I often get the feeling that my IQ drops by a significant fraction whenever I have to deal with the people here. It’s as though their collective unintelligence creates an intellect-draining mist which fills the air, taints the water, and poisons the earth. With a few exceptions- all of them transplants from other, more intelligent climes- everyone here is a Jethro.
For those of you too young to remember the Beverly Hillbillies, Jethro was the name of one of the characters in that show. He was dim as five feet up a pig’s ass. If you get cable, you can probably still find the show on one of the specialty channels.
Jethro can be male or female, black or white or whathaveyou, and is not necessarily located in the South. The defining characteristics of a Jethro are:
1) A willingness to commit any crime- up to and including genocide- to defend the honor of the Jethro’s favorite sports team/NASCAR driver/”Professional” wrestler/hometown against anyone who might look as though they disagree with the Jethro on the superiority of same.
2) An unshakable belief- against mountains of indisputable evidence- that “things was better afore all them furriners came here.”
3) A profound conviction that anyone not born and raised in the Jethro’s hometown- including grandparents and great-grandparents unto the tenth generation, amen- is a “furriner”.
4) A deep and abiding indifference to the rules of language, hygiene, or logic.
When I lived in Texas (pronounced Takes-Ass), I would encounter the occasional Jethro. This sort of encounter was rare and could usually be avoided by the application of wit and a talent for creative rudeness.Now that I live in the Shallow South (pronounced Vah-Jin-Yah) , however, I find these odious creatures everywhere. It is as though I have stumbled into the secret breeding ground of the Jethros. It is literally impossible to avoid these wandering menaces to rational thought and polite discourse. Out of sheer desperation, I am forced to seek out other transplants to Darwin’s Waiting Room and band together with them for survival.
Incidentally, the mind-destroying miasma emanating from these uncouth creatures is probably the reason why the denizens of the Capitol are so FUBAR. The sheer gravitational force of such a huge concentration of Jethros in close proximity to Washington (pronounced Worsh-Ink-Tun) inevitably drains the intellects out of Senators, Representatives, Presidents, and other vermin of the genus Politicus Ass-hattus. No matter how bright and honest your elected politico may seem, exposure to Jethro-vapors for a few weeks will reduce him or her to a corrupt, imbecilic hack with no thought save to do whatever it takes to continue enriching themselves from the Public coffers.
Having ranted at the expense of my neighbors, Jethros do seem to have one or two redeeming features. Jethros are almost always helpful to people in need. Getting “helped” by a Jethro is not necessarily a good thing, but Jethros do seem to genuinely want to help- they’re just really bad at it (Jethros are second only to the Irish in being the worst at giving useful directions- “The Hospital? Sure, young feller. Just run down this road a piece. Turn right where the Old Mill used to be, bear left by the Widow Carver’s farm ...”). Jethros are also (mostly) law abiding- often to a fault. This sometimes translates into groups of outraged Jethros descending upon anyone who violates their unwritten rules of conduct with pitchforks and torches, but their typical adherence to the law is generally a good thing. These are not nearly enough to offset their manifold faults, of course.
But I’m stuck here for a few years. I’ll probably be one of them by the time I can leave.
Current status: Concerned
Current Music: Dante’s Prayer, by Loreena McKennitt