The sign outside the trailer says BEAUTY SALOON – HOTTEST BED IN TEXAS. I call em trailers, but nowadays I guess folks are supposed to call em mobile homes. That makes it sound like it’s a home that you can move, rather than some piece of junk you can just hitch to the back of your truck in about three minutes and drive off with, usually in the middle of the night when the trailer park manager aint there to stop you or is too drunk to care. There’s another trailer in the back where fat Cousin Jane and her fat daughter live, leastways till fat Jane’s fat daughter’s common law husband gets out of prison in a year or two.
Fat Cousin Jane’s mama is/was a skinny country woman who always smelled like cigarettes. She smelled that way whether she was dirty or had just bathed. She just loved to soak in her tub and smoke cigarettes and drink beer, not even getting up out of the tub to pee. Aunt Bea lived in the house next to the two trailers till fat grand daughter set fire to the garage and burnt the place to the ground – well almost to the ground. Everyone in town said they burnt it their own selves to get the insurance money, and were later humiliated when it became known that the place wasn’t insured. Since there wasn’t any insurance money to clean up the fire site, the remains of the burned out house sat there for several years, and you could walk through them and still find an old jelly glass or figurines in the ashes. It was like redneck Hiroshima.
These aren’t your ordinary run of the mill, down at the heels trailer park white trash. These are people of property. Old Aunt Bea received a tidy settlement of realty from her family as they died off, and was sitting on a tidy tract as well as the owner in common with others in the family of riverfront property that is getting to be right pricey now that South Texas folk are rolling in high cotton from oil money and lookin to relocate down on the banks of some river or other, not far from the Gulf, where they can fish and drink beer and screw all the time. It just don’t git no better than fishin, drinking and screwin, no matter who you are or where you’re from. Of course, Aunt Bea wasn’t about to part with any of that while alive, cause if her kids got the property they’d quit coming to see her and doing her bidding. As long as she had ready cash to pass around in dribs and drabs, her fat, white trash kids would keep on coming around.
Part of the extended family had moved away to the big city, and they did everything they could to pass for citified, never wanting it known that they had a trailer trash branch or two in the family tree. Aunt Bea and her pigs never were invited to any affair that the college graduate side of the family might throw. And the trailer trash constituency seemed to know not to invite the uppity city relatives to any of their affairs held outdoors in the trailer park amid the mosquitoes, where the ambient air told you that they weren’t smoking Lucky Strikes or Camels. All the little girls down there begin developing really lovely breasts around age eight, cause they eat a lot of chicken necks, and the neck is where the chicken growers always staple the estrogen capsules to the chicken to speed along large juicy chicken breast development. If you ever wondered how come trailer park little girls always look ripe and ready earlier than the little girls from educated families, it’s the high estrogen concentration in whatever soup, stew or gravy them people make using chicken necks.
The Beauty Saloon trailer is a mélange of multitasked business offerings. You can git yo hair done any which way you might like. You can git on the tanning bed – “The Hottest Bed In Texas” – and git yo own self fried to a bloody crisp, tanner than a baseball glove with tobacco juice spat in it to make it mo pliable. You can git a massage – any old kind of massage you like. They get better if you’re the only customer at that time and can come up with a little mo money, cause aint nobody there to see what “services” you’re getting. You can really get yo knob jobbed then. They always got some weed around so you can fire up a dooby or a fat boy to help you get through that exotic/erotic massage and hairdo. And if you really have about $ 75, you just might get a blow job at the end of yo massage. You could even get some real fat gal pussy with a few bucks more, assuming that you have the stomach for it. I’ve heard tell that the smell when she takes off her underwear is enough to make a goat retch. As that smell wafts through the woods and the fields, you can hear the male animals calling out for some feral sex. The place is kept safe by a prison guard who hangs out there for some free pussy and weed in exchange for seeing to it that Fat Cousin Jane’s fat daughter’s common law husband has it easy in prison.
Fat Cousin Jane has gone around to all those folks who have bought lots and built homes by the river, claiming to represent the owner of the subdivision, and suggesting to all and sundry that they can get better cooperation from the subdivision association board if they get their hair done at her trailer saloon that is just down the road a piece, instead of driving all that extra three minutes to get to the beauty saloons in the trailers that are located in town. She also plies the other aspects of her trades as she calls upon the locals at their homes. Of course, she doesn’t know shit from Shinola about anything, but fortunately nothing has ever come up, so far. Now that Aunt Bea has passed on to her beer joint heaven in the sky, we expect Fat Cousin Jane to announce herself to be the new liaison person for the developers. God help us!
Of course, amongst the three of them, Fat Cousin Jane and her siblings, there is some animosity, and the fight over Aunt Bea’s estate is expected to consume years of contention, much to the delight of the local probate lawyers. The dissention and the necessity to have court proceedings with contentious folks, some of whom are greedy way beyond fair market value considerations, are expected to make it impracticable to consummate any realty transactions with any buyers for quite a while. Add to the greed element the fact that at least one dumbass redneck in every family is an SCF religious nut (SCF = Sanctimonious Church Fuck), and the fact that in this group there is an SCF who aggressively condemns the others who are living in common law sin, fornicating willy nilly whenever they please or get drunk. And, of course, the SCF bitch is also a 250 pound cow who, for very obvious reasons, is militantly against lingerie and the very idea of lingerie.
Fat church bitches feel about lingerie about the same way people with a club foot feel about dancing. Few people realize that, with burgeoning obesity in America, the Anti Lingerie League is starting to represent a sizeable constituency in more ways that just avoirdupois. Recent market research at NBC indicates that they are targeting rural church going families as their prime time audience and have garnered a substantial market of obese people. Those are the two reasons you will never see a lingerie advert on any show on NBC. The NBC shows Friends and Seinfeld, directed at imbeciles, is part of the smarmy NBC agenda, along with their new pilot entitled “Three Wishes”, in which some oleaginous smoothbore goes around to country stores surprising people by stepping up to the cash register and offering to pay for purchases that include items that fit the profile for rural, church going, Anti Lingerie League, fat, SCF bitches. NBC also mailed hundreds of “Three Wishes” DVDs to preachers in rural churches, hoping that they would endorse the NBC fall lineup from the pulpit. You think I just made this up, right? WRONG! It’s the NBC Fall 2005 marketing plan.
Anything economically beneficial to the heirs will automatically be opposed by the SCF on the obvious grounds that to sell the real estate and divide the proceeds fairly would be tantamount to rewarding sin. Of course, the SCF will not allow the fact that Aunt Bea was herself living in common law sin to deter him from participating in the fight to get the most from her estate. After all, the only way to redeem sin begotten wealth from its condemned status is to distribute that infected wealth to an SCF who, by his Godliness, will redeem it into heaven blessed bounty simply by accepting it into his bank account. In Goethe’s “Faustwerke”, jewelry given to Marguerite that was provided by the devil himself was gladly accepted into the treasury of the church as a penitential offering – how convenient! What makes that literature great is the manner in which it deals with how religious organizations actually operate when it comes to “cleansing” corrupt wealth.
And so, between the greedy, the sinners and the SCF constituencies in this group of beneficiaries of the estate of Aunt Bea, there should be nothing left by the time the lawyers are done representing their clients. Benjamin Franklin, in his Poor Richard’s Almanac, recounts how two people come across an oyster on the beach at the same moment, find that it contains a pearl, and fight over who found it first. They decide, as good gentlemen should, to submit the dispute to mediation before a lawyer. They lawyer divides the oyster shell between the disputants and keeps the pearl for his fee. Isn’t that really a delicious story about how life really works when people choose to be contentious rather than conciliatory?
Unfortunately, none of Aunt Bea’s heirs have ever read either of these important pieces of social literature.
The progressive spectacle that starts with the heart attack in the tub and ends with lawyers exhausting the estate includes (once the county medical examiner determines the cause of death because real Christians don’t need doctors and there is no medical history to go on in this case) such things as “the viewing”, a social visit with the inert remains of Aunt Bea.
This is supposed to be a funny story about funerals and appurtenant observances in Dog Patch. But, as life sometimes teaches us, in the midst of all the stupidity and the comedy, you are confronted by something so real and poignant that it touches the center of your soul and ignites your deepest emotions. Standing there in that funeral home, with Aunt Bea laid out for all to visit, an old man, walking with a cane, approaches the coffin and bends over Aunt Bea, touching her hand, stroking her arm and talking to her. A really nice guy standing next to me explains to me that that man is Aunt Bea’s boyfriend, and that they have lived together in love and happiness and harmony for over eighteen years, never being apart for more than a day. These two old folks enjoyed a love relationship that was committed and caring and devoted and adoring like nothing you are accustomed to seeing or hearing about, especially these days. And he is inconsolable in his loss and grief. He stands at the coffin for a long time, and in the course of the evening he goes back up to the coffin and talks to her again and again, touching her arm and hand, kissing her. He really and truly does not wish to remain on earth without Aunt Bea. He would give anything to have perished with her and never have to spend a moment of a future in which she is no longer in his life. Romeo, finding Juliet dead and taking his own life was not the equal of this portrayal of unspeakable sorrow. It made me think of how I would be if something, God forbid, were to happen to the woman I love with all my heart. It broke my heart and I almost lost it right there. I had to look away and gather myself to keep from dissolving in my own tears. I have rarely seen anything that affected me as much as that poor dear old man in his grief. In the midst of all this absurdity, the most beautiful and poignant parting and adieu I have ever witnessed made an impression on me that is now embedded in my soul forever.
NOW, BACK TO OUR STORY.
The initial visual and other sensory impact of all these obese people at the “viewing”, presented a picture by Fernando Botero of mourners, barefoot for the most part, as trailer park folks kick off their flip flops at every opportunity. As Botero was no Michaelangelo or DaVinci, we have no bare feet studies depicting as the focus the particular foot of a particular person, sketched specifically with carpet dirt and toe jams. It must be very difficult for the obese to get bent double to wash effectively down there. To look at some of these folks, one might wonder how the hell they even manage to wipe their asses. There must be some tool for them like an arm extender that has an ass wipe attachment. The husbands of extremely obese women must all be hung like mules, as it would require a mule penis to get past the fat to the pink part. A true story about such a person in labor and about to deliver who hears some stupid first year resident too loudly whispering a question to one of his peers in the delivery room about how someone like this patient could ever be impregnated in the first place, and who answers, “You’re the second short dick sonofabitch to ask me that question this week.”
Fortunately, there were not too many people at the viewing, because after about an hour or so of visiting with all and sundry, the funeral home chapel started to have that fat person smell about it.
They really get moist at the graveside service next day, out there in the hot sun at the hottest part of the day, with the temperature about 98 degrees in the shade, and there aint no shade where the less expensive plots are. The coolest place at the service had to be inside the casket, but even in there it had to be heating up a bit with the sun beating down on it. If it weren’t for the good fortune of evisceration andembalming, one could well expect the gasses of decomposition eventually to cause the casket to just blow up like a car bomb, shredding the mourners with wood splinters and pieces of Aunt Bea. When you think of that, you understand why it is that in hot climates, cultures regularly call for funerals to take place immediately after death, with none of this “viewing” or lying in state. At least, since it was outdoors, you could smoke. Some folks had their bottled water at the ready to replenish what was being lost through their pores, and some had little brown paper bags to “conceal” the fact that they were drinking from beer cans – yeah right – aint nobody ever gonna know what’s in the bag.
Since there were now two factions in the family, the trailer park folks and the “gone to live in the city and work indoors jobs” folks, the order of service was the subject of some negotiation. Those negotiations never do achieve rationalization of the process. They always break down into each group taking a hard position on how Aunt Bea’s funeral is going to proceed. In this case, the resolution was that there would be two preachers with dueling funeral service presentations. One funeral in the hot sun just won’t do.
The first preacher was Aunt Bea’s preacher, so he knew Aunt Bea personally and was able to tell stories about her life that made the service personally meaningful for almost everyone. There was a reasonable admixture of preaching, but not too much. It was mercifully not a long drawn out harangue.
The second preacher represented the citified faction of the family. He knew no one. He had never met the deceased, and he had made no effort to visit with anyone who had known her so that he could personalize his presentation in any way. He was apparently from some school of preachin that says you have to be hip to how folks talk in their real life if you’re gonna reach em on Sunday morning. And so, he had a service all planned out in modern city vernacular, beginning with the opening attention getter statement that “Death Sucks!” There then followed a pseudo Hip Hop rant about heaven and hell, calculated to scare the congregation into rethinking their life styles. He never lost his shit eating smile that is the dead give away of a smarmy, sanctimonious asshole. And he was an asshole in every possible permutation of the word.
Someday someone will do a “study” about why it is that the people who know the least about anything always take the most time when they have the floor. Reverend Know Nothing droned on while folks sweated and ran out of beer. Everything he said was generic, brown bag funeral for someone unknown. It’s coldness and impersonal indifference was so aggravating. Maybe someday someone else will do a “study” that will provide a litmus test that everyone can use to differentiate between those who claim to speak for the Lord and don’t and someone who maybe doesn’t claim as much but may have a true calling. Actually, if people learn to do that, the bozo preacher population may dwindle. Lesson one would consist of learning how to recognize the shit eating perpetual grin of the pseudo committed. You know, that smile that is supposed to proclaim to one and several that “Hey! I’m always smiling because I’ve been saved.” It’s very much like the look of relief when the Boudreaux’s Butt Paste salve soothes the really raw asshole. I aint makin this up. Go to www.BoudreauxsButtPaste.com.
I think that it is more the case than not that the family of the deceased retires to someone’s home after the funeral and just spends time together. Usually they have a meal and visit, and not infrequently friends stop by to pay their respects, and the preacher, if it is a preacher that actually knows the family and not the hired bozo preacher from out of town, also stops by to provide pastoral contact. The whole thing is a rather helpful closure exercise in which support for the bereaved is provided by the other family members, the community of friends and neighbors and the institution of the church. It is an important part of the healing process for survivors to know they are not alone when a central stone in the family arch has been removed.
This was not to occur following Aunt Bea’s funeral. The city folk went back to the city. The trailer park trash went back to their respective trailer parks, trying to think of ways to forward their respective agendas regarding the estate and to do so without having to pay a lawyer - - an impossibility. That has to be tough, as there is no reconciliation. Thank God at least for cold beer. With enough cold beer and some good weed, some folks probably don’t need “somebody to lean on”. Once they get a really good buzz on, why there’s always the prospect of some heavy duty, sweaty ass, walrusly fat fuckin to look forward to.
Ever wonder what the process is by which folks get to become trailer park folks? Ever wonder what the process is by which folks get to stop being trailer park folks and improve their lot in life? If you were born into it, early life experiences are probably often traumatic and stifling. I would imagine that if you grew up in a trailer park, joining the Army or the Marines would probably be about the best and quickest way to get yourself out of there and provide upward mobility. The military has always been a wonderful institution for self improvement. It probably improves lives better than most colleges and universities. It teaches things that young folks out there on the ragged edge of marginalized existence have to learn if they are ever to rise up out of that nadir. Very few people appreciate what the military experience can mean to folks who literally have nothing and are starting completely from scratch. You aint gonna make any money in the military, but you can learn things that will enable a productive and healthy life after you leave the military, things that you are almost certainly not going to learn in the trailer park. Where there is no inspiration to achievement in a trailer park, there is regimentation in the military. Regimentation can, at least temporarily, provide the ability to achieve. You can’t accomplish anything at any level without first getting organized. Once the habit of learning and doing is inculcated, the possibility of ambition and aspiration becomes enabled. There are many social strata that are in profile just different kinds of trailer parks, environments of violence and drugs and despair. The military is a way out of all of them. The risk of dying young in the military is certainly no greater than in the trailer parks and other slums of our world.
A lot of really good folks come out of trailer parks. This story pokes fun just at this group of misfits who happen also to be trailer park trash. Some folks from trailer parks aint trash. Many are. I wouldn’t poke fun at anyone who wasn’t really a bozo.
By Seamus Muldoon, Himself
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