I often see redneck behavior on TV which usually involves monster trucks in the mud, incidents that include shotguns or more big-assed four by fours rolling down hillsides. I smugly think to myself that I could not possibly have anything in common with these louts who all seem to have a death wish of some sort. A seemingly innocuous incident caused me to have doubts however and created an uncontrollable urge to look in a mirror to see if my neck was actually red.
As I ate bit of chicken while perusing Facebook, I had left a bottle of hot sauce next to my computer without putting the cap back on. Unfortunately, the bottle of hot sauce was also next to a beer. As I finished my meal, I absentmindedly reached for my beer, too preoccupied with the computer to actually see what I was doing. I guess you can see where this is going. Yep. I grabbed the hot sauce instead of the beer and took I mighty gulp. After the initial burn wore off, I laughed and thought this to be immensely amusing. It then dawned on me that this was a really redneck kind of episode. I also realized that I never run out of hot sauce and I put that stuff on everything. Mason-Dixon line here I come.
While it's true that greasers have way cooler haircuts and wouldn't be caught dead sporting a mullet, I am left to ponder how many shades of red differentiate the two.
A lot of greasy folk love Country music and so do rednecks. I know that when I walk into a bar and see a pedal steel on the stage my pulse quickens a little. Who among us hasn't shouted "yee-haw" at least once during a show ( this varies with the amount of drinks consumed). Greasers also have a fondness for (preferably vintage) western shirts, the more elaborate the better. The only difference is that we tuck them in and it would never occur to us to rip the sleeves off. Both groups agree that Hank Williams is king and both can be found side by side at a Hank III show. Both also think that the dueling banjo scene from Deliverance is cool ( and makes for damned good chase scene music in movies). One glaring difference is that greasers wouldn't be caught dead randomly yelling " Skynyrd!" at any given show ( although me and some of my buddies have been known to indulge in drunken invisible upright bass solos from time to time). I myself might be an aberration because I love Cajun music. The more beer I drink, the more I love it as a matter of fact. Either there is something seriously wrong with me, or there are indeed patches of red on my neck.
If there is one unifying factor that that both groups can unequivocally agree on is their love of beer. Whether good ole boy or greasy cat, there is a deeply rooted enjoyment associated with drinking beers and hanging around with your buddies. There will be much bullshit being slung as the boys try to out do each other with tales of drinking prowess, ribald stories about encounters with the opposite sex and excessive exaggeration pertaining to bar fights. There is rarely any puking as both groups are veteran drinkers and if they are in a bar, there will inevitably be shots of Jack Daniels which will lead to dumber jokes and even more excessive bullshit. Greaser's conversations might turn to cars and rednecks might talk about shooting stuff with shotguns and lie about the size of fish, but in the end the result is the same; boys will be boys.
Both groups seem to enjoy drinking said beers in the ultimate man-cave; the garage. There is something primeval about sitting around a dirty shop, surrounded by tools and drinking beers. There are lots of gear heads both red and greasy. They enjoy talking about horse power and engine mods. There is one important difference however. Rednecks like to jack up things nice and high and greasers like to slam them down nice and low. I'll vote for a chopped and dropped hot rod any day of the year, but if you're going to be messing around in mud holes with your drunk pals, you're gonna need a 20 inch lift kit and 40 inch tires ( the higher center of gravity almost guarantees a couple of roll overs, thereby increasing the redneck fun) .
Greasers and rednecks don't seem to give a damn about mowing lawns and gardening and such, but do enjoy lawnmowers, or even better, riding mowers because they both have an engine. It doesn't matter what the lawn looks like in the end, you just got mess around with something loud and gas-powered. Riding mowers are even better, because you get to ride and drink a beer without fear of retribution from the cops ( riding your mower to the beer store however is a bad idea). Weed whackers are also fun because you actually have a gas engine strapped to yourself and you get to destroy shit. Too bad they don't come with a built-in beer holder.
Greasers and rednecks also share a fondness for meat , particularly if it's grilled on a BBQ. There is a certain primeval aspect to charring large slabs of meat on an open grill outdoors. The boys will surround the grill ( while clutching a beer of course) and stare at the sizzling meat seemingly mesmerized by the process. I say the boys because almost without exception, the grilling of meat is the falls within the purview of men. They guard that grill with the territorial instincts of their distant Neanderthal ancestors and other dudes know not to mess with a man's grill. The women know that this is a boys will be boys situation and let them tend to primitive fiery process. There is rarely any salad or vegetables involved ( maybe a couple of potatoes or ears of corn) because rednecks and greasers know that vegetables is what food eats. When it's all over everybody will let of a sigh of relief, sit back and proceed to finish the rest of the beer. Sometimes the guitars will come out and a full-blown jam will ensue. One thing is for certain though: there ain't a vegan in sight.
Both rednecks and greasers are vaguely aware of the concept of being vegan and rarely give it a second thought. They are of the opinion that if someone wants to get subsistence from eating lettuce and dirt, that's their business and it legitimately makes them an object of ridicule, They are too busy enjoying their meat to give a damn anyways, so in their eyes it doesn't really matter. When it does matter however, is if some self-righteous hippie should get in their face about eating meat. The ire that it will arouse will be the same for both groups and will cause them to mutter "damned longhairs!"
They both share a universal disdain for hippies and are angered by the fact that the longhairs are too stupid to be scared. They won't beat on them however, because the hippies are so malnourished and weak that it would be akin to shooting fish in a barrel ( which is a shitload of fun in itself). The rednecks and greasers will just ignore the whiny hippies until their pot-addled brain shorts out and they suddenly forget what they were talking about. They're gonna need more weed real so soon, so they will gone in no time.
4. Fix It.
Rednecks and greasers both have an innate knowledge that just abut anything can be fixed with duct tape. Whether it's a temporary or permanent fix it's good to have a large supply of duct tape on hand. Like beer, rednecks and greasers never run out of duct tape. One thing that perplexes me however, is that rednecks always seem to have a readily available source for obtaining dynamite. They can be found in the backwoods on weekends randomly blowing shit up. That sounds like a lot of fun and I wish I knew where to get dynamite. Some of the more unscrupulous rednecks also use dynamite to go fishing. I think it's more sporting to do it the old-fashioned way; a flashlight and a shotgun.
A lot of rednecks and greasers also seemed to have somehow acquired the skill of welding. If duct tape is good for a temporary fix, welding is much better for permanently fixing stuff and useful for building various contraptions. Both groups take the same approach at metal fabricating. It's the hillbilly credo; just add more metal until it works. One main difference is that greasers will use their welding skills to fix their cars and rednecks seem to have an obsession with hot rodding lawn tractors or mounting big engines on shopping carts. Maybe the greasers are missing out, because that sounds like it might be fun.
5. Keep It Simple.
Both rednecks and greasers have more or less simple tastes. With the possible exception of really expensive car parts, both groups eschew such things as upscale restaurants and expensive single malt whisky. Both are very uncomfortable at fancy restaurants and it causes actual physical pain to pay a couple of hundred bucks for a meal and walk away still hungry. They would much rather indulge in a very large hamburger or some southern-style BBQ which seems far more appealing in any case. To the boys, outrageously expensive whisky kinda tastes like turpentine. Bring on some good old Jack or even Jim Beam and enjoy the ensuing bacchanalian behavior.
Rednecks and greasers will have deep misgivings about showing up somewhere where there is only wine available. To them, this is in the same league as being relegated to drinking Aqua Velva. They don't like the taste and the buzz makes them sleepy and depressed. They will not refuse to drink it, because after all, free booze is free booze. Both also find it incomprehensible that someone would pay 200 bucks for a bottle a wine and feel smug about it. They wouldn't be caught dead in a wine bar unless they had to use the bathroom in an emergency. Whatever the outcome of these situations may be, they will somehow manage to get some beer eventually to wash the taste of that nasty wine out of their mouths. Some rednecks will even throw in some chewing tobacco for good measure. I tried that once and that some of the most horrible shit that I ever tasted, but to each his own I guess, Cheap-assed one dollar cigars seem better anyways and they have the added benefit of annoying self-righteous vegans.
Maybe there is a little redneck in all of us after all, as for myself, I just got an inexplicable urge to watch Nascar, head down to the tire shop to look at at some really big tires and grill a nice juicy steak. A bottle of Jim Beam is sounding might good as well.