by Nicole Crews
Mother: Did you go to the lake this weekend?
Me: Yeah. I took the girls. We rode go carts, went to the minnow farm, went swimming and sat around in our bras eating meat. It was a lot like “Duck Dynasty” meets “Honey Boo-Boo.”
Mother: Only with filets and 1st Cru Gevrey-Chambertin.
Me: Yeah. With a little “Downton Abbey” thrown in I guess.
The beauty of having a Stabbin’ Cabin in a forest by a lake is that you get to school your citified folk in the art of being a redneck. It may sound like an easy transition for most of my friends, but when one of your favorite gays strolls into the biker-filled marina in a tight, black Polo and tiny, plaid shorts asking if they carry the New York Times and Cupcake Prosecco, it can get a little hairy. Like my friend Megan says, “It’s a coozie kinda county.”
Scene: A bright Saturday afternoon at the marina where a platoon of Harley-Davidsons stand at ease outside the rustic venue and bass boats are trailered up on the gravel lot sunning like salamanders in all their metal flake glory.
Me: Okay boys, keep your head down and your powers of observation on high. Remember, this is the place where in a sole evening I saw a fully-mated pirate ship sail into a slip and a baby eat a chicken wing.
Frankenbad: A baby what?
Me: Yeah, the baby was crying and the mama said, “Tommy, just give’r one,” and he threw a drummette onto the tray and the baby picked it up, plopped it in her mouth and pulled out a clean bone.
Frankenbad: No way.
Me: You’ll see.
Ten minutes into the zoom lizard and iced beer-strewn retail portion of the establishment where Polaroids of turkey shoots and crappie round-ups flutter in the oscillating wind and Frankenbad has already spotted a memento. It’s a Waylon Jennings gutting knife with a long file attached.
Frankenbad: This would be great for pedicures.
Me: Tone it down a bit why don’t you.
Frankenbad: Says the woman wearing a sparkly Hello Kitty T-shirt and no pants.
Me: It’s a marina. Swimsuits are allowed.
Frankenbad: Oh, believe me, I see. Is that a nicotine patch all the bikini girls are wearing on their arms?
Me: Oooh. That’s what I thought at first then realized that they are all smoking. So I asked my friend who’s a real local and he said they were birth control patches! Isn’t that awesome?
Frankenbad: Kind of like a “Come and Get it” tattoo.
Me: It’s the High Rock Tramp Stamp.
We shoulder ourselves past leather-wearing riders and camo-encrusted fishermen and into the restaurant and patio portion of the establishment. We note the signage stating “No Beer Sold in Store Shall be Drank on Property” and order up three fried-grouper sandwiches. They’re delicious but go down tough with the hard press of eyeballs upon us — and I’ve just about had enough. I spot the marina owner with a toothpick whisker dangling from his lip and sidle over.
Me: Hey Dan, y’all got wifi?
Dan: Naw, she ain’t here yet.
My plan to blast “I Will Survive” from my phone foiled, I spy the amps and behemoth black box in the corner.
Me: Hey, can we crank up the karaoke machine Dan?
Dan: All we got is David Allan Coe, but sure.
We decide to forgo the Coe and head back to the Hamptons by the Highway to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. In full Frankenbad fashion though, my little organizer decides to sweep the bathroom as soon as we get there. I’m mid-dive when I hear a scream and rush to the scene where I see a flushed and disconcerted man holding a broom.
Me: What happened?!
Frankenbad: I think I just killed your black-lace thong.
Me: It’s okay. It lived a full life.
Frankenbad: No doubt.
It’d been a tough year for bottom coverings all around. Earlier in the spring when I came down to do a little pre-cleaning and maintenance it was scorcher and the only swimsuit I had on hand was a rebel flag string bikini purchased in Myrtle Beach on a whim. I strapped myself into the stiff cotton triangles and cranked up the leaf blower to rid the house of at least the top layer of cobwebs. That’s when a string got caught in the motor and shredded the bottoms into a pile of dust.
You know you’re a redneck when your rebel flag bikini bottoms from Myrtle Beach get caught in the motor while you are using a leaf blower inside the house.
Frankenbad: That’s a sad story. I bet that rebel flag bikini won’t be hard to replace though.
Me: Nope. It’s made in China. Now let’s open some prosecco.