I'm going to preface this with some redneck vocabulary.  First off, for those of y'all too classy to know, a "lifted" truck means you have royally fucked up its suspension by putting it on bigass tires.  In my hometown we use tractor tires, because why the fuck not.  Occasionally there is a sort of lifted trucks convention out in a cow field, where drunk people try to jump their big trucks over other people's big trucks.  In other words, this herd culls itself.  Second, "mudding" means spinning your lifted truck through mud as recklessly as possible until your truck is completely covered in mud and you can't see out the windows and drive into a logging truck and die.  See "this herd culls itself," above.  And off we go.

I live at the beach, so naturally I spent half of my summer 200 miles away at my parents' house.  I'm not sure if there's an actual way to convey how in the middle of nowhere it is.  On the way home, cows from down the street had escaped their fence and were milling around on the road, trying to get hit and die to escape the monotony.  If you go into town there is a decrepit gas station and a Jesus store.  Not a Jesus store like in civilization that sells bibles and books on brainwashing your children, but a Jesus store that sells things shaped like him.  Jesus lamps, Jesus dog bowls, and Jesus oven mitts, presumably because ovens are portals to Hell.  The main philosophy of the store seems to be that "Well God, I'm so devoted that I owned a Jesus breadbox" is a winning argument for admittance to heaven.  Everyone here names their kids after cars, but if you're not an American car name then you get bullied because you're a socialist.  The county cookbook references methods of preserving roadkill.  Home sweet home.

I was having an enthralling conversation with the elderly woman next door about (I shit you not) how best to cook a ‘possum, when some guy in a lifted F150 came speeding down the road and the sunshine disappeared to accommodate a red mist and some scattered cow chunks.  He drove off with part of a cow speared onto the front of his truck like a trophy, either to deep fry or parade around the Walmart parking lot.  Probably both.  It's that kind of town.  And for the record, my neighbor recommends stewing opossums in small chunks, because apparently they're "real stringy-like" cooked any other way.

Aside from the Jesus store and farm supply stores, Walmart is the only store within 30 miles from here.  We ran out of coffee, so I had to go, despite the high risk of being trampled by the inbred masses.  Hugging the coffee like a security blanket, I made my way to the register, pausing briefly to listen to the tail end of a conversation between two mulleted women, one of whom firmly believed that "them spotted cows" produce richer poo.  Country people who are pretentious about cow poop are kind of like people who are pretentious about wine everywhere else.  People gather to look at different kinds, discuss what kind of feed makes the best manure, and get up close and personal with it to inspect its texture, smell, and shape.

I did summer classes online because they don't require pants, and I had to have my online PE (yes, really, don't judge me) midterm proctored, so I went over to the local community college, which, coincidentally, is located between a cow field and a cow poo-fertilized tobacco farm.  I was escorted to a closet to take my midterm on a giant, clunky PC from the 90's that seemed to be running dial-up.  My instructions were "don't cheat, and don't look at nothin' Jesus wouldn't approve of."  Got asked out by some random and vaguely menacing guy outside the welding shop on my way out. 

That night, I remembered why I don't date guys from my hometown.  If anyone has questions about anything NASCAR-related that has ever happened, I received a crash course in the history of the noble sport of driving cars in circles and can tell you all about shock absorbers and drifting.  After a few minutes I started mentally referring to him as the Nickopotamus.  Not because he was fat, because he was exceptionally dimwitted and thought that mudding should be an Olympic sport– "like NASCAR."  And okay yes, he had tiny beady eyes that were somehow being enveloped by his face and straight up looked like a hippo.  I pick winners.  To my credit, I only slipped and said "Nickopotamous" out loud once.  He was pissed until I explained that Potamous was a holiday like 4/20, and he was the Saint Nick of it.  The Nickopotamous grunted affirmatively and asked if we could go out to his truck so he could stick it up my butt. 

 This should go without saying, but I think he might be The One.

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