Redneck Family Tree
Many many years ago
when I was twenty three,
I got married to a widow
who was pretty as could be.
This widow had a grown-up daughter
who had hair of red.
My father fell in love with her,
and soon the two were wed.
This made my dad my son-in-law
And changed my very life.
My daughter was my mother,
For she was my father's wife.
To complicate the matters worse,
Although it brought me joy,
I soon became the father
Of a bouncing baby boy.
My little baby then became
A brother-in-law to dad.
And so became my uncle,
Though it made me very sad.
For if he was my uncle,
Then that also made him brother
To the widow's grown-up daughter
Who, of course, was my step-mother.
Father's wife then had a son,
Who kept them on the run.
And he became my grandson,
For he was my daughter's son.
My wife is now my mother's mother
And it makes me blue.
Because, although she is my wife,
She is my grandma too.
If my wife is my grandmother,
Then I am her grandchild.
And every time I think of it,
It simply drives me wild.
For now I have become
The strangest case you ever saw.
As the husband of my grandmother,
I am my own grandpa.
was a tiny mountain village in a remote section of West Virginia. An old mountaineer and his young wife were getting a
divorce in the local court. But custody of the children was a problem.
The mother jumped to her feet and protested to the judge that since she had brought the children into this world, she should
retain custody of them.
The old mountaineer also wanted custody of the children. The judge asked for his side of the story and, after a long moment of
silence, the mountaineer slowly rose from his chair and replied, "Judge, when I put a dollar in a candy machine and a candy bar
comes out, does it belong to me or the machine?
DELIGHTED to find a "Mom
and Pop' grocery store a block from my new home, I stopped on my way to work one morning
for a cup of freshly ground and brewed coffee. As I paid for it, I noticed an old, crudely
hand-lettered sign above the steaming pot which read: COFFE-15¢. In an effort to be
friendly, I mentioned to the shop's owners that the coffee was delicious, but the word on
the sign was misspelled. When I entered the store the following Monday, there stood a
beaming Mom and Pop. And perched atop the coffee pot was a brand-new, professionally
painted sign, which proclaimed: COFFEE-25¢.
AFTER World War II a friend of mine was sent to Hudson Bay Junction in northern
Saskatchewan to survey parts of the town which, during the Depression and the war, had
been neglected. In sub-zero weather, the frost nipping his fingers, he set up his tripod
and took a sight. Smack in the middle of where a lane should be, about four houses down,
stood an outhouse. He walked over to it and pondered his next move. The owner came out of
one of the houses and asked gruffly what he wanted. After explaining the problem, my
friend was filled with apprehension when the owner strode to the woodpile and picked up an
ax. "Where's your line of sight?" the man demanded, and my friend indicated it
was about a metre above the ground. "We can fix that," he said, and with a few
sharp whacks he removed the boards from the side of the outhouse one metre up.
made a corresponding hole on the opposite side, giving my friend a line straight through.
As my friend thanked him and went on his way, there came through the wintry air the sound
of the boards being hammered back in place.
ALTHOUGH the streets in our rural area have names and house
numbers, most folks give more picturesque directions to their homes.
My friend's instructions read: "Turn off the highway at the house with
the white picket fence, go down this road until you come to the house with the big elm
tree on the front lawn, then turn right and look for the house with the green roof and a
camper in the drive-way." Apparently no one realized the white picket fence had
long since been painted brown; the elm tree had been chopped down; the camper had been
moved; and in the dusk, one roof looked like any other.
Hopelessly lost on the series of roads running through orchards, I decided to
ask directions at the nearest house. The door was opened by my friend, who exclaimed,
"I knew you wouldn't have any trouble finding us!"
AFTER moving to a small town, I found that I really enjoyed the easy going ways of the
local merchants. I was concerned, however, when I took my husband's new suit to the
cleaners. "Sorry, ma'am," said the clerk, "my wife's not here now, but we
could have it ready for you by seven." "That's fine," I said, thinking of
times I had waited for days for this service in the city. "Just knock on the back
door when you get here," he added, walking away with the suit. "Fine," I
said hesitantly. "But don't I need a ticket?" "Nope," he said and
started to leave again. "But wait a minute," I persisted. "How will you
know which suit is mine?" He gave me a baffled look. "Well," he replied,
"you're gonna tell us, aren't you?"
WHEN his business conference ended, my husband did some
sight seeing before his flight home. Then he discovered the small town offered no taxi or
bus to the airport. Desperate, he called a parcel delivery service and asked what it would
cost to send a package to the airport. "Four dollars, sir," came the answer.
"Does it matter how large the package is?" my husband asked. "No, not at
all" replied the man, "just as long as it fits in my station wagon." And
so, a short while later, the congenial deliveryman picked up his "parcel" and
got him to the airport on time.
A FEW years ago a friend was trying unsuccessfully to get
some information on a Railway Express shipment he had sent to a small town. In his third
letter to the station agent, John Smith, he wrote: "If I do not hear from you on
this, I shall report you to your superior."
Back came a letter with the letterhead: "John Smith,
Railway Express Agent / Smith's Laundromat / Smith's Clothing and Novelties / John Smith -
Mr. Smith began his letter,
I have no superiors and damn few equals. . . . "
WHEN my community started the curbside recycling program, the
time of pickup varied. One day I didn't have my box out at the curb, but noticed
that the truck was circling the crescent facing my house. I ran out and waited at
the nearest house on the crescent. As I handed the box over to the driver, I
attempted to explain my presence by saying, "I missed you." With no
hesitation the young man responded, "I missed you too."
BORN and raised in a large city, I decided to move to a small
town for a change from "life in the fast lane." I didn't realize just how
laid-back the rural life could be, however, until I heard my first weather forecast on a
local television station. There were no maps or satellite pictures to explain
weather patterns. instead, the forecaster, a kindly older man, cheerfully predicted,
"Well, it's rain, rain and more rain! Just how much? Your guess is as
good as mine. Goodnight, folks."
IN OUR community, coming events are posted in removable block
letters and numerals on the marquee in the town square. I called the chamber of commerce
one day to ask that the following message be put up: "Band Concert. School
Auditorium. Friday, 7:30 p. m." Later, the chamber secretary returned my call.
"Could you change the time to 7:45 p.m.?" she requested. "Is there a
conflict?" I asked. "No, sir," she assured me. "We just can't
find any of our threes."
IN OUR small town in northwestern Ontario we decided, with
the advent of recycling trash, that there would have to be tighter controls over the
sorting of garbage. Therefore, a permanent employee was hired by the township to ensure
that this happened. However, a number of people were upset because the dump was now locked
after hours. "Isn't it ironic," the reeve reflected, "in our little town,
people don't lock their cars, they don't lock their homes, and yet we lock our garbage
An Amish boy and his father were visiting a
mall. They were amazed by almost everything they saw, but especially by two shiny, silver
walls that could move apart and back together again. The boy asked his father, "What
is this father?"
The father (never having seen an elevator) responded "Son, I have never
seen anything like this in my life, I don't know what it is." While the boy and his
father were watching wide-eyed, an old lady in a wheel chair rolled up to the moving walls
and pressed a button. The walls opened and the lady rolled between them and into a small
room. The walls closed and the boy and his father watched small circles of light with
numbers above the wall light up. They continued to watch the circles light up in the
reverse direction. The walls opened up again and a beautiful 24 year old woman stepped
The father said to his son, "Go get your Mother."
IN THE small town where I live I was a radio and newspaper
reporter. Unfortunately, I didn't always recognize all the people who knew me. One
day when a man warmly greeted me, I responded with equal heartiness and tried to steer the
conversation to a safely neutral subject. When he told me how grateful his wife was for
what I had done for her, I assumed she was one of the many people I had interviewed for
some project or other. I went into a long explanation about how I was as green as could be
when I started my work in town, had hardly any formal training and almost no idea of what
I was doing. The man, whom I still could not place, was not buying any of my false
modesty. As we parted he said, "You can't imagine how much better my wife is since
you operated on her."
SHORTLY after we moved to our small town, my husband asked me
to pick up some odd-size parts he needed to fix the old sink in our house. Neighbors
suggested I try the hardware store that had been run by the same man for 50 years. He
stocked everything. The owner studied my husband's list and then shook his head. "I
thought you might have it," I said hopefully. "Oh, I have it," he assured
me, looking around the cluttered store. "But dag-nab it, now I'll have to.find
Top Ten Signs You Live in a Small Community
1. It was voted one of the ten least interesting places in Delaware.
2. 500 people, 3 last names
3. When all of the teenagers cruise the strip, it takes 20 seconds and 1 pick-up truck.
4. The town council members are voted in by rock, paper, scissors.
5. No matter how you park it, your 18-wheeler is never fully in the city limits.
6. While driving a car you don't need to use your turn signal because everyone knows where
you are going anyway.
7. The only major city budget line item is hay for the "one horse".
8. The general store is still stocked with 'new' Coke
9. You've lived there 28 years & they say you live "in the old Wilson
10. The phone book is a 3x5 index card.