How to Make Enemies of Rural People
Early rural people in Appalachian Mountains
1950's classic: Little boy going fishing
Out of the gate
Let me be serious. And I can make my point if need be. There is one group of Americans that you or I should never intentionally upset, irritate, or offend. This group of hard-working, loyal, neighborly people are called “Rural Americans,” or known by a better laymen’s term; “Country Folks.”
I pride myself on being born, raised and learned most of what I know about life from my country parents and country neighbors. I say this very unapologetically.
I am not trying to start or pick a fight with anyone, just make my introduction to my piece as bold, exciting, and attention-grabbing as humanly possible.
Rural Americans call this a clothes line
Rural America has numerous pretty girls
Corn is a big-money crop to rural America
Rural people: Tough, enduring
Country folks are an enduring lot. They survived the Dust Bowl where every acre of farmland for miles was devoured with sand forcing the farm families to load whatever belongings they had onto the family truck or mule-powered wagon and head to California to find work because most of these farm families had upwards of five children to feed.
What happened to most of these “salt of the earth” families when they reached California was nothing to be proud of. Farm families who needed work were shipped to a commune-sort of living area where other needy families were living on little of nothing, for the work they did was picking grapes, oranges, and other produce that came to harvest for the rich, powerful landowners who paid these American migrant workers just enough to say that they were paid.
Most of the workers’ money went to pay the rent on shanties where they lived—no matter how many family members they had and the living conditions in these houses held together by slats were less than awful. In fact, awful would have been an improvement.
In early rural America as now, cotton is another big-money crop
Another pretty girl from rural America
Rural people: No stranger to adversity
I know that there is no comparison of the two, but if America had a holocaust, this era in our history would be it. Many migrant workers from Texas and Oklahoma died from starvation, disease, and other demons caused by living conditions and ungodly hours in the fields making “the man” (with a protruding belly) another stack of cash to “Fortune of Greed,” made possible by these workers’ bloody hands, broken backs and shattered spirits.
I could go on, but this is leading to a depressing avenue that I have went down many times.
I do know that besides being honest, loyal, and hard-working, these rural workers whose children grew-up and evolved into the American farmer deserve more than we give them. I am speaking of the up one day and down one day farm prices set by The Federal Department of Agriculture.
And besides being all of my good adjectives, these rural farmers were not to be messed with, run-over, or taken advantage of by anyone.
I have, in my young life, witnessed a middle-age farmer take someone to task by telling him in a fiery, honest tone just what he thought of this “carpet bagger,” who was trying to take the poor farmer’s land. It wasn’t long until the man who was trying to take advantage of this old farmer got into his car and left, and as far as anyone knew, he didn’t come back.
Pretty rural blond
Rural Americans during The Great Depression
Victim of The Dust Bowl
The Farmall tractor was used by successful rural American farmers
Today's rural farmer
Country singers, Jane Dear Girls
"Lil" and "Milly," a team of mules used by early rural farmers
Early rural American bathroom facilities
Read my tips very carefully
This is the kind of grit that I am talking about in rural folks. They were born tough, worked in tough surroundings, and lived to see a house full of tough grandkids. My kind of folks.
And now for . . .
“Ways to Make Enemies of Rural People”
(Note: these are for your safety provided that you have never gotten lost or had automobile problems deep inside any rural area of our great United States. Kenneth).
- Never poke fun, even clean, good-spirited fun, at any rural person’s various slang and ways they speak unless you are just itching to have your butt whipped.
- Do not, if you are in a group of rural people talking about life issues, “butt-in,” and start talking as you know more than these rural people for they are not stupid, and can easily see through your immature act.
- If you are invited to dine with a rural family, please do not say, “Just what in the devil is this stuff?” when you take a bite of collard greens and blackeye’d peas. Rural people take pride in their cooking, so even if you do not like their food, keep your opinions to yourself.
- Watch what you say about the political beliefs of rural people. “I think that Barack Obama is not a brigh man,” will not only get you told to leave a rural family’s home, but possibly beaten to a pulp before you get in your SUV.
- If you and the wife are visiting her “Uncle Wilbur and Aunt Mabel” and family down in “Chicken Scratch,” Mississippi, and their six foot, three inch son, “Billy,” who can easily carry logs like a log truck, comes over to you, the husband, and thumps your nose, laugh as hard as you can. Do not start a fight with “Billy,” although your wife laughs at you in front of her relatives. A black eye and broken arm are not worth it.
- Then when you are listening to some good ol’ classic Country Music and you say, “That jerk thinks he is Hank Williams,” get ready for a fist-fight because the singer “was” Hank Williams.
- Back to “Billy,” again. If “Billy,” dares you to ride his pet bucking bronco named, “Satan’s son,” go ahead and do it—although it means you will be thrown off and landing on the hard ground and staying in a hospital for two weeks. But at least “Billy” thinks you are a tough guy. Not too smart, but a tough guy.
- Never assume that a rural family’s pet dog, “Slaughter,” is friendly when he runs up to you wagging his tail. This dog is a smart canine and as you pat his head, he suddenly bites your hand almost off at the bone. Of course, the rural man of the house will stop laughing at you long enough to rebuke “Slaughter,” by saying, “Slaughter, ol’ boy. You getting slow. Time was you could have took the whole arm.”
- You are sitting on the porch with a rural family having a decent time even without air conditioning when “Milly,” the twin sister of “Billy,” walks up to you and pinches your nose until it bleeds. Just take it and do not start-up with “Milly,” for she is well-known in the community for wrestling the black bears who drift down from the hills looking for food.
- And finally . . .
- When a rural family asks you, “Say, son. Where was your car made?” Be careful. Do not say, “In Detroit, Michigan, sir. Way up “North,” for this statement will land you on the ground on your back for some rural people have not gotten over losing the Civil War.