Now I’m not normally one to pick on poor white trash (and not just because they have a reputation for being heavy drinkers, having short tempers, and prone to gun-related violence), but I honestly think I encountered the Omega Redneck yesterday.
Sometimes I forget that I live on the razor’s edge of what is known as the Wilds of Pennsyltucky. This geographical area is more or less anywhere in Pennsylvania that’s far enough outside of either the Philadelphia or Pittsburgh to not really be much of a bedroom or commuter town, and it’s characterized by massive swaths of farmland. The stereotype is that people who live in Pennsyltucky tend to be backwoods types ranging from quaintly benign like Pennsylvania Dutch to depraved and twisted like the family from The Hills Have Eyes, and while these stereotypes vary in scope from ethnocentric and arrogant to full-blown offensive, there’s a grain of truth to some of these caricatures – and I was stuck behind one in traffic today.
The wife and I were coming back from Ye Olde Office Furniture Store yesterday with a brand new office chair, and we were nearly home when we ended up behind a late model Chevrolet Camaro. I’m not talking about the new Camaro body design that was made famous by the Transformers movies but the older, mid-1990’s one. It had once been some sort of plum color, though the paint had faded to the point where it was hard to identify. I’d call it gray but primer isn’t a color. However, it was definitely a Camaro because the owner had done the rest of the motoring public a solid by adding one of those white back window decals that read “CAMARO” in two-foot high block lettering. It was surrounded by little Chevrolet symbols as trim.
Now, this alone isn’t really enough to categorize the owner as a redneck, let alone the Omega Redneck, but it didn’t stop there. I noticed that there were two more of those white decals on the vehicle, one on each side of the back window. On the right was the John Deere logo in silhouette, while on the left was the ever-classy Calvin Pissing decal. You know the one; Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes is shown from behind, looking back over his shoulder and sporting an evil grin as he unleashes an arc of urine, with its target typically being any number of things depending on the manufacturer of the sticker. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen victims as varied as sports logos, political parties, religious symbols, and Osama Bin Laden’s disembodied head – the particular target of Calvin’s ire was unclear from my vantage point, but I’m willing to bet money on it being a Ford Motor Company logo, considering the long-standing rivalry between Camaro owners and Ford Mustang owners.
Now at this my Redneck Bingo card was nearly filled: I had the late-model Camaro with more primer than paint, a John Deere sticker, and a Calvin Pissing sticker. However, I still had two more boxes to tick off, but I didn’t have to wait long; I peered down at the car’s license plate where I saw, behind the Pennsylvania tags, was a big-ass Confederate flag. That’s right, the Stars and Bars were staring back at me angrily. Right above it was a bumper sticker that politely informed the reader that the driver of the vehicle was indeed armed and would not relinquish his firearms while his heart was still beating. Finally, I caught a glimpse of the driver – a man of indeterminate age that was more or less nondescript save for his luxuriant, glorious, James Hetfield-tier golden mullet.
So let’s go over the checklist, shall we?
- “From my Cold Dead Hands” bumper sticker
- John Deere/Calvin Pissing stickers
- 20 year old Camaro
- Stars and Bars license plate
And Bingo was his name-o.