"It doesn't look much different from the parties I normally go to."
I was invited to two different "white trash" parties. The first one was called a White Trash Bash, and when Jennifer gave me directions to the place in the College Area, she said there would be a sign making it easy to find. She also told me that if I didn't dress for it I wouldn't be let in.
The only thing I could think to do was tuck my jeans into my boots, wear an old Padres cap backward, and black out a tooth. (Nicolas Cage had two teeth pulled for a movie role, but that's more dedication than I've got.) I was surprised at how many people did dress up. One guy had a cape that said KFC on it. There were a lot of flannel shirts. I saw a wrestling T-shirt, and another for NASCAR. I saw two Motorhead shirts — which didn't make me think of white trash, just heavy metal.
There were two women wearing nightgowns with their hair in rollers. One always had a cigarette dangling from her mouth. I saw two women dressed like pregnant housewives, one with a black eye and scratches on her face. When I asked the other one what she used to make herself look pregnant, she laughed and said, "Well, I really am pregnant, so that was easy." The same thing happened 15 minutes later. I asked a guy with a "Freebird" tattoo on his neck how he made it look so real. He told me it was real. A girl overheard this and said, "I don't blame you. This is supposed to be a 'white trash' party, and it doesn't look much different from the parties I normally go to."
There were two guys who kept rattling off Jeff Foxworthy jokes ("You might be a redneck if..."). Another guy was talking with a Southern accent. It was cute at first. I heard him say something like "Y'all expecting a tornader today?" But after ten minutes it got old, and he ran out of clever things to say.
There were lots of apartment complexes behind the two back yards that were having this party. I was sure they'd call the cops because of the noise. A DJ was playing classic rock songs. It was louder than any music I've ever heard at a party. And this was outside. One guy said, "I brought a bunch of country records, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Allman Brothers...but this guy is just playing regular rock songs." When Creedence Clearwater Revival came on, he said, "At least now we're hearing some good Southern rock," I told him he was correct about good rock, but it wasn't Southern. CCR is from Northern California.
Somebody put two recliners in the yard, which was funny. And there was a giant trailer in the back. Apparently, it's always there. It wasn't brought in just for the party. When we were standing by it talking, somebody said, "This is like my car I have on blocks in my front yard. I'm able to wash my car and water my lawn at the same time."
An hour later, I saw the guy with the KFC cape urinating behind the trailer into a trash can.
One gal was going into the house, and a guy with a beer yelled, "Go make us some pot pies, bitch!" And when I heard another guy talking about smacking his girl around if she "don't listen to what I say," it made me wonder if theme parties ever have problems with guys who "stay in character" a little too long.
I saw one guy who looked like Kid Rock talking to a guy who looked like Elvis.
Another guy had these fake teeth, with a bunch missing and one tooth sticking out, and he said, "1 only got one good tooth and I use it well." He then stuck it into his can of beer and popped it open. It splashed all over the guy next to him.
One guy said to me, "Why aren't you drinking? Because you're on the job?" Another heard this and asked, "Oh, are you that writer? I'd read your stuff, but I ain't learned how to read yet." A guy in his early 20s came over and asked me about writing. He said, "I'm from Kentucky, so coming to a party like this is like being back home." He'd been here for 11 years, and I got a little freaked when he said he had a grandmother in the Klan and his great-great-grand-father was one of the founders. At least he added, "My family is all fucked up."
There were two African-Americans at the White Trash Bash. One was wearing a hunter's camouflage hat. The other one told me, "I went to a party last week you would've loved. It was an underwear party. Everyone was just wearing underwear." I asked him if he did, and he said, "Nah, man. I think at one point I took my shirt off, but that was it."
There was a big guy wearing a Jack Daniel's shirt. He told me he was in a group called Gluttony. I asked how the band got its name, and he pointed to his gut. He said, "Syd and I are both fat. We eat a lot. We drink a lot. It's the perfect name for our group."
I was smoking a cigar by the two kegs of beer, and at least three people asked me if it had pot in it, and if it did, could they have a toke? Later, a woman walked by saying loudly, "Does anybody want to buy some pot?" Apparently some people did. Ten minutes later, the place reeked of marijuana.
It was 11:30 p.m., so I headed to the next white-trash party in Golden Hill.
They had a clothesline across the patio with a number of bras, and I recall seeing a Dixie Chicks T-shirt. I saw a table with a couple of buckets of KFC and a plate with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. There were lots of crackers.
Oreos, fried pork skins, pretzels, moon pies, store-brand cola, and Rice Krispies treats. The only beer I saw was Pabst Blue Ribbon. And two different times the crowd held up their cans and sang a Pabst Blue Ribbon song with very funny lyrics. (I can only remember a line about a "little yellow Ford" and something about a "helluva way to die.") There was also a container with Pixy Stix. When I grabbed some Stix, somebody told me about a guy at the party named Dennis. They said, "He snorted one of these earlier." When I saw Dennis, who talked with a Southern accent for the party, he said, "I'm Dennis Lambert, drywall contractor and ladies' man extraordinaire." I asked what happened when he snorted the Pixy Stix, and he said, "It stung. I had a sugar rush. And my snot was different colors." When he started talking about Lynyrd Skynyrd, I thought it was him being "in character." But we talked music for a while, and that really was one of his favorite bands.
I talked to Jacquelyn, who was turning 28, and threw this party to celebrate. She had a fake black eye and told me, "My man didn't have to tell me twice." She had a motorcycle shirt that said "One Easy Ride."
When I heard hip-hop playing I asked why there wasn't any country music. She said, "We had country stuff earlier, but you got here too late."
I was talking to somebody, and I heard Dennis scream, "Everyone give a rebel yell!" He'd then hold up his beer and scream, "Yee haw!!" It was after midnight and the neighbors were probably pissed.
They had a lot of different signs on the wall. One said, "Opossum — the other white meat." There was also an NRA poster.
A couple of people at this party had British accents. One guy had a sleeveless shirt and a bandanna. I told somebody he looked more like the Karate Kid than white trash. And a woman with an accent was wearing a dress. A few times she lifted it to show us the underwear she had with lips all over it. Somebody said, "She's married with two kids, but at these parties she can get naughty."
I talked for a while to Melissa, who looked cute in her cowboy hat and cutoff jeans. On her chest was written "Axl Rose, Room 404." She told me, "My boyfriend tried to put one of those temporary tattoos on me, but it wasn't working. So we went with this." Her boyfriend was a tall Marine who was wearing a blue shirt that I think was from a gas station.
A couple of guys, Matthew and Frank, told me they drove 30 minutes east to prepare for this party. Jacquelyn then said, "We looked everywhere for corn dogs and couldn't find them. Even at Costco, they didn't have any."
There were a few guys in the kitchen at around 2:00 a.m. One had the Elvis sunglasses, like the guy at the previous party. When one guy mentioned that he lived near Kearny Mesa High School, I told him I used to play basketball at the rec center near where that guy stole the tank and drove down the 163. He said, "That guy actually did some plumbing in our house! He was weird and was always getting into drugs. The day he took that tank, I was at work. And it went right past my house. There were two giant motor homes at the end of our street. They got flattened like pancakes." Mmmmm, pancakes.