The Gross National Debt

Friday, April 27, 2012

The path to a redder neck





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Redneckin'


A few lessons for the non redneck readers I have.

1) A 4x4 is useful for two things.

A. Going bogging. This is when you intentionally find large numbers of deep mud holes and you try to get through them. Generally you have a bunch of other rednecks also in 4x4s running around the same place and you have plenty of chains to pull each other out when you get stuck. Getting stuck is part of the fun.

By the end of the day the truck will be supporting a few hundred pounds of mud that sticks harder than a Damnocrat to a campaign contributor. This is supposed to happen. Do not wash the mud off until everyone you know has seen it.

If you are a teenager you must drive the truck this way until your girlfriend announces she is too embarrassed to be seen in public with you in that mess. Wait until Sunday and then wash the truck.

B. Not going bogging. This may sound like a contradiction, but it's not. If you are in a place and you suddenly need to shift to 4x4, you do so to back out and then not go into that place. Four wheel drive prevents you from having to walk for what may seem like the rest of your life to find someone to pull you out.

2) When you see a mud hole, accelerate as you go through it. Do not enter the mud and take your foot off the accelerator. You will get stuck. You will have to walk out. You will have to walk uphill. Against the wind. It will be 105 degrees or 10 below. It could snow. It could rain. All at the same time.

At some point you will also have to cross an electrified barbed wire fence. You did not have to negotiate this fence when you entered wherever it is you got stuck. But when you leave you will have to. This is an unwritten rule of the universe.

You may have to outrun a bull while crossing this electrified barbed wire fenced pasture. The bull was not there when you drove past and when you come back later to pull the truck out, the bull won't be there again. No one knows who owns this bull, where it comes from or where it goes. It is just something we have to accept, like Congress and fire ants.

As you walk out, you have two ways to go to the nearest road. Across a freshly plowed field or at least five times as far by walking the packed dirt at the edge of the field. Sir Issac Newton's physics states you will be able to walk the edge of the field much faster and with less effort than walking through the field. Whether you cross the field or walk around the edge is directly related to how old you are and whether or not you know Sir. Issac Newton invented gravity and not the fig newton.

3) When you get stuck, do not stop. Do not put the truck into reverse, attempt to back out and stop and put truck into drive and attempt to drive out. You will get stuck even worse. You must RAPIDLY shift between forward and reverse. Braking between these shifts is useless, unless your objective is to get stuck worse than a Reboobican facing ethics charges.

4) When a more experienced redneck says "Yer stuck, quit spinning the wheels" do not get behind the steering wheel, put the truck into drive and floor it. You merely dig the truck in deeper and wear out your tires.

5) When the blackberries are ripe. Stop. Pick and eat some. There is no finer food on the planet than wild blackberries picked and eaten right beside the road when you are walking out to find someone to pull your truck free of the mud hole. Your entire body will thank you for this. That you are about to die of thirst and the blackberries are exceptionally juicy is an unexpected kindness.

And just for the record, I found out I can still walk a mile. Uphill. Against the wind. It didn't snow or rain, but it was in the upper 90s.

I'm going back for more blackberries.

I was not driving either.


Ben Baker is the owner of one functioning 4x4 and one on blocks. He can be reached in the blackberry patch just north of the pecan orchard.

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