someone else. And he had to stand in
the corner during art class because he threw a pencil. "Well," he
said, "I wouldn't have had to stand in the corner except that everyone
told on me." He almost had to go to the office for not apologizing.
He must have learned his lesson in Kindergarten, because when the
art teacher said, "Are you ready to apologize, or do we need to go
down to the office?" he replied, "I think I'm ready to apologize now."
When I told him it was good that he worked it out, he said, "Well,
I used to love Mr. ****** (art teacher), but now I only like him."

We'll see what second grade brings. In about 3 weeks.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

#2 Official Answer What Would Rednecks Do?

Only two people were brave enough to answer this week's question.
Both answers are acceptable Redneck behavior.

The Question: What do you do if your girlfriend doesn't like your
pickup truck?

Rebecca, always the recycler, says to remove parts of the girlfriend's
car to cover the objectionable truck, sell the car for money, and
store the rest in the barn, since you never know when you might need
spare parts. She gets extra Redneck points for "storing in the barn just
in case" and for mentioning duct tape.

Deadpanann says to dump the girlfriend, since she will leave him but
the truck won't, and she is only after an SUV. She gets extra points
for mentioning "the girlfriend and her kids" and SUV.

So I will call this week a tie. These gals know their Rednecks.

Official Answer: Paint the truck. But not all of it, because we're
talking about Rednecks here, folks.

Truck Painting, Redneck Style

When Hillbilly Husband was Future Hillbilly Husband, he had a
1965 Chevy pickup truck that was a mess of colors, though mostly
rust and primer. We lived in the same apartment complex, and when
he pulled into the parking lot after picking up his boys for the
weekend, the residents lounging around the pool would say "Here
comes Sanford and Sons." It was like on Cheers, how they would
all yell, "Norm" when George Wendt entered the bar. In case you
are too young (ahem) to remember, Sanford and Son was a sitcom
about a junk man, starring Redd Foxx.

I did not like this truck, because it looked like it should be parked
in a field behind a barn. People stared when we took it anywhere.
I did not want to be seen in it by people I worked with, or my
students and their parents. I preferred that we take my car, but I
didn't want anyone else to drive it. It was MY car. FHH went along
with this at first, but he had a funny look. I asked him what the
problem was, and he said, "I never had a woman that wouldn't let
me drive." Huh! Like a man's place is behind the wheel, because
the inferior woman should let the expert drive.

FHH said he would paint his truck for me. He decided on blue, with
a white top. He chose blue and white because he had a couple cans
of leftover spray paint. He started with my door--the passenger door.
He painted it blue, and the part around the door window white. And
that is all he painted, because he ran out of paint. So now we drove
around like I was royalty behind a blue-and-white freshly-painted
door, and the rest of the truck was still crappy.

Then one of his friends who was living at home with his mom after a
divorce offered him $150 for it, and he sold it. FHH bought a $600
brown Ford, and we lived happily ever after. And now I have an SUV.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Commercials That Annoy Me

If you read my blog much, you know that I am a TV addict. That
means that I see way too many commercials. And some of them
are just plain WRONG. For example:

That kid in utero that tells his mom to stop shoving peppers down
her neck. Uh uh. Talking fetus = WRONG.

The people who are uncomfortable in their clothes due to needing
fabric softener. They look like they are wearing crusty hair
mummy-wrappings. Even though it is animated, it is gross. That
lady sitting on the ground and scooting her butt like a dog is just

The close-up of a mattress and sheets, and the person diving into
some slimy sludge of cast-off body cells. Uh, no. I don't want to
know about that. WRONG TO THE 10th POWER..

I don't watch these through to the end, so I don't even know
which products to boycott.

On the bright side, here is my current favorite: Wendy's Spicy
Chicken Sandwich. People are dying for water in any form.
They slurp it up from a flower vase, a lawn sprinkler, a water
cooler, an aquarium, and a punctured water bed. The tag line:
"If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the chicken."

#2 What Would Rednecks Do?

This week you'll have to play along with me, people. Put on your
thinking caps. Ha! Now you all look like geeks! Take them off!
Rednecks don't wear thinking caps. Here's the situation:

Your girlfriend of 10 months does not like your 1970's model
Ford pick-up truck. It is a truck of many colors, with "primer"
and "rust" being the dominant palette. She says that people call
you "Sanford and Sons" when you drive your kids around in it,
and she is embarrassed to be seen in it. She wants to take her
car everywhere you go, but she won't let you drive it.

What is the Redneck solution to this problem?

The official answer will be posted Sunday, though there is more
than one acceptable answer.

Friday, July 22, 2005

How Poor Was I?

OK, I'm not talking about homeless poor, or even college-student
poor, like when you sell your plasma to buy beer. (I never did
that, but one of my roommates did). No, what I'm talking about
is the poorest I've ever been with a full-time job.

When I drove through the bank for some cash yesterday, there
was a man lingering beside the building. I was suspicious, because
even though I live in Hooterville, we've had bank robbers. I didn't
much care if this guy robbed the bank, but I didn't want him to
snatch my cash as it came out of the machine. There was one car
ahead of me, then I took my turn. Of course we popped the door
locks. When I left, I looked back, and loiterer was standing at
the cash machine. Which reminded me of a story....

Back in the day, when I was young and without responsibilities,
I took a job at a small school in Sheldon, Missouri. Actually, it
was the only school in Sheldon, Missouri. It was Kindergarten
through 12th grade. There were about 8 students in each grade,
except the sophomores, who had tripletts in their class.

This was a small small town. No grocery store or gas station.
It did have a bank. The bank was open 9:00-3:00, with the
drive-thru open until 5:00, and on Saturday mornings. I walked
to school because it was only about a half-mile, and I was very
poor and wanted to save gas. Now that's poor...not wanting to
drive 1 mile per day.

On payday, I would walk home and stand in line with the cars
at the drive-thru window. I wasn't about to walk home and
drive my car a block to deposit my check. We only got paid
once a month. My take-home pay was $560 per month.
Granted, this wasn't modern times, and a dollar went a little
further back then. But not much, because it was Reaganomics,
baby. There were not many jobs, and nobody was spending
money. My salary was $8700 PER YEAR. Where did people
get off saying teachers were overpaid? And I think Missouri
was ranked 49 out of the 50 states back then in teachers' salaries.
WooHoo, Arkansas, we had you punks beat! This was before
the minimum salary law that nearly doubled my salary the next
year when I moved on. So I waited in line, breathing car exhaust,
walking forward as each car pulled up. There wasn't exactly a rush.
The most in line was 3: a car, me, and another car.

WooHoo! Payday meant I could pay my rent, car payment, phone
bill, set aside some for the insurance payment, buy gas, and buy
groceries. That $560 didn't last long. I had to drive to Nevada for
groceries. No, not the state, silly. It was the town in Missouri up
Highway 71, where they pronounce it "Nuh VAY duh." I only
bought the staples that I would need to survive for the next month.
And after shopping, I could drive through the McDonald's and buy
a hamburger or fries. That's right. I could only afford a hamburger
OR fries, not both. My money was budgeted to the cent.

Do you know what I ate? Cream of wheat for breakfast. Yeah,
that grainy stuff you boil and it turns to mush. And not the flavored
kind, either. I had it straight, with only a spoonful of sugar sprinkled
on top. I had it for supper sometimes, too. I didn't eat lunch.
Occasionally I had meat--the cheapest hot dogs I could buy.
On bread, no buns. Ramen noodles, which I sometimes ate dry
and crunchy so I could save the flavor packet to make some soup.
Sometimes I had real chicken noodle soup. Macaroni and
cheese, with just margarine mixed in, because I couldn't afford milk.
And now, you're in for a real treat, because I am going to share my
special recipe for macaroni and cheese pizza. Actually, I found this
recipe in an ad in an old Redbook magazine that my mom gave me.

Here's how to make it. Cook the macaroni as usual. Grease a
pizza pan. Dump the macaroni and cheese on it, and spread it
out and pack it down. That is the crust. Pour a can of tomato
sauce on it. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. You can add meat
if you have it. A sliced hot dog will work. Bake at a temperature
for a time that I can not remember. Remove from oven, slice,
and eat. It tastes like...rubbery macaroni and cheese with tomato
sauce and hot dog. Not by any stretch of the imagination even
remotely like a pizza.

I could not even afford soda. I had to wash that "pizza" down
with tap water.


Thursday, July 21, 2005


Sit down, buckle up, and prepare for a rant.

I am a lazy slug in the summer. I stay up until 2:00 or 3:00 am, and
on good days I am up by 9:00 am to watch ER reruns on TBS.
Yesterday was not a good day.

At 9:10 am, #2 son came into my bedroom. He usually sleeps until
10:00. He slept on the living room couch last night, because he can.
We don't care about bedtimes in the summer, and he stays up late.
He was in his pajamas (which he insists on wearing inside-out), and
rubbing his eyes. "There is someone on the porch, and I saw
someone walking in the yard."

WHAT? We live a mile up a gravel road. At the entrance to this
gravel road is a sign about 3 feet by 3 feet that proclaims: Private
Road. Trespassers will be prosecuted. That means, people, that
we don't want your trash dumped on our property. It means that
we pay for our own road upkeep, and don't want you using our
2.5 miles of gravel to cut 7 miles off your daily drive. Our roads
are maintained by our hard-earned dollars, not your county
taxes. And we haven't notice you kicking in your $200 every
winter for gravel and tractor gas. We don't want to adopt your
discarded pets. We don't want to host your underage beer parties,
or to provide the guest of honor for your mailbox-bashing sprees.
So JUST KEEP OUT!!! And that expecially means SALESMEN!
And anybody planning to chop me up and put me in a 55-gallon
barrel. (Thank your mama, Redneck Diva, for giving me this
new phobia).

I huffed out of bed, made myself crack-of-the-door presentable,
and traipsed through the living room after #2 son. He put his face
to the glass panel at the side of the door and announced, "He's
still here."

Now what kind of person keeps standing at the door when
nobody answers? He never rang the doorbell--not even once.
And that is the one thing around this house that works. The kids
ring it all the time when they are hankerin' for a trip to spankytown.
#2 said the guy knocked on the door, and that woke him up. So
I guess he had been standing there for at least 5 minutes. He was
probably perusing the yard for kid toys to help his sales pitch.

I opened the door a crack, and there's this kid about 20-25 years
old with a clipboard. "Are you the lady of the house?" Yeah, what
other haggard hag would drag herself to the door to deal with him?
I wanted to say, "No, I am this week's ho. The wife is really ugly."
He started his spiel, "I'm a college student and I'm trying to earn

"We're not interested." I started to close the door. He took a
step closer and continued. Then I was really ticked, and I said,
"How did you even get in here? This is a private road. We don't
want any salesmen." Then I slammed the door. I guess he left.
I didn't look out to give him another chance.

Last year another guy from this company was here, and the year
before that a different one. They are persistant and don't want to
take "NO!" for an answer. One year I actually went out and
stood on the front porch with one, and when he saw I wasn't
buying anything, he turned to #1 son, who was in 2nd grade.
He started asking him wouldn't he like to read about dinosaurs,
and trains, etc. #1 told him, "No. I'm into computers." The
nerve of that guy, trying to manipulate me into buying something
using my kid! I asked him how he got up in here to solicit on a
private road. He seemed to think it was OK, because a neighbor
had "recommended" us. Then he tried to pump me for information
on the next house up the road from me. No way.

I understand that people have to make a living. That does not
give them the right to make their own rules. Private means
private. I does not mean everybody but you, keep out.
There are plenty of houses in town where you can peddle
your wares. That's one of the reasons we moved out here.
What with the Mormons parking their bicycles in the yard and
wanting to sit a spell, and the Jehovah's Witnesses hawking
the Watchtower, and the van full of kids selling cleaning supplies
one week and magazines the next, and the Sheriff's Deputies
trying to serve warrants on people who didn't live there anymore,
and the traveling health team wanting to suck our child's blood
to test for lead.....I pretty much needed a butler to answer my
door all summer. Now I want my privacy.

Disclaimer: I have nothing against the Mormons or Jehovah's
Witnesses. This is their way of spreading their Word, and
they are just doing what they have to do. And they know the
meaning of the phrase 'Private Road.' My mother used
to invite them in and chat for an hour or so. They stopped
coming back.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

New Civilization Discovered!

A new civilization was discovered yesterday on the outskirts
of Redneckland, living in the Hillbilly Mansion. It appears to
consist of only two individuals, who have been named "Whiners"
by the other inhabitants.

The Whiners have highly-developed building skills, but are
quite lacking in skills such as feeding, cleaning, and entertaining
themselves, as well as interpersonal relationships.

Whiners communicate mostly with nonverbal methods. Their
repertoire includes throwing objects, poking, pinching, kicking,
thumping, and sitting on each other until tears flow.

Their limited vocabulary contains one word which has dozens
of meanings. The word "mom," when stretched out into three
syllables, can be used for:

  • Where are you?
  • I don't want to.
  • Don't change the channel.
  • I'm telling.
  • I have been wronged.
  • I am mad at you.
  • I'm warning you.
  • Please.
  • Stop it.
  • Feed me.
  • Look for it.
  • I want to go.
  • Help me.
  • Come running, I am about to die.
  • Here's a spider.
  • The toilet is overflowing.
  • Why can't we go swimming?
  • You like him better.
  • Buy it for me.
  • I am going to vomit.
  • I require some assistance in cleaning my anus.
  • You made me lose.
  • I want my window down.
  • Put it on my radio station.
  • Those pieces look equal. You know I deserve a bigger one.
  • I am not ready to go to sleep now.
  • Stop telling people I used to carry a purse.
  • I don't want to take a bath.
  • All the other kids get to drink Mountain Dew.
  • I thought I was lost.
  • Make it better.

The whiner diet consists of anything that comes in a box or
contains sugar. Meat and vegetables are poison to them, and
they won't touch them. They can be persuaded to consume milk
only if it is poured over sugary cereal. Whatever you do, don't
give them caffeine after 6:00 p.m.

I will carefully observe these Whiners to see if they can be
of any benefit to modern society. They seem to be adept at
operating electronic gadgetry, but not capable of taking over
the world until they improve their communication skills.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Bright Idea? Posted by Picasa

This is how we turn on our redneck lamp. The plastic turny part
cracked, and all it would do was spin. This was no good for
turning the lamp off. Of course, Nobody did it. And of course
it was about 2:00 a.m. when I went to turn it off and found out
that it wouldn't work.

I can't leave a lamp on all night. A light, yeah. But not a lamp.
I am sure it will burn the house down. This lamp is in the
haunted basement, where #1 son has decided to sleep all
summer. So I had to go in the workshop part of the basement
to find pliers to get a grip and turn it off.

First I had to unscrew that metal thimble-looking thing that
holds on the shade. It gets kind of hot. Normally, I would turn
off the lamp and let it cool down before removing the shade,
BUT the reason I was removing the shade was to turn off the
lamp. Next I'll be selling my hair to buy a watch fob.

I told my Hillbilly Husband that the lamp was broken. He grunted,
which I think meant, I, too, know what it is like to have a lamp
that won't turn on or off without pliers. I will fix that situation
you as fast as humanly possible, for I love you and above
all wish for you to
be happy and have a lamp that works.
Or not.

After 2 days of plier-lamping, I called HH while he was in Wal-mart.
"Get a lamp." HH said, "I'll get a relay to fix that one." What? Was
he bringing home Wal-mart Associates in their striking blue vests
to run around the basement handing off pliers for speedy lamp
switching? We might even get a strobe effect! But no...he meant
some kind of electrical switch. Which he didn't get. He didn't get
a new lamp, either.

How long do you keep a lamp? I know this one is at least 17 years
old. At what point can you say, "I sure got my money's worth out
of that lamp. Time to get a new one." Especially if the lamp does
not work anymore. HH says it still works--it just needs pliers.

I think I will give him this lamp for his BARn, and get a new one
for my haunted basement.

Monday, July 18, 2005

I'm A Loser. It's Official.

All right, I am officially a loser. As if there was ever any doubt.
Congratulations to Mr. Huggies, winner of Rebecca's Big Blogger
Contest. The final vote: Sheep on a Unicycle (301), Me (2583),
and Mr. Huggies (4002). I hope he puts the prize of absolutely
nothing to good use.

I could have won, you know. I had 4003 monkeys all set up to
click 4003 mice. I had promised them each a bite of Cheese
Sandwich. Then Cheese Sandwich came to an unfortunate end,
and was replaced by a Sheep on a Unicycle. My monkeys did
not want a bite of sheep. Whenever they thought of sheep, they
started counting, and 1420 monkeys fell asleep, just like in the
Wizard of Oz. I could have voted for myself 1420 times, but
that would have given me carpal tunnel syndrome and I could
not continue to put out such high-quality posts for you all to
enjoy--I mean tolerate--each day. So now I am a loser, and
Mr. Huggies has my nothing.

Thank you Deadpanann, for supporting me in my quest for the
Big Blogger title. I am sorry for stalking you, but it was all part
of the contest. Too bad I didn't have a stalker to run up the vote
for me. Thanks to the rest of you who helped my monkeys
vote. I could not have lost without you.

And now, I would like to share with you some quotes about
competition. I don't know who said them, but I heard them

"Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser."
"If a tie is like kissing your sister, then losing is like kissing your
grandma with her teeth out."
"It's not whether you win or lose....but whether I win or lose."
"If at first you don't succeed, find out if there's a prize for the loser."
"Second place is first loser."

OK...well, that didn't cheer me up very much. I need to find some
new motivational quotes. I feel like Charlie Brown. Can someone
please get me a scraggly little Christmas tree? Anybody? Anybody?


Friday night I was watching the Travel Channel again, because I have
no life. Those of you who share my lack of life know that Friday night
is scary night, with Most Haunted and Haunted Hotels. So I tune in
at 7:00, to get the most scare for my lifeless weekend, and what are
they showing but "Bigfootville." That is not scary, just bizarre.

Turns out that "Bigfootville" is in eastern Oklahoma. It's not a real
town, just an area where there have been many Bigfoot sightings.
HELLO! Redneck Diva? Babs? Monty? Why was I never told
about this? I read your blogs regularly, and none of you have ever
mentioned Bigfoot. Is this a secret you are keeping from us?
According to this show, just about everyone in Oklahoma but
you three has seen a Bigfoot. What gives?

Some professor said he had a friend who carved large wooden
feet and walked around leaving Bigfoot tracks. Jeez! And I thought
I had no life! He thought it was all a hoax. A park ranger guy said
he had never seen any sign, like poo or bones, to give any concrete
evidence that could be DNA analyzed. OK, smartypants, how
often do you find bear poo and skeletons? Because wouldn't you
think someone might have found this and mistook it for Bigfoot
evidence and had it analyzed? And you know what bears do in
the woods...don't you watch those toilet paper commercials?

This TV reporter went back in the swampy soggybottom land
with some guys who had seen a Bigfoot there. Did they go in
the daylight? Oh, no....let's go at night and without night vision
and scare ourselves to death in the woods with Mr. Creepy
Bigfoot watching us. They heard something up on the ridge, and
tried to see in the dark. Maybe they should have thought to take
a night-vision scope or something. Silly people. This one guy
whipped out a pistol and pointed it up the hill. Great, I thought.
He's gonna shoot that guy with the wooden feet. But no, he pointed
the red laser thing, and said "Between those trees there?" Then
a rock came flying down the hill at them. THEN Bubba shot that
pistol. Because if there is an elusive, mysterious, missing link that
the world is dying to discover throwing rocks at you, of course
you must kill it dead.

Let's be reasonable for a minute. Why would you shoot at it?
Isn't it more likely that it's some Bigfoot impersonator dressed up
in an ape suit, than an actual Bigfoot? What if Bubba had killed
someone? What's his defense? "I thought he was Bigfoot." What
if he actually killed a Bigfoot? Would he want the head to mount
on his wall? "Yep...that's a big 'un. Well, I think he's a big 'un,
but it's the only one in the history of the world, so you'll have to
take my word for it, cause there's nothin' to compare him to.
He was chuckin' rocks at us in the dark, so I killed him."

The same night of the rock chucking, there was a Bigfoot sighting
several miles away on a farm in the middle of nowhere. The guy
said there are no houses within 10 miles. He saw a Bigfoot walk
across the field in the moonlight. It put its hand on a fencepost
and stepped over the barbed wire fence. That Mr. Bigfoot sure
is athletic. I would definitely pick him first on my rock-chucking
fence-stepping team.

And wouldn't you know it--these Bigfeet pop up at will when
you don't have a camera with you, but set out some bait and
night-vision cameras, and they don't even phone to say they're
running late.

Back in the day, there was Mo-Mo, the Missouri Monster.
He must have been Bigfoot's hick cousin. I never saw one of
him, either. It's hard for me to believe such a thing exists.
Wouldn't some hillbilly have married one already, and had
a passel of kids that are hard to buy shoes for?

I may believe in ghosts, but not in Bigfoot. There's not enough
evidence. And since I'm from Missouri, you'll have to show me.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

#1 Official Answers: What Would Rednecks Do?

Question: What would rednecks do with a possum that was "sleeping"
in the driveway all day?

Official Answers: Toss it in the neighbor's field OR throw it down the
sinkhole. Details can be found here.

The closest to the official answer was Chewy, who said "toss it next
door into the yard of the neighbors." Close, but no dead possum, was
Redneck Diva, who said "toss it out in the field." She also pointed out
that her husband would shoot it 47 times, even if it was already dead.

All answers this week were in the acceptable redneck range. Misha
said "shoot it and run over it a few times." I think she might have some
issues to work out. Rebecca must be one of those recycling fanatics
that lets no part of the possum go to waste, because she says to
"run over it, make grub and grits, and tan the hide to make a hat for jr."
My teaching-buddy-without-a-blog thinks this way too, as she e-mailed
her answer of "drive over it with a 4x4 until dead, skin it and tack the
hide to the barn door, and prepare a gourmet meal for hubby and little
ones." She watches Emeril, so I guess he cooked gourmet possum one

Now I am a bit worried about the redneckness of Rachel, because
she said "bring it in as a pet, with a name and place to sleep, and give
it something to nibble on." While she claims to have redneck roots,
they must have been the black sheep of the rednecks, because the
only way rednecks would be so nice to a possum is if they were
fattening him up for a main course. Rachel, you are on double-secret
redneck probation. I will watch for your answer to next Saturday's
Redneck Quiz.
BARn Bed-The Last Corner of the Loft Posted by Picasa

In case somebody drinks too much to walk down the steps
of the Barn Bar, Hillbilly Husband installed this bed. It looks
small, but it is like a twin bed. Now. It used to be our redneck
waterbed from our old house. He sawed the frame in half, and
put an air mattress in it. Not the $2.00 kind from Wal-mart
for floating in a blue plastic Wal-mart pool. It's one of those
as seen on TV that you blow up to make your guest sleep on
when you get uninvited company and want to teach him a
lesson about never dropping in for an overnight visit.

The "pillows" are 3 fund-raiser butt cushions that the older boys
sold years ago for school. Above the bed are a bunch of beer
goblets. I don't know where the genie bottle came from, or what
HH has been wishing for.

In the foreground is a small drafting table that HH painted with
black squares for playing chess and checkers. He plays chess
with 7-year-old #2 son. I don't know who wins, but I would
guess that it's an even contest.

This now concludes our tour of the Redneck Barn. Please proceed
down the steps in an orderly fashion. Feel free to walk around the
grounds. Anyone who finds a possum or a chipmunk may keep it,
no charge.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Can You Say "John Deere?" Posted by Picasa

This is the John Deere corner. That's the door on the left
that leads downstairs. I'm glad we got a picture of the fan
that has never been cleaned. It has been in our old house
near the chat dump (lead dust, anyone?), to my Steelville
classroom, my current classroom, and here.

There's my grandma's wicker picnic basket, and some old
student desks that Hillbilly Grandma got from her old school.
The wooden high chair is from an auction. I don't know why
we needed that, since our boys had a plastic one, and were
grown out of it by the time this chair joined the family. On the
end of the shelf is a bottle of some kind of alcohol that my
other grandma gave Hillbilly Husband. Yeah....let's make sure
to store the really flammable stuff in the loft of a tin barn that
might reach...oh, I don't know....maybe 150 DEGREES in the

Tomorrow...the last corner of the BARn Loft.

#1 What Would Rednecks Do?

Instead of my usual Saturday Hillbilly Mom's Movie Challenge, I am
starting "What Would Rednecks Do?" There is an answer that I have
in mind, but there is certainly more than one correct answer. This
week's question:

You find a possum sleeping in your driveway as you are leaving for
work. It is still there in the afternoon when you return. You just can't
have a possum in your driveway indefinitely. The neighbors might think
less of you. What Would Rednecks Do?
BARn Loft In Progress Posted by Picasa

This corner is across from the bar. It is a work in progress.
The most notable objects are the early 1900's double-barrel
shotgun and the old fishing pole mounted on the wall.

That is some sort of Coca-Cola diner thing mounted on the
wall. More Johnny West memorabilia jeep and trailer. On
the shelf are a beer pitcher and goblets, brand unknown to
me. The set of glasses is probably Falstaff. The TV and VCR
were scavenged from the kids. The movie library is mostly
kid stuff for when #2 son comes to the bar. It also includes
my Waterboy, and a John Wayne collection, and I think
my Lonesome Dove set.

This corner definitely needs a makeover.

Friday, July 15, 2005

BARn Loft, Redneck Style Posted by Picasa

Here is what Hillbilly Husband built in the loft of our barn...
his own personal bar. He collected those beer bottles at
flea markets. His oldest son brought him the girly poster.
The brown bar chairs he brought from his old workplace.
Hanging above the bar are beer buckets. I assume these
came from flea markets also, except for the 3 I had from
the St. Louis Strassenfest.(Hey, I had a life before I met
him.) Some of the trays he got on eBay.

As you might guess, he did not consult me about the floor.
And that attractive black runner with the yellow safety stripe
was purchased through his work. It leads to a little room
where he is going to put a stove and microwave. He already
has them, scavenged from our old kitchen and Hillbilly
Grandma's kitchen. There is a drafting table bought from
his old job, and a Johnny West horse trailer from my childhood.
They are not really part of the bar motif, they just happened
to be in the picture that #1 son took for me. (He thinks of it
as a spy mission.)

The bar top has a Falstaff logo that HH traced and colored
(everything he needs to know he learned in kindergarten) and
clear-coated. There is a Wal-mart mini-fridge behind the bar.
To hear him tell it, he stocks it with soda for the kids. To hear
my little spy, 001, tell it, it is stocked with soda, beer, and
candy bars.

Tomorrow...another view of the loft.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Inside the Redneck Barn, 1st Floor Posted by Picasa

This is looking to the right, once you go in the door.
Hillbilly Husband built a workbench with cabinets that
runs along this wall and the back wall. That is the best
part. Not that you can see it.

This barn is like Forrest Gump with got your
table saw, mitre saw, band saw, circular saw, jigsaw...
I don't know my saws, so I don't know the ones in the
picture. On the wall near the ceiling are loops of saw
blades in their brown paper wrappers.

There's a dust collector (ha! everything in here is a dust
collector), and a pull-down electrical cord in the foreground.
Hanging to the side is a dolly (or to be macho about it, a
hand truck).

We used to be able to park a truck or the lawnmowers
(working and nonworking) and the 4-wheelers in here.
HH has some cleaning to do, as soon as he gets done
with his upstairs play room. Pics of that tomorrow.
Posted by Picasa

Ground floor, looking in the door of the Redneck Barn,
you will find a lot of junk. This is like one of those pictures
where you have to find hidden items. I see the seats from
a Porche that Hillbilly Husband got at work. There is #2
son's itty bitty 4-wheeler, some trash cans with actual trash
in them (as opposed to dogfood and aluminum cans).

I think the red thing is a gas can, but it could be a case for
some kind of manly tools. The green cylinder, according
to #1 son, is some kind of gas for welding. The paneling/
plywood things are a platform taken apart and brought
home from work by HH. He only works for the free stuff,
I think. I see some car jacks, and the metal sawhorses,
and some lawn chairs. The floor is concrete with red dye,
not some gruesome remnants from chopping someone up
and stuffing her in a 55 gallon barrel (listen to your mama,
Redneck Diva!).

The empty space is only there because the doors open in.
If you can name anything in either picture, have at it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Big Blogger Final Challenge

The Big Blogger Final Challenge will net the winner 1000 votes.
I need them, but I am not optimistic. Even though I pride myself
on being a pretty darn good cyberstalker, I could not find this info
on Big Blogger. I will do my best.

1. What musical instrument does Big Blogger play when it
is time
to get out of the shower? Since my voyeuristic powers
do not reach across the ocean, I will have to guess on this one.
I know it is not the flute, because Big Blogger has seen American
Pie. Now the most logical would be "air guitar," but I am going to
be different from the herd and say "air drums."

2. What Simpson quote does Big Blogger say when she
gets home from a hard day at work? This was a tough choice.
I prefer "Television! Teacher, mother, secret lover." But I think
Big Blogger would go for "I'm done working. Working is for

3. What is Big Blogger's favorite animal?
This would be the
yabby. I don't know what a yabby is, but that's the answer, unless
BB plagiarized her animal preferences from Neisha.

4. What food stuff does Big Blogger keep in emergency
This is a tough one. It is not mushrooms, or cheese for
a sandwich, or a Boston Bun. It could be kangaroo, the other
red meat. It could be chicken, for making 4-Finger Chicken.
It could be lamb fries, because Big Blogger needs them to deal
with the lecherous old men who follow her pheromone trail. At
first I thought it was Melba Toast, but for now I will play it safe
and say it is safety-spice lemon pepper.

5. What should Big Blogger do when this competition is over?
Hmm...Stand-up comedy...make a movie...get a cooking show
...advice column? I like the advice column idea. It will give Big
Blogger the best opportunity to force people to do her bidding
like she did in the Big Blogger Contest.

Let me try those again:
1. Air guitar
2. "Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream?"
3. Dog
4. Vegemite
5. Advice column

Some minor adjustments:
1. Air BASS Guitar
2. "D'oh!"
3. Cow
4. Vegemite
5. Advice Column

Answers to Movie Challenge 7.0

And the winner is......Alexandrialeigh, with a 200 % increase in her
score from last week. Congratulations, girl. Take a cyberbow.
The answers:

1. "He looks somewhat like a mouse."
Jonathan Lipnicki in Stuart Little, looking at his new "brother."

2. "Eddie says after the baby comes, I can quit one of my night jobs."
Miriam Flynn to Beverly D'Angelo in Vacation.

3. "It's my special award!"
Darren McGavin, uncrating his leg lamp in A Christmas Story.

4. "Seven years of college down the drain."
John Belushi in Animal House.

5. "I can understand if you don't want to do this anymore."
"The babysitting."
"There's no baby to sit."
Bruce Greenwood and Sarah Polley in Exotica, when she is
reluctant to babysit his dead daughter anymore.

6. "Kevin, you are what the French call 'le incompetant'."
His movie sister(?) to Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone.

7. "It's always cold. It's from a glacier."
Adam Sandler to Fairuza Balk in The Waterboy.

8. "What's a handon?"
"You know what a handon is. I taught you last night."
Lea Thompson and Tom Cruise in All the Right Moves.

9. "How you get all that action, without any equipment, is
beeeyooond me."
Alex McArthur to Patricia Charbonneau in Desert Hearts,
wondering how she can pick up more women than he can.

10. "You two are gonna dry up in some filthy lesbo lockdown--
with BAD lighting. I don't have to kill you to kill you."
Ray Liotta to Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt in
Heartbreakers, after finding out they scammed him out of
his car-stealing fortune with a fake marriage and divorce.
We Are Rednecks. Any Questions? Posted by Picasa

This is our redneck barn. It was kind of pretty until Hillbilly
Husband decided to decorate it.

On the left, there is a plastic trash can, because you wouldn't just
want to throw trash down on the ground and de-beautify the area.

Beside the trash can is a riding lawn mower. Oh, it's not the one we
use to mow the yard. It's one of the two nonworking lawnmowers.
According to #1 son, this is the one that won't steer. I don't know
why we keep it. Maybe HH will hitch it behind the 4-wheeler and
mow the lawn that way. We had 3 nonworking lawnmowers, but
somebody stole one. Oh, the bad luck! Get away with stealing a
lawnmower, and then it won't work. Crime doesn't pay, kids. And
no, it wasn't the swinging bridge lawnmower that we lost in town.

Next we have the lovely handmade wooden doors, because we are
too cheap to get metal doors. They didn't look too bad until HH put
those license plates up. They are not even our license plates--he buys
them at flea markets. As long as he isn't stealing them off cars, I guess
it's OK. The inside of the door is badly scratched, because HH
forgot the dog in there overnight, and he tried to dig out.

We have the big "C" that HH got at work. "They were going to throw
it away!" And the homemade basketball goal. Yes, HH is a wizard
with wood. It used to be a plastic milk crate with no bottom, but
then he upgraded.

The most rednecky thing here is the bed of the Dean Truck. That's
the truck HH is "fixing up" as you can see. My stepgrandpa left it
to him, oh....about 7 years ago. In the bed is the hood, and some
other junk #1 son couldn't name. He is my authority (snitch) on all
things barn.

Under the right-hand lean-to is an air conditioning unit. Does it work?
What do you think? It has been there about 5 years, because one of
these days HH is going to hook it up so the barn will be cool for him
to "work" in. Yeah, it's not an animal barn. It's HH"s junk barn.

Last, we come to the grassless area in the foreground, which is the
"burning pile." Cause that's what rednecks do with their trash. Just
the paper and cardboard, though once he burned a box spring and
I don't know where it came from. Maybe he is hiding a life of crime.
And he used to burn the plastic coating off copper wire and then
sell the copper to the junk man known as "good buddy." He had
to give his name and address every time, because people get kind
of suspicious when you are trafficking in melted copper. I know
this was legit. They were tearing out the old wiring at his plant, and
gave it to him (woohoo!) to keep from paying to haul it off.

Next time: the inside of the redneck barn.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Big Blogger Update

Well, it looks like Big Blogger is up to her old tricks again. Since
I was being beaten so badly by the Cheese Sandwich, Big Blogger
gave me those votes, and gave mine to a sheep on a unicycle.
Mr. Huggies is still far ahead of me and Sheepy. (But I had way
more votes than I expected, anyway. Thanks, people!)

The "Tokashima Inn."

What Kids Do When They're Bored

This is one of the more constructive things my son did when he
was bored. No, at our house we don't play cards or dominoes...
we use them as construction materials.

This is the 11-story Tokashima Inn. He named it, so if that's a
bad word in Japanese, it's his fault, not mine. Don't think for a
minute that I asked him to take a picture for my blog. He took
a picture after the completion of each level. He had 28 pictures,
due to faulty construction and collapse at the beginning of this

A couple days before this high-rise hotel project, he gathered
up three old Amazon boxes and two 12-pack soda boxes, taped
them together, and said it was a cathouse. I did not explain the
true meaning of cathouse.( I hope he doesn't go to school and
tell his new teacher that he has a cathouse.) I told him those cats
would never go in that thing. Well, they do. The soda boxes are
like tunnels to the main rooms. And the cats lie around in it.
They are very stupid, I think.

He has done everything he can to his computer, so last night he
re-installed Windows 98 on his little brother's computer--just
for fun. He said that would make it run faster by getting rid of junk.
(He put that in a form that I could understand.)

He wanted to play online poker, but I discouraged that. So for
a while he was pacified with Hoyle Casino Texas Hold 'Em.
Did I mention that he's 10 going on 40?

Monday, July 11, 2005

Big Blogger Update

When I checked earlier today, Cheese Sandwich was winning.
Now Mr.Huggies has taken the lead, with Cheese Sandwich
in second. I am a very distant third, as of 9:05 p.m. Central
Daylight Time.

Weekend Update

News from the scavenging file: Hillbilly Husband and #1 son went
to Lowes for some plywood Saturday morning. On the way, they
saw some insulation in a giant dumpster by a local high school that
has been putting on a new roof. HH said, "We'll stop and get some
of that on the way home." He has been adding a room at the barn.
#1 son reported that when they came back, it was already gone.
The good junk doesn't last long in Redneckland.

News from the getting-out-of-cooking file: We went to The
Catfish Kettle for supper Saturday night. #2 son is finicky and
won't eat catfish, shrimp, chicken, slaw, beans, or hushpuppies
from this place. That left him with fries. I think he ate about two
potatoes worth. We were waiting for HH to finish eating when
a young waitress attempted to seat a family at the table behind
us. She carried a wooden high chair, and lifted it up and swung
it toward the end of their table, solidly thumping #1 son on the
right shoulder. He said, "Ow." He was trying to be quiet about
it, which is sooooo uncharacteristic of him. If that happened at
home, he would be writhing on the floor screaming that we had
dislocated his shoulder. Poor little guy. The waitress said, "Oh,
I'm sorry. I feel so bad." I figure she could have given him his
$3.95 meal for free, but no such offer. If I ran a business, that's
what I'd do. Put a money value on my kid's pain, gosh darn it!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Big Blogger Challenge #15

No rest for the wicked (or is that weary)? Rebecca has given us
another Big Blogger assignment: The Worst Pick-Up Line Ever
Used on You (or By You), and The Best Bar-Room Joke.

The Worst Pick-Up Line...
I can not decide which is worse, so I will include them both.

" you pull the train?" Uh...I believe this is a reference
to a group sex kind of thing. This was from a frat boy in college.
Charming, aren't they?

"Feel how hairy my legs are. Come home with me and I'll tell
you about my pigs." Yeah...that's pretty bad--but it gets worse.
This was from a girl pig-farmer from Kansas, also in college.

Yeah, I think the second one was the worst. Maybe I should
have picked a better college.

Best Bar-Room Joke
A guy goes into a bar carrying an octopus. He sets it on the bar,
and tells everyone it can play any kind of musical instrument they
can give it. He says he'll pay $100 to anyone who has an instrument
the octopus can't play. Some guys run out to find musical instruments.
The first one comes back with a harmonica. The octopus picks it up
and plays it, no problem. The next guy has a harp. The octopus
strokes it with all eight legs, playing beautiful music. The third guy
brings in bagpipes and sets them on the bar by the octopus. The
octopus picks it up and turns it over, fiddling with the pipes. "Ha!"
says the guy. "Pay up. He can't play it!" "Play it?" says the octopus.
"I'm going to **** it once I get its pajamas off!"

Going Anywhere? Visit Australia, and VOTE for Big Blogger

If you have time today, pop on over to Australia to visit Rebecca.
You can decide the winner of her Big Blogger Contest by voting
for me or my competition, Mr. Huggies. Check him out, make your
decision, and cast your vote in Rebecca's sidebar. Oh, or you also
have the choice of voting for a cheese sandwich. You can vote as
often as you like. And you can read the Adventures of Bob and
Carl the cartoon snowmen while you're there.

I just went there to give myself a vote, and the cheese sandwich
was winning, with 7 votes. Huggies had 4, and I had 1, (my own)!
Use your own judgement. That cheese sandwich is kinda cute.

Big Blogger Challenge #14 Patriotic Speech

I hate giving speeches. But there are only 2 of
us left in Rebecca's Big Blogger contest, so I
must speak to you on patriotism today. Please
bear with me. I am imagining all of you in your
underwear. I will make this speech because I
am an American, not an American't. Oh, and
I am supposed to include cliches and icons, so
don't think I'm making fun of our great country.
It's part of my assignment.

We are the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe
free, the wretched refuse of the teeming shores. Yep! We're some
Yankee Doodle Dandies! And this great American woman is our
symbol of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. What? She's
actually French? OK, let's move on.

I'm not so good with history, but my Uncle Sam told me a little
story. Seems it all started when we wanted to change the rules
of the official church. And what better way than to sail across
the ocean? Yeah, some of us wanted to get rich quick, too.

Seems as if we were still hung up on that rules
thing, because a bunch of us didn't want to pay
taxes. Of course that was a good excuse for a
tea party. The British were not invited, and
started a big fight. We revolted. Paul Revere
went for a ride, and Sir Francis Scott Key
wrote a song in the dark, "The Star Spangled

Banner," which was a lesson never to write a song in the dark,
because it is the hardest song to sing in the history of our country.
Some people preferred "My Country 'Tis of Thee", but since we
sampled the tune from "God Save the Queen," it was not a good
idea because the British might be touchy about us stealing it, and
they had just lost the war and all.

The father of our country, George Washington, could not tell a lie--
though he did vandalize a cherry tree. He needed the wood for later,
to build himself some false teeth. He also had a penchant for standing
up in boats, which was dumb because if he fell in the Delaware, he
would have lost his wig, and it was pretty freezing cold that day.

We got rich with tobacco, which is not really good for you unless
you are the one growing it. Abraham Lincoln put a crimp in the
tobacco and cotton industry when he abolished slavery, which
was the civil thing to do. We even had a big war over it called the
Civil War. That spawned one of our classic novels, Gone With
the Wind, and also a movie where Clark Gable said a bad word.

Four score and seven years ago....was 87 years ago. I don't
know much about this historical period. I think WWI had just
ended. Some presidents' heads were put on a mountain in the
middle of nowhere so not many people could see them. Not
their actual heads, that is just wrong. It was heads carved in
stone. I think a lot of people got depressed around that time
because they lost money in a stock market crash. Then they
built Hoovervilles which were cardboard box cities and ate
a lot of soup. For jobs they went out and built roads that we
still have today that are too curvy and hard to drive, but they
thought they were doing a good job at the time.

That brings us to around WWII time, which shall live in infamy
because the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, which outraged
us to have an an attack on our soil. We went through some
other wars with Korea and Vietnam, and that brought us to
the civil rights era, which was a long time coming because all
races and women should have the same rights as the white male
citizen. Some crazies didn't think so and assassinated JFK
and MLK. Now we all have rights and by golly we will tell
you that we do and we will sue you if you don't like it.

We are lucky to be able to pretty much say and do what we want,
worship as we please, and travel at will, unless we are convicted
felons.We are fortunate indeed to be reaping the benefits of those
who came before us and were not afraid to stand up for their
beliefs. As the bumper sticker says: America-Love It or Leave It.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Everybody Has an Addiction

Everybody has an additction. Mine is Sonic Cherry Diet Coke.
Well, that's the only one I care to discuss here, anyway. I have
to have it every day. That means I drive 6 miles to get it, because
they won't build a Sonic in my front yard.

I love everything about it. The styrofoam cup to keep it cool,
the crushed ice, the cherry flavoring. Sweet, sweet nectar.

The first sip is a quest for perfection. Have those dear Sonic
soda specialists changed the carbonation cylinder? Do I have
the right amount of fizz, or is it (sob!) flat and watery. Too
much imitation cherry flavor, or just enough? A balance of
ice and soda, or have I been given the cup full of ice with a
dash of soda, usually reserved for Happy Hour 3:00-5:00
half-price time? Or maybe my minimum-wage enabler has
blessed me with all soda and a few crumbs of ice. Either is
as unpleasant as the other. The proper balance must be attained.

I can not describe the disappointment when some part of
my precious daily dose of Sonic Cherry Diet Coke is out of
balance. Once I took a large sip and nearly choked on the
foul liquid, for it was not my beloved elixir, but its unwelcome
cousin, Vanilla Dr. Pepper. How I hate vanilla! I had to drive
back around, wait in line, and demand that they remedy this
atrocious assault on my taste buds.

Last summer, I returned to the Hillbilly Mansion with my
precious boys and my equally precious Large Cherry Diet
Coke. I gave the older boy the key to unlock the door while
I gathered my purse, soda, and a couple of Wal-mart bags.
Upon arriving at the kitchen door, I saw that they had closed
it to keep the cats out, and heard them frolicking as boys are
wont to do: "Imbecile!" "Uh uh. You are. Poopyhead!" I kicked
on the door to get their attention. That wasn't happening. I
grabbed the doorknob, and as I tried to turn it, the lid on my
container of black gold bent, and the whole cup crashed to
the porch. Tears formed as I watched my precious beverage
seep through the cedar boards. No words can describe my
despair. And it had two cherries!

I sent the boys out with a bowl of water to clean up the remains.
I was so distraught that when my Hillbilly Husband arrived home,
he volunteered to drive to town and get me another one. No, I
was having none of that. It was not the same.

Each new day dawns bright and full of hope, with the promise
of my afternoon Sonic Cherry Diet Coke.

Hillbilly Mom's Movie Challenge v 7.0

It's Saturday, and time for this week's movie challenge. Answers
will be posted Wednesday, July 13. This will be the last movie
challenge for a while, because I am too lazy to type in the quotes.
I might try a new kind of challenge next Saturday. Stay tuned.
Good luck on this week's quotes:

1. "He looks somewhat like a mouse."

2. "Eddie says after the baby comes, I can quit one of my night jobs."

3. "It's my special award."

4. "Seven years of college down the drain!"

5. "I can understand if you don't want to do this anymore."
"The babysitting."
"There's no baby to sit."

6. "Kevin, you are what the French call 'le incompetant'."

7. "It's always cold. It's from a glacier."

8. "What's a handon?"
"You know what a handon is. I taught you last night."

9. "How you get all that action, without any equipment, is
beeeyooond me."

10. "You two are gonna dry up in some filthy lesbo lockdown--
with BAD lighting. I don't have to kill you to kill you."

Friday, July 08, 2005

Betty Tales

Guess what. Nothing interesting going on here. So you get another
"Betty" story. She certainly could tell a tale.

Betty was a South St. Louis girl. Some of you will know instantly
what that entails. She was outspoken on any subject, and kind of
loud and rowdy, and had a good time anywhere she went. She was
about 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide, which didn't bother her most of
the time.

One Friday night she told Bob and I that she was pissed off at some
kids outside the town's only grocery store. She said, "I came out and
these little kids were sitting in a car laughing at me. Oh....and they
weren't just laughing. One little sucker stuck his arm out the window
and pointed at me. I'd had enough. I stopped my cart and turned to
them and said, 'HEY! I KNOW I'm fat!' And that kid shut up."

Another time, we had travelled 20 miles up I-44 to the Wal-mart,
because Hooterville didn't have one back then. This was so long
ago it was just a regular little Wal-mart, not the Supercenter of today.
Hey, it was payday, and that's what we did on payday--went to
Wal-mart, Shop N Save, and Golden Corral. (Teachers really lead
glamorous lives, kids. Look into it.) Bob and I were in line behind
Betty, and heard her ask the cashier if they had any Pepsi. It was
on sale, and she wanted to stock up, but didn't see any . "Um...
no...we ran out. But we have Diet Pepsi over there." Betty said,
"No. I don't want Diet Pepsi. I might accidently lose a pound."
The cashier looked kind of embarrassed.

Winter rolled around, and Betty asked Bob and I if we'd ever
been sledding on Art Hill. It's by the St. Louis Art Museum, and
the St. Louis news stations send a reporter there for the first big
snow, to show all the city people riding sleds or cardboard or
whatever down the hill. There's a lake at the bottom, and it's kind
of a pretty scene. Bob and I said no, but we'd seen it on TV.

Betty said, "I went there a few years ago, and I got really upset.
My friend and I were riding this sled and she could not steer it
right. She just would not listen to me. A bunch of people were
there, and it was crowded, and the hill was getting packed down
and icy. So we go down the hill, and she doesn't turn it, and we
go off into the lake. It was freezing. I had on this down jacket,
and it got soaked and was all heavy, and some firemen had to
rescue us. They pulled my friend out. This fireman reached out
his hand to pull me out, but I guess I was kind of heavy with
that down jacket, cause the fireman pulled on my arm and said,
'Ohhhh F***!' and that really made me mad! A fireman shouldn't
make fun of someone, especially if it's me."