A reader took issue last week with our characterization of Southwestern Virginia locals as “rednecks,” saying that while it was OK for the locals to call themselves rednecks it wasn’t nice to see them called such by us.

Which comes as a surprise because when it comes to rednecks, they are us. We’re locals, rednecks and damn proud of it.

But her displeasure gave us pause.

What, we wonder, does it take to officially become a Southwestern Virginia redneck?

We’ve given this some serious thought…at least a few minutes…and have some modest examples here.

Fer instance, and with apologies to Jeff Foxworthy, you might be a Southwestern Virginia redneck if…

  • ou take your date to the drive-in movie in Christiansburg in a pickup truck with “Farm Use” license plates;
  • You consider your Jeep Wrangler a “sports car;”
  • You lost your virginity in the back seat of a car parked at Rocky Knob overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway;
  • You have more than one ball cap with a tractor brand on it;
  • You think a hippie is someone with broad thighs;
  • Your first sip of booze came out of a Mason jar;
  • You serve wine from bottles with screw-off tops along with Velveeta on a Ritz crackers at a wine and cheese party;
  • “Scoring” in high school had nothing to do with sports;
  • You claim your coon dog as a dependent on your tax return;
  • Your wife is a better shot than you;
  • You’ve killed more deer with your car than with a gun.

Additions to this list are welcome…but recycling Jeff Foxworthy’s jokes will qualify you as a Georgia redneck…not a Southwestern Virginia one.

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