Monday, October 01, 2007

I'm a token redneck, I think

Working at a college, you run across a lot of city folk who just have absolutely no idea what it's like to be anywhere but big cities. They've never seen coyotes, elk, or sometimes even deer. Our campus is a nice one, with some wooded areas and some undeveloped land, so these kids are in for quite a shock. I've heard of questions about whether the deer are dangerous, sometimes including a second question about whether they're dangerous in mating season.

Well, sometimes these people find out that I'm from out in the boondocks. They have all sorts of questions. This weekend, a coworker decided to grill me with questions. He was amazed to learn that not all towns have stoplights, fast food, or even a few stores. He couldn't seem to understand how I could easily live with having to drive 15-20 minutes to get to school, not having hundreds of TV channels (I still don't have that), and not having a mall within ten minutes (closest was about an hour, which was plenty close for us).

He wanted to know if "rednecks" have "street cred," and tried to figure out the country equivalent of various rappers. He can't understand why I think of my knife as a tool, rather than a weapon or toy, and he certainly doesn't see a gun the same way I do. I generally pronounce coyote with a silent e, say ain't, howdy, and even y'all, and use terms like "over yonder" to describe locations I'm pointing at, and he just laughs at me like I'm the only person in the world who speaks that way. I tried to explain to him that a man should have a knife and a means of making fire on his person all the time, and he couldn't understand it.

I could probably really blow the kid's mind by telling him about how Mineral sometimes has multi-day power outages in the winter. I especially shouldn't tell him that those outages, though inconvenient, don't stop people from living their normal lives.

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