How you know you live in a redneck neighborhood.

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Yes, a sunny seaside border town has rednecks.  And because they aren’t many of them, it’s become a lifestyle choice, to be fully embraced, no going back.  There are no sorta-rednecks.  Only full on, southern accented even though they grew up right here, tan line across the forehead rednecks.  Redneck, distilled.  A case of island giantism, in spirit.  They all firmly believe that they are real cowboys, although San Diego hasn’t had a cattle ranch here since the Gold Rush.  We have a rodeo, but it’s all very dude ranch.  Don’t tell them that, though.

Somehow we ended up right in the middle of their part of town.  Well, not “somehow,” I know how.  It was a house(!) with a yard(!) at an affordable price(!), all rarities here.

Worried that you might find yourself in such a place, that you might be considered the uppity neighbor just because you own books with no pictures, and drink imported beer and can handle a chopstick?  The following are signs you might have landed in a redneck hotbed.

  • You are the only woman on your block who is not pregnant.
  • You actually hear the N-word.  In song.  And I don’t mean rap.  At a PARTY.
  • People only smoke cigarettes when they run out of chewing tobacco.
  • They put up a billboard on a residential street.  For Coors Light.  In spanish.
  • The bottles of champagne naively stocked by the middle eastern man who runs the corner liquor store when he first opened his store, have become very dusty, a condition he has stopped trying to combat.
  • They are openly suspicious of any meal not accompanied by gravy or beans.
  • It’s not a party unless you get the BIG bag of potato chips.  That jumbo size you can only get at Walmart.
  • The longest work of fiction you can find in a 10 mile radius is a bumper sticker.
  • On saturdays, you can never escape the smell of BBQ.
  • The local gossip really does sound like the lyrics to a country song.  “She left him and took his dog, but he drove around until he spotted her truck outside his buddy’s house ……”
  • Every yard has at least two sheds, one of which probably hasn’t been opened since Jimmy Carter was president.
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