Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The mating season of the Northern-Midwestern Redneck [homo sanguineus collum] kicks into gear sometime between Easter and the last day of school, but it really hits its peak in mid-summer. The courtship rituals of the Ashland redneck are most visible in the evening hours around the area of downtown loosely classified as "Main Street," but there are many other hubs of activity where the budding anthropologist can observe them in their natural habitat (i.e., county fairs, carnivals, outlying taverns, the Walmart parking lot).
Much as a peacock unfurls his magnificent plumage to catch the eye of the lady peacocks, the young male rednecks have adopted a sort of unofficial summer uniform designed to signal to the females that they are, as Alfalfa liked to croon, "in the mood for love." (Little known redneck fact: Alfalfa was an asshole.) While there's generally little variation in their shoe, hat and pant options (Nikes; baseball caps with NASCAR/sport/beer company logos on them; and denim-based, respectively), the redneck male maximizes his creativity when selecting what will cover his pasty-white midsection:
1. The wifebeater. Valued for its girdle-like qualities over the tummy area, while simultaneously allowing him to show off his "guns," it's the male redneck's go-to garment for the summer months.
2. The sleeveless t-shirt. When he can't find a clean (or semi-clean) wifebeater in his dresser/laundry basket/clothes heap, this is the next best thing. Advantages: all the comfort of a t-shirt, but without the pesky sleeves. (Plus, they're easy to make in a pinch). Disadvantage: the sleeve holes hang down and can create unsightly peepholes into the redneck's pasty-white midsection and armpits. Additional disadvantage: portlier gentlemen may accidentally flash their man-boobs through said sleeve holes.
3. The sleeved t-shirt. Not as popular as the previous two options, but suitable for chilly evenings and to ward off mosquito bites. Besides, if you save enough Camel Cash, you can get a lot of them for free (and save your money for beer and trips to Walmart to get more wifebeaters).
4. The no-shirt. There's nothing that the ladies love more than a pasty white slab of man-chest flanked by two arms with a case of farmer's tan. This option is most popular amongst the younger redneck set, and particularly among those who enjoy driving their muffler-less pickup trucks on Main Street for hours on end.
Some other things to watch out for when identifying rednecks in the field:
1. Is he driving something loud? Rednecks like their transportation loud and fast...and if they can't get something fast, they'll settle for loud. If it'll make an ungodly roar when he peels out from one of the two stoplights downtown and make everyone stare in his direction, he wants it.
2. The redneck wants beer, and a lot of it. Quality takes a backseat to quantity. Does the subject find it hard to get through a conversation without mentioning (A) a desire to get drunk, (B) recent drunken shenanigans, or (C) the ankle bracelet the police department makes him wear since his latest DUI conviction?
Of course, when in doubt about whether or not you've spotted an authentic redneck, look for a Calvin-peeing-on-a-rival-sports-team-or-automaker's-logo decal on their back window. If they've got one of those, grab your binoculars and get ready, because you never know what kind of crazy shenanigans that redneck is about to get into. Will it be like something from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, or more like an episode of Cops? Only time will tell.