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Monday, February 23, 2009

Growing Up Redneck

By the age of 12 I already knew that I was the smartest person in my family. My Uncle Ronnie sat across the table from me with a perplexed look on his face. I had just bet him $20 that I could get 2 sides of a Rubix cube completed before he completed one side. But only 62 seconds into the contest I had all six completed. He had maybe 4 of the blocks of one side in line and was struggling trying to figure out how to get a fifth to fall into place. I eagerly waited a few minutes, hoping to make the contest a little closer when my other noticed that I was finished.

Ronnie was a long time con artist and I was pretty sure that he would make me pay dearly for the beating that I had just given him. I should have realized then that he wasn't smart enough to actually plan revenge. Redneck con artists are at best reactionary, and then only with the one or two skills that they know. His was pool, not brains. Suddenly I felt very powerful. At 12, I knew that no one from my family could ever touch me.

I was somewhat wrong, but not in the way that I expected. Ronnie did get his revenge, but not on me directly. Twenty years later as my mother lay on her apparent death bed Ronnie struck back. It was ugly and I fell into the trap and tapped into my inner Redneck. There was a lot of yelling and swearing (in a southern drawl) and in the end I came close to slugging him. The sad thing is that it would have been no contest. He was a fifty something has been that looked like he was 75. He hadn't lived well and he used his one opportunity to get back at me. If I had done something, I would have been no better than him. In the end I walked away, disappointed at myself and pitying him. Since that time I've made it a point to never visit. Other than our shared heritage I've nothing in common with him.

That's enough for now, but I have plenty more stories concerning my family. Next time, I'll talk about something else.

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