Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I too have rednecks in my family tree...

A while back somebody wrote a story about their having attended a semi-professional wrestling match, and their realization of all the white trash glory it represented, and their inescapable conclusion that they were genetically composed of some white trash genes themselves.  This got me reflecting on a childhood experience of mine that allowed me to realize I wasn't so different:

There was an episode of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia that used as its main plot device a semi-pro wrestling match that took place at a low rent rec (veterans?) center. Naturally, watching the show poke fun at the DBO* (*”ditch bank okies”, i.e. rednecks, white trash, etc. I’ve often wondered ((ok, not often…rarely)) if that term is widely used or just a Fresno thing?) crowd in the audience and at the poorly disguised fakery of the amateurish, semi-pro wrestlers, I assumed there was a fair amount of hyperbole and exaggeration on display in the name of getting a few laughs. However, after reading a particular story on the subject, the episode now looks like a documentary. Wow…I can almost smell the stale beer, dirty feet, and the abandonment of dreams (I know…the last one was redundant. Everybody knows the abandonment of ones dreams smells like dirty feet and stale beer…apologies for being pedantic). It was a glimpse into a world I did not suspect actually existed.
Also, being of white trash stock myself, I think I can match the semi-pro wrestling experience with something equally resplendent that I attended with my father when I was 7 or 8 years old: a demolition derby at a county fair. A county fair quality (in the late 70′s no less) demolition derby makes a modern day monster truck show look like the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Sitting in the seats was like being lost in a testosterone fog produced by mustachioed, inebriated dock workers (this was San Diego) who were all wearing the same trucker hat (back when the trucker hat was merely called a “hat” because thats what hats looked like back then, before they became cool and ironic 30 years later) and Coors t-shirt. Smoke (in hindsight, probably mostly of the cigarette variety...this was the 70's after all), auto exhaust, the sound of crunching metal, the whoops and hollers of drunk men and yes, the related smell of stale, cheap, spilled beer…was all pretty heady stuff for an 8 year old. And only just now, upon reflection, do I realize that there is a good chance I was one of those unsupervised feral children described in the story I had previously read, and this has allowed me to turn back the pages of time and essentially view my young self through the eyes of an independent 3rd party observer. Consider my mind blown…and somewhat mortified.

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