The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ms. K's Trashy Roots

I admit it. I grew up for some of my life in a trailer park. We had a decrepit old Mercury for awhile, in a peculiar shade of pinky brown and we eventually had to pay someone to come take it away. He charged us $40 sight unseen. I suppose Jeff Foxworthy would say you can bet you're a redneck if you ever had to pay anyone to take your car off your hands. I don't think we were really rednecks...but we might have been trailer trash.

The radio station I listen to (trust me, I'm going to tie these two paragraphs together--just hang in there) has started asking people "What behavior or thing best exlempifies trailer trash to you?" And that, of course, has opened up a whole bunch of things in my busy little brain. To paraphrase Mr. Foxworthy, I think that being trailer trash can mean "a glorious lack of sophistication" rather than a cruel label--so please don't take offense on anyone's behalf. Seriously, there ain't no one trailer trashier than we were, so if I'M not offended.....(yeah, yeah, I'm the one writing it....let's just let that slide for the minute, shall we?). These are almost all firsthand knowledge, by the way....

You may have some trailer park in your blood if:

  • You have ever inadvertantly purchased something back that you gave to the Goodwill (and if you refer to as "the" Goodwill, that's an extra clue)
  • You have ever gone to the grocery store in a bikini and flipflops, after the age of about six. Extra points if you were towing about three small children with you, and still more if you were there to buy beer.
  • You have ever screamed at your children in Walmart. Bonus points if you did it without ever taking the cigarette out of your mouth(Note, I said I'd experienced most of these things--I haven't actually DONE them all)
  • Your mom had a different little cigarette pouch to match each of her strapless, terrycloth dresses for the summer.
  • You thought "salisbury steak" really was steak until you reached adulthood
  • Your dad ever sat on the bed in his underwear, firing rock salt through a slit in the window screen at the neighbors yapping dog (yes, he really did--never wake my dad up prematurely from a nap)
  • You thought the next door neighbors were terribly sophisticated because they kept twinkies in the freezer and made sandwiches on Wonder Bread
  • You had the entire TV schedule so well memorized that you could look at any television anywhere and immediately know the time to within half an hour.
  • You had a whole set of matched glassware, or did until someone broke the one with Speedy Gonzales on it.
  • Your mom ever went out to an anniversary dinner with your father wearing curlers in her hair (yes, she did. She wanted to look nice for her doctor's appointment the next day.).
  • Your mother could smoke and sunbathe at the same time--with her top untied to avoid strap marks
  • You had pets with names that could not be repeated in polite company
  • You ever went trick-or-treating dressed as Minnie Pearl (yes, I really did).
  • Your most prized piece of jewelry for many years was a teeny tiny Pepsi can on a faux silver chain. Extra points if it turned your neck black.
  • You ever wore a Budweiser T-shirt to school. Especially if you're a girl.
  • You know what I mean when I say "scrunch up the foil on the rabbit ears a bit more--I can't see 'Hee Haw'!" LOTS of points if anyone in your house ever said it.
  • The 6-year-old next door used his middle finger as a pointer finger, and swore more than anyone you knew...except your mom.
  • You ever owned a pair of high heeled, calf-high, denim boots. With belt loops and pockets. AND thought they were the height of sophistication (yes, I did that, too. In my defense, I was 14 at the time).
  • You ran over the mailbox while learning to drive....and it didn't really look any different. (yep...that, too.)
  • You ever set the fake grass on your grandma's porch on fire with a sparkler (I know--I really didn't have to go much beyond the "fake grass on the porch" bit, did I?)
  • The snooty neighbors were the ones with a double wide--and their garbage cans had lids, too.
  • You or anyone you know had their porch fall off
  • You or anyone you know regularly wore a halter top with a regular bra. Extra points if the brastraps were held up with at least one safety pin.
  • You've ever had to move the cars off the lawn to mow it.

It's all true, folks. It's kind of odd, isn't it, that I've never attempted to make and wear a knitted bikini? To the grocery store? At the age of 40+?

Now that's an image no one needed....= )


  • At 8:15 PM, Blogger Marianne said…

    I am about as close to peeing my pants as I ever want to get...Babe.
    Have I told you lately, just how much I love you?...oh, I do.

  • At 9:34 PM, Blogger Charity said…

    Well, you know how they say one man's trash is another's treasure? You're all treasure to me, baby. :0)

  • At 10:27 PM, Blogger Kit said…

    How about looking like you own a daycare 24/7? ;)

    This was awesome.

  • At 10:45 PM, Blogger Angeluna said…

    Thank you for that list! But the image of the knitted bikini on a 40 year old body at the grocery store, WOW!

  • At 11:10 PM, Anonymous angie Cox said…

    Holly is rolling around cos she has a toy skunk who is supposed to be T.P.T. I guess I was once pre-fab trash ...that's a house made after the war ( a lot of houses had trouble with German "Architects"). They tended to be corrugated iron and something like re-cycled bombers along with perspex and cardboard. When it rained it drove you nuts cos the roof was corrugated iron. We were re-housed by the council cos my sister got chest-infections all the time ...oh the good old 1950s .

  • At 2:51 AM, Blogger Dianne said…

    OMG..Did I ever need that good laugh..thank you..and if I had not just gotten up to use the potty..I'd have been with you

  • At 12:49 PM, Blogger Jo said…

    I love your trashy roots Flo!

  • At 3:55 PM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    ::giggling helplessly:: Ohgodohgodohgodohgod! What Marianne said!! (And warning, this is gonna be long. [g] I could not resist. All your fault.)

    There must be some hidden trailer park in my blood, 'cause:

    --I know exactly what you mean about the foil on the rabbit ears! (And I couldn't swear to it, but Dad coulda said it during Hee-Haw. Although he was more likely to be the one scrunching. He didn't trust anyone else to get it done right. [g])

    --Does A) running over a 2" thick alder sapling with a pickup (it only bent, so it looked pretty much the same afterwards), and B) backing into a wooden pasture gate (not ours, but it did look the same, although it left a new dent in the truck) with same truck - and it was a Ford! - count for the mailbox/learning to drive bit?

    --Porch fall off - ok, this was the farmhouse we moved into when we moved to the country, but there'd been a leak under the kitchen sink for decades and the previous owners had only put down a pan to catch drips, and the floor was rotted, and red ants swarmed from the floor at 9 pm the first three nights after we'd moved in, and when Dad ripped it out to replace it, he could tear the floor up - all the way through to the outside - only using his gloved hands.

    But maybe that doesn't count, 'cause we didn't get it into that condition...

    Ok, to make up for that?

    --When you need the lawn surrounding the house mowed, which is fenced off on all sides from the fields...

    You turn the cows into it for a week or so.

    Or if you want it shorter, the horses or the donkeys.

    And no one stops on the gravel road about 50 feet away from the front door to point and laugh. Nor do the other kids on the schoolbus see anything funny about it.

    You note how suspiciously closely 'on the farm' corresponds to 'trailer park' here? (And yegawds, I've gotta write another post about some of my family's...uh, oddities.)

  • At 1:57 PM, Anonymous carlarey said…

    Jesus, I think we're related. How about having two television sets, one that had a picture and one that had sound, stacked on top of each other. And since the knobs were missing, a pair of pliers attached with string like a pen at the bank.


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