The last stretch of road between Thomasville, Georgia and the Aucilla River boat landing in north Florida is lightly traveled. You don’t pass many businesses, but see a few houses and several small churches. The closer you get to the mouth of the river, the more boats you see in the yards. Some are no longer trailered, resting sadly but without complaint on the ground.
There’s a right turn near Wacissa on to County Road 259. A pretty decent looking shop building is about 100 feet off the road. I’ve never stopped, but every time I see their big sign I wonder what’s inside. The sign reads, “Redneck Repair Shop.”
I don’t know how they repair the rednecks. I sure would love to peek through a window and watch the process. It seems like a sound diagnosis would be the first step. I think you would want to make sure that he is not too far gone to be reclaimed.
I’m not even sure how you know when a redneck needs repair. Here are some things that I think might point in that direction.
One Sunday you wake up and want to put on a tie. You can’t explain it, and you’re hesitant to even mention it to your wife. You don’t know what’s causing this urge, but it’s a strong sensation. You wonder if you should talk to your pastor about it, but it’s almost too embarrassing to bring up.
You get a final notice in the mail that your NRA membership is about to expire. You leave it on the counter. You’re not upset, not even concerned enough to go buy a money order and put it in the mail that day.
You ask your wife where she keeps the toenail clippers. Using her sewing scissors or your pocket knife suddenly seems like a bad idea. Then you find yourself clipping your toenails over the trash can, trying to make sure you don’t leave any jumpers scattered on the floor.
You’re flipping through the channels and notice a documentary on CNN about global warming. An hour later you’re still watching, admiring Al Gore, hoping none of your family or friends find out about it.
Booger calls you, says he’ll come by early in the morning to pick you up and go snatch some mullet. Without thinking, you blurt out that you need to help your wife in the yard. Then you laugh like you were making a joke. You lie and tell him you pulled a back muscle using the chain saw.
Your darling wife is running that old Hoover vacuum cleaner around the house and you are mesmerized by the rhythmic sound. You pop up from your recliner, and start moving the sofa so she can get the dust out from underneath. You wonder what it would feel like to run that Hoover yourself.
Your wife asks what kind of barbeque you want for supper. You tell her you would prefer a salad with raspberry vinaigrette dressing. Then you start washing the lettuce. She thinks you must be sick. You think she must be right.
Old Blue, your favorite coon dog, walks by. You tell your wife that you are going to take him and the other six dogs to the vet to get fixed. That’s when you know you have hit rock bottom. Sadly, you realize that Old Blue will never trust you again.
Jeff Foxworthy made a career saying, “You might be a redneck if………….” He’s covered the identification process very well. But as one with great respect for the redneck way of life, it concerns me that our numbers seem to be shrinking. Next thing you know NASCAR will have speed limit signs.
With recruits of new rednecks at an all-time low, it’s time we made a serious effort to fix the ones that are broken. If you, or someone you know, is experiencing any of the symptoms described above, then act now! Don’t put it off! Just go to Wacissa and turn right on 259. There’s a Redneck Repair Shop just off the road.