Five obscure cultural habits of the redneck

Yellow Creek, Tennessee is a half-mile from Deliverance and around the corner from nowhere. It has no red lights, not a single grocery store or gas station, and most maps don’t even acknowledge its existence. Anyone living there has likely done so their whole life. With the only views being tobacco barns and cow pastures it isn’t listed on USA Today’s Best Places to Live. But it’s where I called home for almost twenty years.

If the idea of ‘Redneck’ didn’t originate out of Yellow Creek is could have. It may have the highest redneck per capita ratio of any place on the planet – at 100%, including yours truly.

Immersed in that culture for so long I’ve bore witness to some strange events like the time my grandfather castrated a house cat using his pocketknife . While Southerners in general do things differently, Rednecks tend to take things to a whole new level. While the term ‘redneck’ has been around forever, Jeff Foxworthy arguably made it cool. His 1993 album ‘You Might Be a Redneck if…’ brought uneducated, truck driving, yokels everywhere out of hiding. He also proved there’s a bit of redneck in all of us, whether it’s parking your car in the front yard or eating SPAM sandwiches.

But as someone who’s seen the redneck species in their natural habitat I’ve observed customs rarely seen by John Q. Public. Below is a list of five more obscure habits of the redneck. All of which I know to be factual –  from personal experience.

Singings – pronounced (sing-‘ins’), are like concerts in country churches. Typically held all Sunday afternoon. A gospel music group(s) will travel to a remote house of worship where residents from all over the area bring covered dishes for lunch while below average talent sings Christian songs as if the rapture was taking place later in the day.

RC and peanuts –RC (Royal Crown) cola is Coke and Pepsi’s idiot cousin.  Bottled in Nashville, it’s illegal to sell above the Mason Dixon Line. The objective is to take a bag of roasted and salted peanuts and pour them into a half drank bottle of RC, it’s a snack and refreshment all in one. The result is a little bit country  and a lot gaseous discharge.

Mule pullings – pronounced (pull-‘ins’) – similar to tractor pulls except the use of a horse/donkey offspring. While a legitimate competition in some parts of the world, Rednecks do it in their back yard. Proving once again that women are mentally superior, it’s the men who normally spend all afternoon proving who has the bigger penis by letting their pack animals pull different sized logs around circles in a field.

Going to town – Rednecks rarely live in civilization, that means errands as simple as the grocery store or grabbing lunch is always a feat of logistics. So going to town for most rednecks represents the evening’s entertainment. The usual procedure involves a stop at Western Sizzler or some other mediocre dining establishment for dinner and then to Wal*Mart to walk the isles and procure items they’ll never use until it’s time get home and let the dogs out.

Jerry Clower – before Jeff Foxworthy there was Jerry Clower. My maternal grandfather was arguably his biggest fan. I think I’ve listened to  every album this comedian ever had. Deemed by many as the father of redneck comedy, he’s rarely recognized today. But this, dear reader, is redneck at its best. If you want to get a true flavor of the quintessential redneck, start here.

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4 responses to Five obscure cultural habits of the redneck

  1. I visited 7 states in the US in 1995 – all of them southern. I did come across quite a few rednecks and obviously found their lifestyle funny and entertaining. I did also find them interesting. They are some of the most honest people you’ll meet. This is something I remember.

  2. Well, I just got an education! Not so sure that Yellow Creek would be a good stop on a road trip for me and my United Nations of Friends….But, I’m always curious about people and places, sooooo…maybe? And the funny thing about a non-redneck reading this post, I quickly glanced down before I began reading and saw “Singings” and I thought: ‘Oh, they like to sing’ — Ha! Of course, I’m lost on “RC” and “Mule Pullings” and “Going to town” and “Jerry Clower” too. Okay, I’m lost on all of it, but it’s amusing and fascinating. Gave me a smile and a chuckle.

  3. Kyle Bradford – Author

    Jerry Clower, the comedian on this post, once said that one characteristic between all rednecks is that will have a ‘job’. I don’t know the validity to that statement but most are good folks.

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