Out Redneck Me

Your family cannot out Redneck my family. I do not put this as a challenge, but just state a fact. We can't seem to help it, it just seems to come out of us. And when it does, say around July 4th, you would be hard pressed to out-do us.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself that your family would run circles around me and mine. You are deluding yourself, and I say this with a bit of pride mixed with a bit of embarrassment. Just a touch though, because even I stop and watch what we are doing and think, Jesus Christ on a rubber crutch; that's hick.

But if you feel you want to step up to the plate, by all means, add some comments so you can see how you stack up. You better bring your A game though, because if you can't top starting a grass fire in a dry field during the Fourth of July, you should really just take your ball and go home.

That's right, my brother started a smallish fire in a dry field as we were preparing to watch fireworks. He apparently thought it would be a great festive idea to light a sparkler in knee high dry grass. And when the sparks from the sparkler (that's how it gets it's name) caught the grass on fire, he did what any normal man would do. He screamed like a girl and dropped the entire sparkler in the grass. It did what it naturally does; it caught the grass on fire. I know, this isn't too redneck. But this part is: my brother ran away screaming that it was too hot on his foot. This allowed my wife, who we have made honorary redneck, to jump in and take action. She quickly sprinted, with beer in hand, and stomped out the flames. With her flip flops. Without spilling her beer. Of course she didn't use her freshly opened beer to douse the flames. That would not be redneck. Protecting the beer in spite of a possible environmental disaster, that's a tad redneck.

It gets better.

We did all this in Arkansas. Cue banjo music now please.

You are thinking you can out do the ignorant use of fireworks, right? Son, my story is just starting.

To borrow a phrase from Jeff Foxworthy: You know that you are a redneck when the people eating at the Waffle House are pointing and making fun of you. This is what they were doing as the Waffle House was across the street from our grass fire. But it wasn't the grass fire that they were laughing about. It was the fact that we had miscounted, as rednecks do, the number of lawn chairs we would need to watch the fireworks. We didn't have enough. Rednecks are inventive though and the Duct Tape Company should personally thank each and everyone of us for promoting their particular brand of tape.

Instead on sitting on the scorched ground, my brother in law and I decided we had a much better idea.

We had a van with us. We realized early on that the seats in the van could become unattached and pulled out. Normally, this is for people who wish to pack more things into a van. For the redneck though, this counts as lawn furniture. So as my brother in law and I wrestled the big seat out the back, which was damn heavy, the Waffle House people started pointing and laughing. I even caught a few cell phones pop out and start to take pictures. I wanted to ask them why they were so high and mighty since they were eating waffles for dinner. But I didn't because I was to comfortable in the van seat. The seat belts also came in handy in case the van seat tipped over, which was small issue.

So here's your picture: van seat in the middle of a scorched field with a family drinking lots of beer waiting for fireworks being made fun of by the Waffle House people.

Who wants more?

Later in the evening, before the fireworks, we realized that we had brought tons of beer but not juice and what not for the kids. That's called good parenting. So my brother in law, who is Mexican and has a Mexican Redneck name, decided that the gas station/repair shop across the street was a good place to go get some supplies. He got the supplies and then proceeded to try and cross the very busy street to get back to us. From my very comfortable van seat in the scorched field, I watched Mexican Frogger as he dodged in and out of traffic carrying some water and what appeared to be an off brand of grape soda. Rednecks don't pay good money for the real soda, Shasta works fine for our children. All he needed was a sack of oranges and the picture would have been complete. He was in the left hand turn lane for a good 10 minutes. And I do want to point out that since he is Mexican, my family can now claim the tittle of International Redneck family. Suck on that. When he got back, I was surprised to find that he didn't have some sort of jerky in his back pocket.

Stay with me here. Van in the scorched field watching Mexican Frogger carrying warm generic grape soda, Waffle House people laughing.

You could make a case here that your family is more redneck than mine, but you would still come up short because I haven't even mentioned my extended family yet. There isn't enough room on the Internet to truly do them justice. But just some tidbits for you: I have a cousin with two first names, I have a cousin that once ate dog food for a snack, I have a cousin whose sweet southern drawl for some reason makes you crave pecan pie. I grew up thinking that swimming in a drainage ditch after a good rain was a privilege and I have used outhouses that were considered fancy if they had toilet paper in them and not bits of magazine articles. I have family that can talk pistons and hunting with enough conviction that they make Ted Nugent look like a left-wing pussy. The ship my family came over on was called the Good Ship Betsy. That's a ship that probably likes a healthy dose of Nascar. Hell, even the Hossman nickname comes from my ability to hold on to an old live car battery longer than my friends. For some reason, we considered this a sport.

It's who we are and no matter where we all live, it's who we will always be. We may hide it at times, but eventually it will come out on the Fourth of July every year where part of that family is sitting in a van chair in a scorched field with kids drinking generic grape soda.

You are thinking that perhaps you can compete with this level of Redneck and perhaps your family can.

Until you see my three year old nephew grab an open beer from the top of the cooler and take a huge chug.


  1. That was hilarious, sounds like my family, but you do have us beat!
    I'm in the process of trying to decide whether to become a SAHD or not, how do you get past the "loser" feelings?

  2. Thanks for reading Eli and thanks for the words of encouragement. To answer you question about the loser feelings, I do know where you are coming from. It's something that most of us SAHD's faced when we just stated, and I don't mean by the outside. It's an internal struggle to begin with. As men, we most likely identify ourselves by the job that we do. It defines us and it provides us a feeling of self worth. Losing that and becoming something different does take some time and the change isn't apparent quickly.
    It comes down to providing for our family. Once that meant a paycheck. Now it means something else. One day you realize that by raising the kids you are providing for your family and it becomes it's own reward. I know that that is very abstract advice, but its a slow process to realize what you now mean to the family vs what you did before. You'll realize that you are the glue that makes the family work and that's how you provide. Anyone that gives you shit for it can suck it.

    Check out the SAHD blog at Daddyshome.org/blog to find other guys that are in the same boat you are, there's more of us than people realize.