Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Reality Shows

I’ve been writing redneck humor since 1998 when Jeff Foxworthy was at his peak. I’d been a fan of the genre since I was a kid. I have fond memories of watching Tennessee Ernie Ford and Minnie Pearl on TV. Later, I loved the Andy Griffith Show. And even later, I’d loved the 1989 MMT production of Steel Magnolias and was impressed with the hairdresser/main character Truvy (played in the 1989 movie by Dolly Parton, a redneck icon if there ever was one).

Also, that redneck joke was floating around: Q. “How do you know you’re in a redneck town?” A. “You can buy live bait and rent videos at the same store.” I thought, what’s even more incongruous than live bait and videos? Live bait and beauty services!

Deciding that what America needed was a female redneck humorist, I originally created “Peevish Advice”—in which Ida B. Peevish, a Truvy-type advice-giving beautician, also sells live bait—as a one-shot humor article for Collage, a Roanoke publication I wrote for. My mythical town, Rock Bottom, was an exaggerated Mayberry populated with characters that were even quirkier than the original Mayberryites.

In 1998, I was also writing for Blue Ridge Traditions. When I hand-delivered a story I was submitting to the editor (this was pre-email), I showed her “Peevish Advice” to get her opinion. She wanted it for BRT, and it became a regular (or is that irregular?) column. At first, I wrote all the questions myself. Then readers (including several of my writer buddies) started sending in ideas.

When BRT changed hands and changed its focus to regional history and culture, the column no longer fit. In 2004, the Smith Mountain Eagle picked it up.

My column is, of course, fiction. But sometimes stuff I write about turns out to echo reality. For example, a few years ago when some lake buddies suggested I write about what to do about the geese problem at Smith Mountain Lake, the Slick Water Lake (a location added to my original setting because my lake buddies thought they were being left out) committees suggest “cove border collies.” A few months later, I read an article in the Roanoke Times about how a lake in another state used a border collie to herd the geese away.

But the strangest echo of reality was today's Roanoke Times article about a new reality show that starts January 11 on the CMT channel: My Big Redneck Wedding. For years, I’ve included occasional wedding advice in my column. (Should the bride’s dress been blaze orange or camo”? Blaze orange, of course, so she stands out.) Now actual weddings will probably feature some of the stuff I thought I created. And a lot more stuff that I didn’t even think of, doggone it!

From CMT :
MY BIG REDNECK WEDDING: Fistfights, shotguns, ATVs and John Deere dresses highlight these over-the-top weddings.

And from MovieWeb:
CMT is gearing up to premier its latest reality series entitled My Big Redneck Wedding. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the cable channel has ordered eight episodes of the show for air.
Each episode will feature a different wedding by the "most down-home country couples" as they prepare for their nuptials. The series will focus on the weddings' "rustic eccentricities," including a four-legged best man, a romantic beer-can canopy, a celebratory shotgun salute and a reception filled with mattress surfing and mud wrestling.

The series will debut January 11th, 2008, at 9:pm

“Rustic eccentricities.” I like that term.

When Pink Sneakers productions issued a casting call, they wanted a particular type couple. Reality Wanted gives the specific details about the ideal candidates (all participants have now been selected):

CMT is currently casting for the new series “My Big Redneck Wedding.” This show will document the planning and preparation it takes to pull off a truly fun, down-to-earth, redneck nuptial. From denim wedding dresses, to camouflage tuxedos, shotgun salutes, and arriving at the reception on an ATV—anything goes, as long as it’s rowdy and redneck!

We are currently looking for couples who:

  • Appear to be between the ages of 18 and 45.
  • Are planning a super redneck wedding.
  • Have set a date anywhere from September to December 2007.
  • Would like to share their lives and wedding day with us.
  • Are redneck and proud of it!

We are scheduled to begin shooting immediately so if you or anyone you know meets this criteria please email us. . . . Please be sure to include your name, contact information, wedding location, and a photo of the bride and groom.

I don’t have cable, so I probably won’t see the show unless one of my writer buddies surprises me with a tape.

Meanwhile, if you know any of the happy couples and have been wondering what to get them for a wedding present, may I suggest this.



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