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Posts Tagged ‘Rednecks’

Dear Kara,

I was SO HAPPY to see you Saturday night.

In general, of course, but also because you too wanted to wear a mask to see our brother Lodell play in his Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band.

Diamond Music Hall was SOMETHING ELSE.

I had no idea this place had COVID repellent. They need to bottle it and sell it.

I mean, CLEARLY they have some kind of protection because there were 4,352 people inside and no mask in sight.

Yikes!

I walked in and started hyperventilating. I told Lodell that he’d be the last person I’d see pre-infection.

It was a super-spreader event, for sure. Great for the band to have so many fans. Not great for my health.

But you showed up and normalized mask wearing.

The fear is real.

I am grateful.

I’m also oddly grateful to the nearby couple who decided a Southern rock show was a good place to practice the dance moves they learned after Bible study.

They were fascinating.

And Freebird USA put on a great show.

I’m a fan.

I’m willing to go out again, but only if you are with me in mask solidarity.

Deal?

Your sister,
Beth

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Dear Missouri Drivers,

I’m so glad I learned to drive in Atlanta where Nascar has nothing on I-285. If I hadn’t, there’s no way I would have been prepared for you.

Perhaps you didn’t get any drivers education. Let me help.

Pro Tip 1
People getting onto the highway need to be able to merge. Let them in, for crying out loud!

Pro Tip 2
When someone has his/her/their turn signal on, that means the person wants to get over. Oh but wait, none of you seems to know what that is.

Pro Tip 3
The turn signal is a lever on your steering wheel that, when activated, lets other drivers know you want to make a turn or get into a different lane. You are in the Show Me state, so show me your freakin’ turn signal.

Pro Tip 4
It’s helpful to other drivers for you to pick a lane and STAY IN IT. Weaving in and out is annoying and dangerous.

Pro Tip 5
The posted speed limit is not a suggestion. It’s the max. It’s right there on the sign!

Maybe y’all drive this way to avoid all the potholes and road damage.

Seriously, these roads are about as bad as the ones I had the misfortune of driving in Antigua. That’s saying something.

Please, for the love of God, think of your fellow drivers.

I thank you from the bottom of my wheel wells.

Beth

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Dear Netherworld:

For some reason, I’ve never had a burning desire to visit you. I guess I prefer “real” haunted houses/places.

“Fake” ones rely on jump scares, which are too much like pranks for me.

However, when your children — whom you haven’t seen in almost two weeks — want you to go with them someplace, you say, “Yes.” Or at least I do.

Our group consisted of three moms and five teenage boys, ages 15-16.

Someone needs to shave.

Here are the things that I found scary upon arrival:

  • The ticket price. It was $30 each. Yikes!
  • The porta potties outside didn’t have lights inside them.
  • The lack of masks indoors. COVID isn’t gone, y’all!

Once inside, there were other things to scare me:

  • Just as I started to walk in, the dude pulling back the curtain stuck his hand in front of my face. I screamed from shock. Then giggled because HOW DUMB?!?
  • A huge animatronic demon face bum-rushed me and shoved me into a wall.
  • The floors were designed to match the “rooms.” Squishy flooring to represent grass in a cemetery, for example. What’s scary about that? The broken-ankle potential. I don’t need that again.
  • There was a corridor of clowns. HORRIFYING. I loathe clowns.
  • Each of the two haunted houses ends with a chainsaw-wielding madman. Or three. I loathe chainsaw-wielding madmen. (That comes from a certain movie seen at an impressionable age.)
  • One of the boys’ friends putting on a badass act. “What? I can’t help it if I’m not scared.” OK, then, Buzzkill.

I did have a good time, though. One of the best things was the boy banter.

Dominic: Gideon, be careful they don’t put you in one of the exhibits.
Gideon: What?
Dominic: “Oh, here’s another skeleton.”
Dylan: More bones, all Fernbank style.
Gideon (laughing): My superhero name can be Bones.
Dominic: I feel like this right here is a villain origin story.

I’ll probably see you next year.

Happy Halloween!
Beth

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Dear Fellow Blogger,

You said to me yesterday that I am “practically a foreign correspondent now.”

That resonated. I AM gathering information on a place that is new to me.

I’m trying to see and do as much as I can.

For example, I saw a billboard advertising tours of the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City.

Ghost tours.

Because of course they would offer ghost tours in October.

So I had to go.

Because of course I did.

I asked my mother if she wanted to go.

Me: I am booking a tour of the Missouri State Penitentiary Saturday night. Do you want to go?
Her: (long pause) No.

I have no trouble going places alone, so I called to make the booking.

Me: The website says there’s no availability on any weekend tour.
Lady on phone: We are sold out. When did you want to come?
Me: Saturday.
Her: How many?
Me: Just me.
Her: Just you?
Me: Just me.
Her: I can squeeze in one person.
Me: Great!
Her: 7, 8 or 9?
Me: A.M.?
Her (drily): P.M. It’s a ghost tour.
Me: Right.

So I went. It’s an hour and some change north of Rolla. Rural Missouri looks like rural Georgia.

Fifty feet from this sign, there was a dead deer in a ditch. Must not have been good eatin’.
What kind of fowl convention is this?

I got to Jefferson City early so I had time to look around.

Gov. Mike Parson’s place. He can walk to the Capitol building if he chooses. It’s a more modest place than Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s palace.
Lewis, Clark and the gang
Brisket, pulled pork, pit beans and jalapeño cheddar grits. Many animals were harmed in the making of this meal. I’m sorry.

At this point, you may be asking this:

But Beth, what about the ghost tour — the whole point of your trip?

Well, it deserves a whole post on its own.

Stay tuned.

Your Midwest correspondent,
Beth

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Dear Friends of My Sons,

I feel lucky. You are all really good kids. I like you, and your parents seem great too.

I spent loads of time with you over the weekend as it was Gideon’s birthday. I laughed so much.

Let’s recap:

Friday night, I took Roscoe and Gideon to meet Trent to see “A Quiet Place 2.”

Gideon: I forgot my debit card.
Roscoe: I have $2.
All: [pause]
Roscoe: I’m ballin’
Me: [howling] Big pimpin’

Saturday, on the way to Six Flags, I discovered Cole is not a fan of roller coasters. He must really like Gideon to agree to go to a theme park with him.

We drive up to the entrance and see a coaster.

Me: That’s the Georgia Scorcher. You stand up on it.
Cole: [blanching]
Me: Are your hands clammy now?
Cole: My whole body is clammy.

Y’all are at that age where you don’t really want parents around, so Eddie and I peeled off.

You found us at Macho Nacho.

Me: Where’s Dominic?
Gideon: He wanted a turkey leg, so we left him.
Me: Dang. That’s cold.

Eddie and I felt sorry for Dominic, so we went to find him.

Me, calling Dominic: Where are you?
Dominic, sounding annoyed: I’m getting a turkey leg.
Me: Where?
Dominic: At the Sky Screamer Drinks and Eats. It’s across from the Sky Screamer.
Me: We’ll be right there.

We get there, and Dominic tells me he has had the exact same conversation with Josh, Gideon twice, me, then Roscoe. I started laughing, because he repeated the conversation each time for my benefit.

An hour in line (no exaggeration), he finally had his leg.

This is my son. (I do this too.)

We had to leave Six Flags. It was just too crowded. Clearly there’s no COVID in Georgia. 🙄

Trent chatted amiably with me on the way back to the car. I learned all about his job search. And other things.

Trent: I just need about a thousand dollars for equipment.
Me: When you get your job, that will happen soon. What kind of music do you do?
Trent: I rap for Jesus.
Me: Oh! Ok. You have a rap name?
Trent: It’s Trent Truth.
Me: That’s great!

We decided to resume Gideon’s birthday at the pool.

The next day, we took Dominic and HIS friends whitewater rafting. I’m eternally shocked at Dominic and Gideon’s choice of music for car rides.

Dominic: Green Day to Bee Gees to Taylor Swift
Gideon: Neil Diamond to Doom

And then there’s Adem’s choice of footwear. I was surprised to learn Crocs are hella trendy again.

Adem: I’ve got my Crocs in support mode.

That meant he used the back straps. Dylan could have taken a page out of Adem’s book.

If you are on the Ocoee River and find a shoe, it’s Dylan’s.

I feel fortunate. I do. My children have chosen wisely.

See you for plenty of adventures this summer.

Love,
Dominic and Gideon’s mom

*Dionne FTW.

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Dear Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen,

One of your songs came on the radio, and I immediately changed the channel.

I mean no disrespect. I’m just not a fan.

I know, I know: I’m an American, so I’m supposed to love you and your music.

I don’t. I can live without hearing one of your songs ever again.

There is a whole list of singers/bands who fall into that category for me:

Bruce Hornsby and The Range
Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band
The Grateful Dead
Chicago
Joe Cocker
Don Henley
The Cars
George Thorogood
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
Steely Dan
The Eagles
The Doobie Brothers

It’s a theme I’ll call “Americana.”

But Cheap Trick? Boston? Blue Öyster Cult? Hell yes.

Look. Listen. I can’t explain my taste.

I can live without “folksy” folks too:

4 Non Blondes
Indigo Girls
Bob Dylan

Good LORD: I cannot STAND Bob Dylan.

I’m sorry. I feel guilty. I feel like I have to turn in my “American” card (which, by the way, I have been tempted to do by things other than music).

Keep on rocking, just not within my earshot.
Beth

 

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This guy. Rep. Barry Fleming. UGH. He’s from the Georgia city that has the Laurel & Hardy Museum. His efforts would be a comedy if his fellow Republicans weren’t serious.

Dear Georgia GOP,

Hey, y’all! Georgia voter here. What you are doing with your omnibus elections bill is ridiculous. I know you are upset that President Biden won the state in November and Senators Ossoff/Warnock won their seats in January, but you can’t just change the rules because you lost.

Except you can, because that’s what you do (*cough* gerrymandering *cough*).

There was no voter fraud. That’s been proven over and over.

Stop being sore losers. Just mobilize your base and register new voters. You know, like Stacey Abrams did.

I’ve voted in every election. I voted absentee in November because, you know, PANDEMIC. I took a picture of myself at the ballot dropbox because I know how y’all like to pretend ballots are being returned by others. 🙄

Forcing a voter to make a copy of his/ her/their ID or get a witness for a signature IS NOT GOING TO STOP FRAUD.

Reducing early voting IS NOT GOING TO STOP FRAUD.

Eliminating no-excuse absentee voting IS NOT GOING TO STOP FRAUD.

It just makes voting a hassle for everyone.

Even the Georgia Secretary of State — a man in YOUR PARTY — says y’all lost because of unfounded conspiracy theories, not because of fraud.

Stop making it harder for people to vote. You should be reducing barriers. But I guess you aren’t interested in a fair fight. You want to rig the system.

Huh.

That’s funny.

That sounds like someone I’m glad is gone.

Do a better job of promoting yourselves and your platforms. Then more people might vote for you.

It’s not likely to be me, though, because you waste time on stupid stuff like this.

Be best.
(🙄)
Beth

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Hey Y’all!

Yesterday was Inauguration Day. It seemed to go off without a hitch, even though some people are still bent out of shape.

Since Jan. 6, Auntie Beth’s social media feeds have been filled with angry people posting a variety of logical fallacies.

Auntie Beth thinks it might be helpful for some people to understand a particular one: false equivalency.

Let’s talk about it in terms of protests.

Here are three well-known ones:

  1. Women’s March on Washington
  2. Black Lives Matter
  3. March to Save America

Here are the pertinent details of each:

Women’s March on Washington
Who: 500,000+ women (mostly) in pink hats.
When: Jan. 21, 2017.
Why: Gender equality mixed with protesting the Trump election.
Violence? None.
Arrests: None.
Deaths: None.
Outcome: More women running for office.

Black Lives Matter 2020
Who: Could be as many as 26 million people.
When: May 26 to present.
Why: Anti-racism. Summer protests triggered by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Violence? Yes, in 7 percent of protests. Some violence perpetrated by protestors, some by police.
Arrests: 14,400 over the summer.
Deaths: Numbers vary. Could be as high as 19. One set of scholars studied 7,305 protests and found deaths or injuries in 1.6 percent.
Outcome: Police reform, social change, increased important conversations, etc.

March to Save America (also called Stop the Steal, Rally to Revival, etc.)
Who: Could be as many as 10,000 people.
When: Jan. 6, 2021.
Why: Supposed election fraud.
Violence? Yes. By protestors.
Arrests: No arrests on site. Arrests later. The count is up to 100.
Deaths: Five.
Outcome: Hard to say. Biden was sworn in.

On Jan. 6 and afterward, Auntie Beth saw loads of people trying to compare the Capitol event with the Black Lives Matter protests.

So let’s break down the concept of false equivalency.

Why might a comparison not be a fair one? There are two big reasons:

  1. The comparison notes similarities but not differences. For example, I listed three major protests. They have in common inciting incidents — the election of Donald Trump, the killing of George Floyd and the 2020 election — and that they were all protests. But there are major differences: number of people protesting, nature of inciting incidents, amount of violence, number of arrests.
  2. The comparison ignores magnitude and/or nature of difference. The number of arrests in BLM versus MSA is huge. That would indicate that the BLM protests were much more violent than MSA. Were they? Or is there something else at play? According to a recent study, it is the latter. Police are three times more likely to use force against left-wing protestors than right-wing. Arrests follow.

In the Facebook examples above comparing BLM to MSA, it is not accurate to identify “Democrat” response to BLM versus MSA as hypocrisy. That is false equivalence. Why? Three reasons:

  1. Peaceful assembly is a First Amendment right. Nancy Pelosi, etc., can call for protests just as Trump, etc., can. Calling for violence is a completely different thing. (Also, please note that the remarks in the meme are missing context. And let’s also note the peacefulness of the Women’s March. That’s how you protest, folks!)
  2. Democrats did not condone the BLM violence. In fact, many spoke out against it, including Biden.
  3. The underlying reason for the protests is markedly different. The BLM movement began because police killed black men. The MSA protest began because Trump told a lie about a “stolen” election. We can agree to disagree on approaches, but facts are facts: There is no evidence of election fraud. Plus, death fraud, asking for power displaying power.

Many people who believe “the big lie” also believe that Democrats and the Hollywood elite are Satanists running a cannibalistic child-trafficking operation.

Reread that sentence.

Allow Auntie Beth her massive eye roll.

🙄

Believing in conspiracies like that has consequences. Look at this slide Auntie Beth took from a recent talk on child trafficking that she attended.

See that second point? People drawn in by conspiracy theories took away from services for actual victims. (Educate yourself here.)

Y’all, Auntie Beth would like to remind you of the concept of Occam’s razor: The simplest explanation is likely the right one.

So you can believe in a vast pedophilia ring led by Tom Hanks, among others, or just freakin’ NOT. (Auntie Beth cannot believe she had to write that.)

You can believe that local, state, national and international forces banded together to “give” Biden the win, or you can believe that more people voted for him than voted for Trump. (I mean, just think about the former. All those people can keep a secret? Please.)

Auntie Beth hopes this little lesson was helpful.

Happy fact-finding!

 

*Apologies to Salt-N-Pepa.

 

 

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Dear Friends and Family,

What a year this week has been, amirite?

I’ve only been glued to the news five times in the past 20 years:

  1. Sept. 11, 2001 (Al-Qaeda attacks)
  2. Aug. 29, 2005 (Hurricane Katrina)
  3. Nov. 1, 2016 (Clinton vs. Trump)
  4. Nov. 3, 2020 (Biden vs. Trump)
  5. Jan. 6, 2021 (Capitol riot)

Here are five things that struck me from No. 5:

  1. Shocking lack of police presence. At the BLM protests this summer, you couldn’t swing a cat without hitting someone in law enforcement. Meanwhile, at the Capitol, folks were just waltzing around taking selfies with the one police officer who seemed to be inside. True story.
  2. Blue Lives Matter” selectively. One of the D.C. police officers at the Capitol riot was beaten to death with a fire extinguisher. Horrifying and also true.
  3. Rioters escorted out without being arrested. Again, this is very different from some of the BLM protests where people NOT BEING VIOLENT IN ANY WAY were arrested. Even new Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock was arrested inside the Capitol in 2017 for praying. FOR PRAYING. But breaking windows and walking around with a lectern? Go right ahead.
  4. People *cough Brit Hume cough* desperately trying to blame Antifa for damage. Look. Listen. The “shaman” wants his credit due.
  5. How the riot has divided Republicans. I have a number of friends who are relatively sane conservatives. They and I want the same things but have different ideas on policies and processes we need to get there. Then there are Trumpers. Guess which ones LOVED the insurrection. It should come as no surprise that the fellow who punched me in the stomach in sixth grade is part of the latter group. Why are we “friends” on Facebook? Good question.

Who wants to tell my sixth-grade bully that there is a big difference between yelling at someone on an elevator and STORMING THE CAPITOL AND DAMAGING PROPERTY? Also, the dude was arrested, so yes he is wrong.

I have more thoughts, but I lack the energy to formulate the words. Plus, other people beat me to it.

It’s really not funny, though. People died. An important Federal building was trashed. National security was compromised.

As Americans, we have the right to have a peaceful Airing of Grievances on days other than Festivus. We do not have the right to destroy things and hurt/kill people. Those who do that need to experience consequences of their actions besides just being fired. Ten years for damaging government property (ironically, a Trump executive order) is a good place to start.

These folks couldn’t even wear masks while COMMITTING CRIMES. I hope they won’t be surprised when they get the ‘Rona. And you know they will.

2021 has to get better, right? Right?!

Sigh.

Hoping for the best,
Beth

 

 

 

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Dear Anti-maskers:

Congratulations! You and our inept president have helped the United States reach a milestone.

(Ironic how your battle cry is the co-opted “My body, my choice.”)

I understand your desire for personal freedom. But with personal freedom comes personal responsibility. But often, though, people do not do the right thing for themselves or others.

Let’s look at some past freedom vs. personal/public safety issues:

Those four legislative efforts save roughly 723,000 lives every year.* The first three save nearly 30,000. That’s a large enough number to warrant legislation, apparently.

You see where I’m going with this?

246,083 Americans have died of the Coronavirus.

246,083 mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents.

It’s more deadly and prevalent than the flu.

Americans make up just 4.25 percent of the world population, but have contracted 20 percent of total Coronavirus cases. Americans deaths make up 18.6 percent of the 1.32 million deaths worldwide.

Clearly, we are not managing the spread effectively.

Clearly, lives are at stake.

Clearly, we need to do something.

I’m not a huge fan of personally intrusive legislation like a national mask mandate, but if y’all keep up your shenanigans, that is EXACTLY what we are going to need.

So wear a damn mask, and stay away from people not in your household.

Kthxbye,
Beth

*I’m happy to give you my sources for those stats, but I know you don’t trust scientific or news sources. (In case you do, and I’m being unfair, visit the links in the post plus this one and this one and this one.)

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