When elitists want to mock West Virginia, they typically resort to repeating ridiculous hillbilly stereotypes involving a lack of teeth, an affection for in-breeding or the absence of indoor plumbing. That last one is especially laughable in light of the news coming from the presumably prim and proper hallways of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Here’s the straight poop from Government Executive, a publication geared toward top officials in the federal government:
Yep, you read that right. The agency in charge of keeping America’s air clean can’t even keep the air — or the floors — in one of its own hallways fresh.
This disgusting behavior happens in the big city more often than redneck haters would care to admit. A “serial pooper” wreaked stinky havoc at a Washington, D.C., Metro station a few years ago, for instance.
The scatological news at the EPA also reminds me of the sign I saw inside a bathroom stall at U.N. headquarters back in 1999: “Gentlemen dispose of toilet paper properly. Let’s keep the restroom clean.” VIPs in New York shouldn’t need that pointer, but apparently they do.
Laugh all you want about imaginary outhouse aficionados in West Virginia. At least when our ancestors used them ages ago, they had enough sense to relieve themselves in a privy dedicated to that purpose rather than in public corridors.
Filed under: Culture and Government and Hatin' On Rednecks and News & Politics and West Virginia
I have this tendency to become obsessed with unusual characters, both fictional and real. Two that come to mind readily: Bartleby, the scrivener of Herman Melville fame, and John Randolph of Roanoke, an oddball politician from America’s early days whose named resurfaced in the news again just this month.
These days I’m obsessed with Jim Comstock, a “country editor” best known for his “weakly” newspaper, The West Virginia Hillbilly. I remember reading the Hillbilly occasionally as a child, and over the past few years, I’ve dreamed of finding a way to resurrect it online for digital posterity. His legacy deserves more attention than it gets deep in the bowels of a few libraries in the Mountain State.
My periodic but passing interest in “Mr. West Virginia” became a fascination a few weeks ago. That enthusiasm has manifested itself in a fairly successful quest to compile a personal collection of Comstock’s writing.
I now own three signed copies of his books — “The Best of Hillbilly” compilation of his newspaper musings, his autobiography “7 Decades,” and “Pa and Ma and Mister Kennedy.” And just today my wife snagged a small collection of the Hillbilly for me, thanks to an ad I placed in a circular back home. I’m still on the lookout for a good deal on the 50-book set of the “West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia” that Comstock authored.
All of that is context for the real point of this post, which is a nugget I just found in “Pa and Ma and Mister Kennedy.” It’s a hillbilly grammar lesson from the Pa in the book:
Comstock’s books are full of zingers like that, and you’ll probably read more of them here in the future.
In fact, I’ll be writing much more about him down the road. I’m obsessed enough that I recently interviewed Comstock’s son Jay by telephone, and next week I’ll be talking to one of the journalists who worked for Jim Comstock decades ago. If I can’t resurrect the Hillbilly, which actually might annoy Comstock in the after life because in his eyes I’m a “chickened-out West Virginian,” the least I can do is tell Comstock’s story on a blog that he helped inspire.
Filed under: Grammar and History and Just For Laughs and Media and People and Redneck Humor and West Virginia
Every evening on Fox News’ “The Five,” the co-hosts close the show with quick rants and raves about the “One More Thing” on their minds. I say a hearty “Amen!” to Greg Gutfeld’s tirade tonight because he mocked the phrase “outside the box.”
I hate that phrase so much that I once wrote a local newspaper column called “Inside the Box.” This is the essay that started my own weekly rants:
Filed under: Business and Culture and Education and Family and Food and Government and History and Media and People and Weather and West Virginia
About 15 miles north of downtown Atlanta, just inside the Interstate 285 loop that encircles the metropolitan area, there’s a mansion that screams enlightened redneck.
The enlightened features include:
Now for the redneck rooms of the estate, located in a separate “two-story entertainment building.” These two pictures from the Coldwell Banker listing are worth any 2,000 words I could muster to describe the rooms:
For a cool $1.499 million, this home in Sandy Springs can be yours. But the collection of stuffed animals doesn’t appear to be part of the package.
Filed under: An Enlightened Redneck ... and Culture and Hunting & Guns and Rednecks and Wildlife
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