Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Next Weekend, We'll Cook Up Some Road Kill And Paint the Rebel Flag On Our Cars

When I lived in Canada, I was aware of the terms white trash and trailer park, but to be honest with you, these were abstract concepts to me that I didn't actually know to be real. I thought it was kind of like the Easter Bunny: funny on paper, but can't possibly be true.

Then I moved to Texas, and one day, a couple of months after I'd moved here, I drove by a trailer park on my way to a client meeting. I stopped the car, fascinated. There it was, just like it'd been described: disheveled movable homes, with rusted cars with no tires as lawn ornaments.

I had to call Sweetie Pie to tell him. "I just saw my first trailer park!" I exclaimed. He was unimpressed. This is the equivalent of telling God that you just saw a unicorn. He'd just tell you "yeah, I know I invented it, remember?"

Sweetie Pie's family is very wealthy, but that doesn't mean that at their roots, they didn't come from the middle of Texas, where they lived on land and probably ate raccoon and squirrels to survive.

I'm not criticizing this lifestyle. I'm just telling a story.

The point is, that even though Sweetie Pie's parents live in a house that's twice as big as ours, with granite counter tops and three Targets within a 10-mile radius, Sweetie Pie's father still enjoys getting meat for free by sitting in a tree for hours wearing clothes that would so not appear on any runway in New York, Milan or Paris.

Last year, my dear father-in-law actually bought a ranch so that he and my dear husband could go prey on innocent animals more regularly. I've written about the fact that I've made my peace with this, as I'm sure the dead animals at the grocery store haven't had as much of a fulfilling life as the ones Sweetie Pie kills. And plus he doesn't believe in letting animals suffer, which from what PETA has to say, isn't how most of that grocery meat comes to be.

Anyway, I've refused to go to the ranch, as one, they had a trailer put on the land, so that when they go hunting they have somewhere to stay. This is against my genetic mix and my staying in a trailer could potentially cause my little tiny bit of snootiness, inherited from my French heritage, to dissolve in a screaming fit and turn to crepe batter.

I've also refused to go, because I was told by Sweetie Pie once that he saw a snake. I don't care that the snake was non-poisonous and was the president of his Greenpeace unit, I hate snakes. All snakes must die. End of story.

And the third reason I've refused to go is I'm a big-city girl. What the fuck am I going to do on a ranch in the middle of nowhere for two days? Where's the shopping? And TV with only one channel? Well, that's just inhumane! Someone call Amnesty International, because that's got to violate many a cruelty law.

But when we were driving back from the airport last week to head home, Sweetie Pie mentioned to his father that he needed to go to the ranch. Since he'd killed Bambi's dad on his last trip out, he'd had the carcass dropped off at some horrendous place called the Meat Processing Plant. Well, his meat was ready to be picked up, so he needed to go as soon as possible. Since he was also going to be going out of town the following weekend on business, I told him that Little Man and I would go down with him, since that's all he was going for.

And so on Saturday, we packed up the Little Man and headed down to the ranch.

The drive was mostly fine. Little Man tolerated four hours in his car seat pretty darn well. And when we got there, he visited the trailer and found more toddler hazards than safe things to play with.

He first found the large bullet collection, sorted by the Dewey system on the bookcase in the living room. He began to play with these boxes of bullets as if they were blocks, like I'm certain many white trash kids before him did.

The idea of him being blown to bits by the explosive was too much for me to bear, so all bullets were put away by myself.

I also discovered a saw, all 10,000 of its jagged teeth facing up at toddler arm level.

And of course, camper chairs, which adorn the living room the way some people have expensive leather chairs with fancy looking ottomans, are not the sturdiest surface for a toddler who is trying to climb on everything, despite his particularly short legs.

After settling in, we took the Little Man to see the animals. Now I must stop my story here to explain that during our trip to Canada, we drove to the Park Omega, a wonderful large wildlife park, where deer and hogs and buffaloes and other wild creatures will let you drive by them, and feed them carrots. But now, we're back in Texas. So this was the white trash Park Omega, which consisted of only cows. Which don't get me wrong, I love cows. I think they're cute. Especially little calves. Little Man worked on his imitation of cow noises, which I've learned he won't be working on Saturday Night Live anytime soon, as the closest he came was "Mmmmmmmm." Yes, that's a cow noise.

On Sunday, after a quick stop at the meat processing plant and Sweetie Pie spreading the meat amongst a standard cooler and a styrofoam cooler, we headed home.

We stopped for food when Little Man woke up from his nap and demanded to be fed right then and there. The only thing that sounded tempting at the next exit was the Dairy Queen. And this was where we discovered that we were in the armpit of America.

I can only describe that Dairy Queen as scary. The kind of place where each time Little Man would hover a French fry two inches above the scary looking table, I would take it away from him, convinced that the ebola virus germs could leap that high onto the fry.

A family walked in not long after us, with a teenaged daughter who acted like she was hot stuff. She was carrying a purse that she'd obviously made. The purse was made entirely of Capri Sun pouches. This purse was rectangular, with about four pouches glued side by side on each side, looking more like a toolbox than a purse, and she'd rolled up two other pouches and glued those over the two rows of pouches to act as handles.

The grandmother kept referring to her as the prettiest girl in town. I realize that the grandmother was probably biased, but let's just pretend that this was true. It'd be the equivalent of me being called the hottest girl in Dallas. I'm not saying I'm a dog. I'm average. The kind of person who doesn't make people react strongly towards her looks one way or the other, which I'm perfectly happy. I'm just saying that if I moved somewhere and became the hottest person in town, I'd be in one mighty ugly ass town.

And then this woman walked in with this little boy, who was probably about four years old. When the kid saw Little Man, he smiled. After all, that's how kids acknowledge each other. And when he smiled, that's when my heart stopped for a second. The kid's mouth was nothing but metal. I'm talking bright silver covering every single tooth, I guess that each baby tooth was so rotten that each surface of the tooth had to be covered in shiny metal so the kid would have something to chew with.

That's when I decided that I didn't want to wait to order me an Oreo blizzard and we high tailed it home as fast as we could.

I really don't have it in me to be white trash, apparently.



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