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Authors: Weston Ochse,David Whitman,William Macomber

Tags: #Horror

Scary Rednecks & Other Inbred Horrors

BOOK: Scary Rednecks & Other Inbred Horrors
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Scary Rednecks and Other Inbred Horrors
 

By Weston
Ochse
& David Whitman

 

 

Copyright © 2010 by Weston
Ochse
, David Whitman, & Macabre Ink

Crossroad Press First Digital Edition

 

Originally published in 2000 by
Darktales
Publications in Trade Paperback

LICENSE NOTE:
 

This e-BOOK is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This e-BOOK may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to the vendor of your choice and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of these authors.

Praise for Scary Rednecks and Other Inbred Horrors
 

"The more I read and re-read this collection, the more I am moved by the stories.
 
I really can't recommend this one enough.
 
I will say that it's more than its cover promises.
 
Several of the stories are as touching as they are chilling.
 
A few are hilarious.
 
Almost all of them are absorbing.
 
This is impressive." –
Doug Clegg

 

"This is better than the hype.
 
I don't want to go overboard, but stories in the book will remind many readers of the good stuff by Edward Lee and Joe Lansdale and probably Bill Faulkner.
 
There were times, reading some of them, when I was put in mind of Flannery O'Connor."–
Richard
Laymon

 

"Once a year, the field of horror literature produces a short story, novel, anthology or collection that pushes the limits, breaks new ground and raises the genre to new heights. This is such a book. Their voice is unique, a mix of Edward Lee, Tom
Piccirilli
, Nietzsche, Sam
Kinison
, and Steinbeck. Place those ingredients in a blender, shake well, and the result is this book." –
Brian Keene

INTRODUCTION
 

"You might be a redneck if ... "

 

How many times have we heard that? It's always followed by a
punchline
— usually, I must admit, a funny one. Those
punchlines
have provided a good living for southern comic Jeff Foxworthy. As funny as Foxworthy is, though, it's impossible to ignore the fact that he's putting muscle on the already substantial frame of one of the last remaining accepted stereotypical misconceptions: The Great White Redneck of the South.

The Great White Redneck lives in a trailer, drives a pick-up with a gun on the rack across the back window, and regularly attends exhibition events involving giant trucks. There's usually a battered car up on blocks in front of his trailer, but if not, look for a sink, a toilet, or an old swamp cooler somewhere nearby. The Great White Redneck's hygiene is suspect, his sexual proclivities degenerate and often illegal in most states, and according to most of those punch lines, his family tree doesn't have a whole lot of branches on it.

Foxworthy is certainly not responsible for this stereotype, and he is far from alone in keeping it alive. You'll see the Great White Redneck in movies and TV shows, always with a drawling southern accent. I'm sure I've been guilty of breathing life into the beast somewhere in my own work.

We should know better, of course. We should be able to look at these hollow stereotypes and laugh at them, not with them. We know people from the south are not like that — we've met and know them, we've worked with them, we've read them. Some of the most wonderful literature ever written has come from the south — Samuel Clemmons, Horton Foote, Flannery O'Connor, Larry
McMurtry
, William Faulkner, Joe R. Lansdale, Carson McCullers, on and on — it's a long list, and we all know that.

But somehow, that stereotype remains healthy. In a way, it makes us sadly predictable.

Along comes a short story collection called Scary Rednecks and Other Inbred Horrors. Doesn't exactly sound like a book that's going to suck the life out of that stereotype, does it? In fact, it appears to be just the kind of thing that will keep that stereotype up on its feet and walking around ... with its jeans dropped in the back and its hairy butt-crack showing, of course.

So who are the two guys responsible for
Scary Rednecks and other Inbred Horrors
? What are they up to and what do they have to say for themselves? What do they know about the American south and its people?

Weston
Ochse
was born in Wyoming, David Whitman in Pennsylvania. That hardly makes them southerners. However, very early in life, Weston was relocated to Tennessee, David to Florida, "which," David says, "isn't exactly what you would call the deep south, but there sure were a lot of what I would call Good Old Boys around."

If I'm not mistaken, Good Old Boys are a more refined breed of the Great White Redneck of the South. They appear to be quite prevalent in Texas. I'm not sure, but I think one way to tell them apart is by the size of their belt buckles.

Growing up in Tennessee and Florida, I'm sure Weston and David came into contact with plenty of people who could rightly be called "rednecks." And yes, there are rednecks, they do exist. Most stereotypes are not complete falsehoods, they are gross distortions — like all good lies, stereotypes usually include a grain of truth somewhere in their history. The biggest distortion about the Great White Redneck of the South is that he is not, by any means, southern. He is everywhere.

I live in California, and I am surrounded by rednecks. I'm serious, don't get me started, you'll wish you hadn't. They bear a frightening resemblance to all those comical stereotypes you see in the movies and on TV — except they are not southern. Even though they've never left the county, many of them drawl when they speak, but a drawl and a southern accent are two entirely different things — the people I'm talking about drawl because they're too lazy to speak properly.

The idea that America's southern states are populated solely by rednecks is, of course, simply not true. But David Whitman and Weston
Ochse
, if not southerners by birth, were brought up in southern states. The stories in their collection are distinctly southern. They are solidifying the tissue that links southerners with rednecks ... aren't they?

They met when both subscribed to the Horror Writers e-mail list, and later decided to try collaborating. Although their styles are different, they discovered an interesting chemical reaction. David has been writing since childhood, when he wrote short stories and comic books. Weston, on the other hand, came to writing later, at the age of 30. While David's affection for the horror genre dates back to his childhood,
Ochse's
roots are in science fiction, his interest in darker fiction more recent. When they aren't writing, David is a psychologist and social worker, and Weston is an interrogator for the U.S. Army.

What would inspire them to put together a collection like this? Do they believe the stereotype to be true?

In a
GothicNet
interview with writer Brian Keene, Weston said, "I am from Chattanooga, Tennessee. I am white. I am Christian. I have blond hair and blue eyes. Shit, I am the poster child for all politically correct groups; I am the definition of the one to hate. ... I hate stereotypes."

 

So ... are they rednecks?

 

David calls himself "neurotic and sometimes introverted" and says he listens to jazz. Weston drinks wine and likes to watch Wolfgang Puck and The Christopher Lowell Show on television, for crying out loud. These are things that no self-respecting redneck would be caught dead doing in any part of the country.

 

So what's the deal?

 

"I think that rednecks are the last great heroes, sometimes," Weston says. "They think of the result rather than how they look. Rednecks are universal."

Universal, not southern. The redneck is everywhere, and, I believe, within all of us. Jeff Foxworthy's
punchlines
make us laugh, but every once in awhile, one makes us nod and maybe frown a little, doesn't it? Because it's just a little too close to home, right? How many of us have not, in some private moment when we knew we were unobserved, said our name as we belched? How many of us, when surrounded by children at some well-fed family event, have been unable to resist the urge to execute the "pull-my-finger" maneuver? There's a little of it in all of us, I think.

But does the collection contribute to the stereotype? Weston says, "I don't know."

While it certainly does not set out to shatter stereotypes, I think this collection contains enough humanity to avoid doing any damage in the other direction. Its primary aim is to entertain, which it does quite well. It's a darkly comic, sometimes hilarious, sometimes haunting and moving ride through a landscape both ugly and beautiful.

 

But still ... why that title?

 

"What we did play on," Weston said in the
GothicNet
interview, "was the prejudice of the public when we chose our campy title, Scary Rednecks and Other Inbred Horrors. It virtually guaranteed that someone would pick it up thinking, 'Hey, I have an uncle who is just like this.'"

Ah-hah! So that's what's going on! We've been played! Hell, I fell for it.

And good for them. It's precisely what we deserve for being so damned predictable.

–Ray
Garton

Catfish Gods
 

by Weston
Ochse

 

Trey
sat on the community dock, staring out across the green August water of
Chicamauga
Reservoir, his tanned legs swinging gently, fingers gripping the rough gray wood as thoughts of pleasure and mortality mingled within his thirteen year old mind.
 
His grandfather had died six months ago and there were times when the heat and the bickering of his family and the memory of the loss became so much, he needed to be alone.
 
He would sit and remember every word the old man had spoken; every action and every smile.
 
He basked in the memories.
 
All grandfathers are special, but Trey felt his was even more so.
 
It was as if, the man’s mere presence could calm the world.
 
It was as if he was a God and when Gods die, one never forgets.

The dock was where Trey went when he needed to think; to remember.
 
Other than his bed, it was the one place he spent most of his time.
 
His first fight, his first bass, the first time he slid his trembling fingers along the curve of a breast as he massaged oil into the soft skin of an older high school girl, had all taken place on the dock.
 
It was called the community dock, but had been abandoned by the city years before he moved into the neighborhood.
 
Although access to the dock had grown over with tall weeds, a path had been pounded into the red Tennessee dirt by a faithful herd of eager children who now called it their own.
 
It was a sacred place, one where parents never tread.

BOOK: Scary Rednecks & Other Inbred Horrors
11.7Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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