Thursday, February 24, 2011

How to be an Insufferable Redneck, Part I

I can use that term because, let me assure you, I am one. You may have noticed that lots of days, the word "y'all" slips into my blog posts, and you may know that I'm from the South with a capital S. But I feel it's only fair to educate you about exactly what you're dealing with. I fear, you see, that some of you may have the idea that I'm the kind of Southern that means I was a debutante, that I sip mimosas in a sundress on Saturday afternoons, and that I talk through my teeth in that Chaaahrl-ston accent about the Junior Charity League.

No no. When you think of me, you need to think Ricky Bobby, the county extension office, Mustangs, and camo baseball caps. Now believe me, I know and love people who are even further down this path than I am. I'll tell you that I don't hunt and fishing bores me. But otherwise, there are lots of ways where you can fit me into your nice little stereotype. Watch the clip above and you'll understand better.

Today, I thought I'd give y'all a little guide to all things redneck so that it doesn't seem like I'm speaking a foreign language sometimes. And also so that you can realize what you're dealing with.

Let's start with NASCAR. I am not generally a huge NASCAR fan - you won't find me sporting a Dale Jr. sticker on my car or anything, but I do go to the All-Star Race every year. It's a short, fun, generally exciting race (meaning there are usually a lot of good wrecks, and isn't that why we all watch NASCAR?)

One thing that makes a NASCAR event beautiful is that, at least at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, you get to pack your own cooler, so long as it's within certain dimensions. Actually this past year, Mom went to Wal-Mart with me and we snagged a tape measure from the hardware department to go scope out regulation coolers. And like any good dad, mine helped me most efficiently pack said cooler before the race.

Another important part of any NASCAR event is the tailgate. You know, where you do things like play Stump.

You can find the official rules here, but basically how it works is that you barely tap your nail into the stump, as seen in this picture. Then you go around the circle, passing a hammer, and you get one hammer toss - throw it up, catch it on the grip. You do that, you get one whack of an opponent's nail. Catch it behind your back or under your leg, you get more whacks. The object is to have your nail be the last one standing. Another important rule - you must always have your beer in one hand.
In my experience, if you ask a girl to play Stump, she'll have more fun with the idea of always having a beer in hand. And then she'll get bored with Stump. And then she'll start walking around snapping pictures with everyone. And then when some deputies are sitting around on a golf cart, she'll decide she should include them in the fun.

Now once you've gotten your pregaming done, you head to the track with whatever's left in your cooler and you move from drinking games to gambling. Generally, you get a big group of people to make a pool. You pay a flat fee to draw driver numbers. Then you're hoping your driver wins, because that means you win the whole pot. At the end of the day, you generally go home with the beginnings of a hangover, a nasty sunburn and sore feet. But you're always ready to go back the next year.

Race week always brings a fun assortment of people to town. Now don't get me wrong, there's a high probability that you could go to Wal-Mart and take any picture found on at any time on any day. But race week? Race week brings really fun people. For example, this gentleman, standing in his shortalls in the automotive section. Just his shortalls.

That was your first lesson on How to be a Redneck: The NASCAR Edition. Learn efficient cooler packing, perfect your Stump game, and immerse yourself in full-on Wal-Mart culture. Stay tuned for part two, coming soon.


Nora said...

This was awesome. I love it.
I have never heard of Stump. I'd probably be awful at it, just awful. I envision some sort of injury in my head. But the holding onto a beer part? I can do that :)

Oh, and I totally snap pictures like crazy of anything and everything after a few beers are in my hand and have passed through my lips! I have photos of me and cops too...!

Meredith said...

Yeah I never said I was all that good at Stump...hence the evolving into drunken picture-taking, bahahaha.