Former neighbor Lyle Kammerlocker recently returned from the Summer Redneck Games in Georgia and said he competed well in Redneck Horseshoes. All those hours of slinging toilet seats over the tree stump in the backyard finally paid off.
When I asked him what he won he mumbled, “Nuthin’. First prize is a crumpled beer can.”
Okay, I’m thinking, at least the winner gets a beer. “Nope, it’s completely empty. Redneck tradition, make use of the empties.”
The Summer Redneck Games in East Dublin, Georgia are an example of lemonade made from lemons, or in this case insults turning into a tradition.
The event was started in 1996 in response to media comments that the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta would be run by a group of rednecks. Mac Davis, the general manager of radio station WQZY-FM, created the games to take advantage of the stereotype while raising money for charity. The first year he thought 500 might show; instead 5,000 came.
All profit goes to charity, so their website touts these games like they are a grandiose bake sale, only with butt cracks and hubcaps instead of brownies and pies.
The media covers this thing like a Tiger Woods presser. Life Magazine (our favorite picture magazine since Death Magazine went under) printed 26 pictures online. If you view it, be sure to catch Marybell Jones mud-pit-belly-flopping in full gingham.
Lyle said Life photographed him hurling a ’55 Chevy hubcap in the Hubcap Hurl, but the shot didn’t make the final cut. However, you can spot his feet near the end of the rope in the Mud Pit Tug-of-War.
Lyle tells us that in one locale he never saw so many dogs on chains or, for that matter, wallets on chains. “Fried ‘gator on a stick, dogs kept jumping at ‘em.”
Some say there are plans to make “Redneck Games” into a Broadway play. Here’s my suggestion: When they get an actor to play Melvin Davis, the “Babe Ruth of Bobbin’ for Pigs’ Feet," don’t steal songs from “Fiddler” to show Davis dancing around with a pig’s foot in his mouth singing “Tradition.” Wouldn’t be kosher.
When the 12-year-old kid plays “Dixie” with his armpit, don’t have Tevye offering to be his agent. “If I Were a Rich Man” doesn’t apply to an overall-wearing kid doing an armpit serenade. I’m just saying.
We’re not saying other Broadway songs might not apply. “Hair” is perfect for when all the ladies pose for the “big-hair contest," or maybe something from “Rock of Ages," the Broadway tribute to Big Hair bands. Maybe borrow from “South Pacific” with “I’m Going to Wash that Bubba Right Out of my Hair.”
A certain song from “All That Jazz” works well with the “wet T-shirt contest”. Some numbers from “Rent” might fit the “dumpster diving contest.”
One thing we can be sure of: If “Redneck Games” makes it to Broadway, the entire cast will cap off the show with the rousing redneck anthem, “We Hate Jeff Gordon.”