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Cousin Rufus and What We Ain't

Dear Cousin Cletus,

The holler is changing these last days of summer. Kids going back to school, leaves on trees turnin’ yeller, the last tomaters in mah garden ready to pick.

Ah got in the truck and went to visit mah grandson Harley last week. Since you live in the city, this prob’ly won’t surprise you none. It looks like kids these days joined the human race: they like to pretend what they ain’t. At least that’s what Granddaddy would’ve said.

You know Harley has a good job. He can buy his kids the best clothes out there. But when they come home from school that day, they showed up with big rips in the legs o’ their jeans. And they wore these hooded sweatshirts when it was ninety degrees outside!

Do you ‘member when we used to be ashamed of holes in our clothes, Cletus? And we had the good sense to know how to dress for the weather. It got me feelin’ sorry fer people that gotta be outlandish to be accepted.

It looks like most all us humans like to be what we ain’t sometimes. Do you ‘member Granny tellin’ us how, when she was a girl, all her friends and neighbor gals wore sunbonnets when they went outside? They wanted to look pale, cause workin’ folks had to spend time outside in the gardens and fields.

And then our generation came along, and we all wanted to look tanned, like what we never were---rich. Rich folks had inside jobs and went to the beach to have fun in the sun. Yep, it looks like humans still try to look like what we ain’t.

You know this ol’ world is gettin’ crazier by the minute. Just when we think we heard the most outlandish thing, Harley says some kids in their school think they’re cats. I’m not makin’ this up, Cletus. They’re talkin’ ‘bout needin' litter boxes in the bathrooms! (Wouldn’t want to be the janitor.) How in the name of common sense will they give grades to those poor, deluded young’uns? When we wuz young they would have put ‘em in a home for deluded people and kept ‘em there till their minds got healed.

Harley says there’s this stuff called DNA that we’re all born with. And you can never do away with it. So if this DNA stuff says we’re one thing, tryin’ to look like what we ain’t won’t change that. Poor, deluded creatures think the good Lord made a mistake when He made ‘em.

Well, ah been rantin’ long enough. All this makes me glad we got raised in the good old days when normal was normal.

Y’all come see me when the weather turns cooler. We’ll go down to Lem’s Gen’ral Store, drink orange sodee pop and solve all the world’s problems.

Your cuz,


Your turn. What unusual fads did your generation have? Use the comment box below and tell us about it.


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