Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Y-Files: The making of a literary god!

Many, many moons ago when Bart was just a little pup, well smaller than now, I wrote a book. Yes ladies and gentleman, I have been published before.

As a 6-year old I wrote a short little novel called: Bubblegum. The premise of the book was that Mum never let me chew bubblegum, so one day I found 20 cents and went and bought Grape Hubba Bubba - the finest flavour of the day. Anyway, Mum and Dad found out and punished me for buying bubblegum. So with that, I ended the story with: 'so now I buy ice cream instead'. Pure literary gold if I may. Bubblegum had a print of ten copies and sat loud and proud in Cockatoo Primary School's library. This is where my journey began...

Flash forward to 2000 when I started what was affectionately known as 'A Prince among Frogs - Bart's tour of France'. This was several emails that described my quick little sojourn through the land of Gaul. It was my first attempt at travel writing after reading my mother's 300-odd page compilations of letters sent back to her mother describing our years living in Pakistan. While only brief it did contain such clangers as:

"Went to a bar in Paris last night and was amazed by how you crack on to girls. Guys would just walk up, grab and girls and take them back to their table. If she refused, well it was no hard feelings. Trust me to try it with the only Aussie in the whole bar and get shot down with: 'fuck off mate'."
"Here's a great way to start an email. Got chased by a transvestite in Pigale today. I refused to accept his/her offer and he/she got offended and chased me for ten minutes."

But it wasn't until the USA that the fun started. All this waffling for the past few paragraphs is really to simply introduce you to the second installment of my travel writings. When living in States, the town I was staying in was not really the smartest or least inbred areas of the world, they were in a way, yokels. They made me laugh till my nose bled or I fell in to a puddle and tried to drown myself to ease the hysterical pain.

As the ski lift to the top of the mountain took a good ten minutes to get there, I used to carry a notebook with me in my snowboarding backpack and spend the time writing down the stories, comments and actions of the locals. After looking through my parent's attic when in Aus, I stumbled across the notebook that had about four of the 12 editions. So people, I give you: 'The Yokel Files!" As a caveat though, if you're not interested in reading this don't. I really don't give two shits when I get emails saying it's too long or not as entertaining as the last blog update. I write these for me as well as I enjoy writing, so if you get bored move on and keep it to yourself. Enjoy.

Webster's define a yokel as... - Volume 3

What is a yokel? Is it a noun: Cletus the slack jawed yokel? Is it an adjective: he was acting yokely? To answer these questions, we must first get in to a yokel's head. Marrying relatives for example. Many species in the animal kingdom - and certain parts of Europe - breed with siblings, and this isn't considered strange at all. Why can't yokels? I put it to you that they are jealous. In fact, yokels are so jealous of many of God's little creatures about this acceptable inbreeding that they scrape their carcasses off highways and serve them up for dinner to Billy Bob and his fifteen year old bride (also his cousin) in the vain hope that by eating the animal they may get its powers. This may sound like I'm experiencing a bad trip or something, but remember, I'm thinking like a yokel. Also, the more inbreeding and 'pure' an animal is, isn't it referred as purebred and more highly prized. Does this mean yokels are highly prized pure breeds? Well, at least we have been able to ascertain what a yokel is. It's a noun:
Bart's Dictionary: Yokel (noun) one of low intelligence, hygiene and general social skills.

At last we are getting somewhere. But let's move on. We have new editions to the Yokel Files; 73 actually. It's called the 300 CLUB! The 300 club is a marvel of human endurance, a testament to man's sporting skill (and 4 women) and stamina. Visible from space and should be recognized as a wonder of the world, the 300 club sits at the Cove Bowling Alley in Great Barrington and is a wall dedicated to the skillful 73 that put their hands up to be counted as heroes in the honourable game of bowling. These people are the ones who bowled a perfect game - 300. There are mullets, guts, comb overs and patchy facial hair all in the convenience of one wall. There's Booby Ray, Billy Bob and Peggy Sue all looking at over the lanes with toothless proud grins and well wrinkled flannel faces - it truly is an eyesore. But not as bad as Joe. Joe runs the bowling alley. Joe has bitch tits. And a front bum. Not in the colloquial Aussie slang, but is so large that his gut parts in the middle and hangs down far below his crutch. Guaranteed he can be seen from space.

I was introduced to this Mecca by Jesse. Jesse is an abnormality. He is a normal guy that wants to be a yokel. He has heard of the Yokel Files, and wants in so bad he wore flannel pajama bottoms and boots to Boggies (local pub) just to prove that he warranted a mention. I think I have found my first groupie. I know he won't be my last. So Jess, here is an honoury mention. But Jesse has a bad habit of not being able to handle his booze and passing out in shower stalls. Do I want this type of person stalking me and looking through my underwear drawer? I'd prefer to be in bat country.
The Yokel Files grow and grow. I blame the amount of material available for comment. Yesterday I went to K-Mart. There is a sign in front of the store saying:

"No propane cylinders allowed in the store."

For them to put up that sign means that people have had to try it before! Or the shotgun cabinet that was half price because the lock on it was broken (anyone seeing an episode of ER brewing here???).

Or, as the photo attached shows, you can't drink in a local bar with out being hit by a flying beer bottle - even when you are on the other side of the room and have nothing to do with the fight about to start!
The Yokel Strikes Back - Volume 7
What makes the modern day yokel? Is it that your ex-wife married your cousin, as is the case for Barney the car park attendant, or is it because you lived under the Brooklyn Bridge for 15 years and now flip burgers in one of the lodges (but with such skill and glamour that you need to tell everybody that is in earshot of your pattie rotating finesse)?

Our story continues on through the haunts of Great Barrington, with more material than I thought possible. You have no idea of the amount of information that can be gathered around here with such a simple question as: 'why don't you brush your teeth'. Let's introduce the new members of the Yokel Files.

Michael, as previously mentioned, works on the grill in the upper lodge and was an alcho living under the Brooklyn Bridge for 15 years. This was discovered after we were talking over lunch about how the party the night before had been so large that a keg had been polished off before midnight. So speaking about how much we enjoyed drinking, Michael piped up with: 'not when you live under the Brooklyn Bridge for 15 years'. Interesting. If that doesn't amuse you, the alcohol abuse have left him with these large protruding eyes as if someone has stuffed a pump up his arse and set it to fill a Zeppelin.

Barney is a car park attendant. His wife separated from him and married his cousin. You have to question someone's mental state when they feel the need to tell you this in the first five minutes of meeting you.

Dave and Richard are lifties. Richard loves his lift. Rumour has it some nights he gets dressed up in a navy uniform, goes down the life and sings 'you've lost that loving feeling'. Dave doesn't share this obsession, but he is obsessive in other areas. He lays out his lunch like Rainman. Drink - left middle, apple - always bottom right, chili - dead centre, and so on. Once he has finished lunch he then removes a piece of floss from his wallet, uses it, rinses it, then puts it back in the wallet for the next day. But at least he has teeth to floss, which brings me to Norbert.

Norbert has three teeth and a lisp so bad and powerful that I think the force of it is what knocked out his other teeth.
To add to my case, I'm writing this email from the notes that I scribed on to the back on a Dunkin' Donuts box - yyyyeeehhhhaaaaa!

What I can't understand is that there are normal people here. Sue, Brian, Rusty, Lisa, the list goes on. But with every normal person, I find three strange ones. There is no middle ground, there is no normal with a touch of yokel, there is no median and, like the email title suggests, there is no balance in the yokel force!

Corey - normal?

Divisions of Yokelism - Volume 11

The definition of a yokel has been determined, but now I throw you a curve ball. One thing that confused me when defining a yokel was that they are so varied. Then I was pointed in the right direction by our own yokel try hard, Jesse. The yokel may take many forms.
Hick: A hick is generally the lowest of the yokels. A hick tends to not leave their town due to no interest in the outside world or that they think 'thems city folk don't thunk like us'. Cory is a hick. Cory works on the lifts at Great Barrington and is not happy at the moment. The owner of the Cove Bowling Alley won't let him get drunk and then drive his truck around in the swamp behind the establishment. Cory's crushed. Cory's mates aren't the smartest either. Brian, one such friend, made up a lie that his girlfriend was hitting him so that he could take out a restraining order. Why you ask - he wanted to have a boy's weekend and couldn't get her to go to her mother's. Actually, I kind of like that one. This couple is now pregnant by the way. I'm sure the two packs of cigarettes and half bottle of vodka a day is doing great things. Maybe that is how a yokel is created. A lack of oxygen and amniotic fluids that are 95% proof and 'yee ha' we have a Billy Bob.
Red Neck: Where hicks never leave town, red necks don't leave and refuse to associate with strangers. They can usually be found driving a pickup with a confederate flag (even if they ain't from the South), and guaranteed there is a photo of Chuck Norris in there car somewhere.
Common White Trash: These people are deceptive. Yokel in appearance, they are cagey beasts. Dennis for example (or Ferret Man as I have labeled him) looks yokely, with a thin moustache, pointy face and grey leather jacket with 4 inch lapels, but he's tricky. He often tells us that he is a wealthy playwright that works at the ski resort to be closer to the snow, but then disappear in to phone booths searching for change. They are yokels, but with sense of the socio-economic order of things.
A special mention has to go to the lady that called up Albany radio when the question of what did you get that special someone for Valentine's Day. Her response: "An annual year's subscription to Gas Engine Magazine." Annual yearly - good work yokel.

Goodbye, Farewell, Good Luck - Volume 14

Well as I look at a 20 hour plane trip, I pose myself the question, if yokels hate traveling so much their traits must be genetic. I know that yokels' bathing and dining habits are probably learned (Bill Bob knows that he can't have squirrel for desert until he has his weekly bath in the lake, for example). So in yokel life, how much is nature and how much is nurture?

Would the child stand a chance of becoming slightly normal if removed from yokelville? Alas, you never see a yokel breeding with someone who isn't a blood relative, so with this I pose that genetics create the yokel. All the genetic flaws of the family are passed down into one child (purebreed), who coincidently enough will breed with the second child, producing a yokel to the power of two. Therefore, yokelism can be mathematically measured:

With Y representing Yokel and S representing social undesirability:

S (Y+Y) = SY2

Hence, two undesirable yokels breed and produce a yokel who is twice as undesirable and the parents. This means over time yokels are getting worse. Scary thought I know, but when you actually see them it's worse. These second generation yokels (the squared yokels) are a step back on the evolutionary chart. One such yokel is Noah. He went to jail while we were on the mountain for assault with a deadly weapon. The lady at Dunkin' Donuts wouldn't serve him as he was drunk and abusive. So he ram raided it: SY2!

So after several months, countless yokels and probably not that many laughs, the Y-Files have come to a close. And in the words of that great yokel equalizer, Jerry Springer: "Be good to yourselves, and each other."


At 7:31 AM, Anonymous LaLa said...

I would pay good money for "Bubblegum"

At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was the one that confiscated the bubble gum, you would not believe what he was doing with it, you certainly would not of paid good money for it.

At 2:57 PM, Anonymous Sarah said...

Want to hitch a ride with me to hicksville? long as you dye your hair back peroxide blonde!

At 4:10 AM, Anonymous Heriberto said...

I'm not familiar with the core of this story. But I greatly appreciate the story that you created. I hope your story can be known and widespread so that you can become famous.

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