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How Many Women Does It Take to Change a Redneck?
By Jeff Foxworthy
Rutledge Hill PressCopyright © 2007 Jeff Foxworthy
All right reserved.
Chapter OneFirst Impressions
The first thing you notice about a redneck is his appearance ... unless he's been hunting for three days, in which case the scent will often arrive first. So that's where I'll begin my advice.
Most rednecks grew up with their mamas holding them down in a bathtub twice a week and scrubbing away like they were digging for potatoes. That was enough to turn anybody against baths. Then, as rednecks got a little older and were allowed to bathe themselves, they figured out the contradiction of tub bathing: why would anybody wash their face with water they were sitting in? That revelation also didn't encourage regular bathing.
Shortly afterward, most rednecks started being interested in girls outside their own family, but they quickly realized that girls were not interested in them if they smelled like a mop bucket. More times than not, some degree of personal grooming was going to be required for rednecks to become socially active. Rather than have mamas bathing their grown sons twice a week, I came up with these tips for modern redneck men who may seek the company of others.
Bathing-How Much, How Often
It has been scientifically proven that regular bathing goes a long way toward a lice-free lifestyle, and soap is one of the fundamental tools of bathing. Some rednecks depend on the old reliable-lye soap. Others think lye is harsh on the skin, so they make their own soap out of rendered animal fat scented with Gummi Bears. Store-bought soap is also available for those seeking to improve their stations in life. My personal favorite is the NASCAR series, where the bars of soap are shaped and colored like miniature racecars.
I recommend bathing at home, instead of taking a bar of soap to the local YMCA or the public pool. Cleaning the ring out of a swimming pool can take forever and may delay your spouse from starting her normal household chores.
A garden hose set on "spray" or "mist" and hung over a tree branch makes an ideal shower. Have your sister hold up a sheet so the sight of you bathing doesn't scare the chickens.
Many modern subdivisions and trailer parks have man-made ponds or lakes on the property. These provide an excellent opportunity for bathing au naturel, which means "naked outdoors." The only dangers associated with outdoor naked bathing are leeches, broken beer bottles, water moccasins, rusty nails, and jealous, heavily armed husbands, but the unfettered joy of outdoor naked bathing more than makes up for the risks. There is one other important thing to remember, however: friends don't let friends bathe drunk. So if your friend is drunk and insists on bathing au naturel, leave before he takes off his clothes.
Finally, the misfortune of a leaking roof can be turned into a trendy shower with careful planning and a washtub. If the leak happens to be between your favorite recliner and the TV when your wife wants to shower, a funnel and hose can be used to redirect the flow out of your field of vision. On the other hand, if your wife's good-looking sister is visiting and wants to shower, the funnel and hose can be used to bring her back into your view. It's sort of like hitting the "channel recall" button on the remote late on a Saturday night-auto racing, naked woman, auto racing, naked woman ...
Electric razors are a modern inconvenience that I do not recommend. In the first place, electricity is not always available. And secondly, even if your razor is battery operated, swapping the batteries back and forth from your razor to your flashlight could leave you without an emergency light on the roadside some dark night. You can't flag down help with a buzzing razor.
The first rule of shaving is to take your time. A few days' contemplation is recommended. A man who is always clean shaven runs the risk of being labeled a sissy or a banker.
When the time comes, start by lathering your beard with soapsuds or your kids' bubble bath. If you use commercial shaving cream, avoid anything that is scented with flowers or fruit (see earlier note about sissies and bankers). Drag your razor lightly over the area to be shaved with just enough pressure to remove the suds but not enough to remove all facial hair. Remember, the point of shaving is to look like you haven't for two days. When you've finished the process, rinse the razor and return it to your tackle box.
If you cut yourself while shaving, simply apply a small piece of toilet paper to the wound. It is best to remove the toilet paper before you arrive at work, although some women find it particularly alluring. If the bleeding has not stopped within twenty-four hours, a stitch or two may be required. (Warning: Never apply a tourniquet to the neck.)
While ears need to be cleaned regularly, this is a job that should be done in private using one's own truck keys. (Note: Keys also must be cleaned regularly, because earwax buildup can short-circuit a starter switch.) Post office box keys are recommended for deep-ear probing. Remember to stop pushing when you encounter resistance.
For serious wax buildup, do not rule out a garden hose as a hygiene partner.
A recent innovation in cleaning out ears is ear wicks, or candles. You insert one of these specially designed candles in your ear and light it. The draft from the burning candle draws wax out of the ear and into the candle cone. Although this technique seems to work well, it is not without risks.
Light the candle before sticking it in your ear. Otherwise, your favorite cap could go up in flames.
Do not use birthday candles, especially those in the shape of numbers. The five is almost impossible to fit into the average ear.
Do not mix earwax with candle wax, unless you want your candles to grow ear hair.
Tending to ear hair should be considered a normal part of ear maintenance. Ear hair is most attractive when combed into the sideburns, or, if you feel particularly adventurous, it can be combed behind the ear for a startling effect. For side-sleepers, remember that bed-head can impact ear hair the same way it does scalp hair.
Contrary to popular belief, dandruff is not an incurable disease. And despite what the guys around the gas pump say, shampooing regularly is not the leading cause of sissiness (although kiwi-scented shampoo will make you want to be a waiter). Some women, in fact, actually find clean hair virile and attractive. For best results, brush hair before it dries completely or else pull a stocking cap down low over your head while the hair dries. (Warning: Do not visit your bank while wearing the stocking cap, unless you've got nothing planned for the next five to seven years.)
If you can afford store-bought hair tonic, use it. But don't waste your money on anything labeled "the dry look," because the same effect can be achieved by driving around with your truck windows open.
If you're on a tight hygiene budget, many household items work just as well. Brake fluid, for example, not only holds the hair in place but adds a dark, Elvis-like sheen to the scalp. Butter is especially effective on lighter colored hair and creates the illusion of highlights; for those with cholesterol issues, margarine is an acceptable alternative.
This may come as a great surprise to most rednecks, but mullets are out. On the positive side, as hairlines rise above the collar, it's easier to show off your masculine back hair with low-cut tank tops. Ironically enough, the Don Johnson Miami Vice look is back in, especially the beard stubble (see earlier tips on shaving). Once the hairs begin to curl, however, it's no longer considered stubble.
One thing that never changes is sideburns, where bigger is always better. The most popular style remains the pork-chop, where the bottom of the sideburn flares out to the edges of the mouth. Some creative rednecks prefer the gnawed spare-rib look, which is much thinner like its namesake.
Blond with black roots has always been a popular color for rednecks, but some retro trendsetters have recently gone to black with blond roots. This effect can be achieved by squirting peroxide directly onto the scalp area with the use of a syringe.
Some rednecks have been known to apply lemon juice to their hair to create highlights. Lemonade is an acceptable alternative for the younger generation, and "hard" lemonade is an option for those over 21.
Red spikes with black roots is another popular option, although the spikes require that you wear a cowboy hat instead of the usual baseball cap.
As rednecks grow older and gray starts creeping into their hair palette, many find that black liquid shoe polish combed into the hair daily maintains that youthful appearance.
When eyebrows reach the length where they obscure your vision, it's time to mow. Growing them long and combing them backwards to cover a receding hairline is not considered fashionable. Thick eyebrows, however, do form a perfect resting place for reading glasses when not in use. For a rakish look, you can apply a little earwax to full eyebrows and curl the ends up, sort of like a handlebar moustache for the brow.
Plucking these unwanted devils one at a time will work, but a cigarette lighter and a small tolerance for pain can accomplish the same goal and save hours. When using this method, keep a bucket of water nearby.
Scientists have proven that the use of a toothbrush (and toothpaste, when available) can help people keep their teeth well into their thirties and even beyond. Many people brush on a daily basis. Each and every tooth should be brushed, no matter how far apart they are. Your grandparents probably told you that they used baking soda or certain tree sap instead of toothpaste, but keep in mind that they probably delivered this wisdom through false teeth.
Unlike clothes and shoes, a toothbrush should never be a hand-me-down item.
Dental floss is the modern equivalent of broom straw. It can be purchased in most urban grocery stores or drugstores, but any loose thread on your clothing will work just as well and will tidy your appearance simultaneously. A lightweight monofilament fishing line also works wonderfully well. I recommend removing all lures from the line before flossing.
Manicures and Pedicures
Sometimes you may find it impossible to chew a fingernail evenly. Don't panic: household scissors or a sharp steak knife can usually handle the task. Toenails, however, present a tougher problem, and you may have to resort to a strong wood file or bolt-cutters to achieve the desired effect. Remember to always put nail clippings in their proper place-the ashtray.
Dirt and grease under nails is a social no-no, as they tend to detract from the taste of finger foods, unless you're having fried food or buffalo wings. A good pocketknife will take care of this problem and allow you to trim your cuticles at the same time. (Note: Cuticles are the skin around your nails, not the cute twins down the street.)
Corns and Calluses
Foot surgery is a budget buster, but expensive doctor visits can often be avoided by doing certain procedures in the privacy of one's own home or automobile. For example, corns and calluses can be removed using a common potato peeler. Remember never to cut against the grain.
Brightly colored tissue folded between toes with corns can provide moderate relief. Be sure to match the color of the tissue to your flip-flops or baseball cap. If a corn or bunion on the outside of your foot causes you to cut a relief hole in your shoe, remember to save the piece so it can be glued in later.
If your feet become cracked and callused in the summertime from walking barefooted around the yard, you can soften them up with a nightly application of lard. And as an added bonus, your feet will literally slide into your socks the next morning.
Deodorant, Perfume, Cologne, and Such
Proper use of these toiletries can forestall bathing for several days. If the problem has escalated to the point that you are applying them directly to your clothing instead of to your skin, a bath is inevitable.
Certain scents attract bees, so be leery of anything with "honey" in the name. On the other hand, you may want to encourage your girlfriend or wife to wear a scent that attracts deer and wild turkey; this can provide an opportunity for the two of you to spend time together during hunting season, and you can use her for bait.
If you live alone, deodorant is a waste of good money.
Excerpted from How Many Women Does It Take to Change a Redneck? by Jeff Foxworthy Copyright © 2007 by Jeff Foxworthy. Excerpted by permission.
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