The Ghost of Thanksgiving Past

In my experience, holidays are not all they’re cracked up to be. As an illustration, I thought I would tell this story.
The house next door to me is apparently cursed, at least as far as dogs are concerned. I’ll just focus on the residents prior to the current one.
It was a young couple with a little girl who was about 4 years old named Kaylee. They also had a female dog they claimed was a Mastiff. Not. The dog was brown with a black nose, maybe about 70 pounds, my best guess is pit bull/Boxer mix.
They had a swing set in the back yard for Kaylee, and would let her outside by herself…with the dog. The dog was very protective of her and very gentle with her. It was sweet. I can’t remember the dog’s name so I’ll call her…Alice.
One day Kaylee thought it would be fun to open the gate and let Alice out for a romp in the world beyond. Looking out the window, I saw Alice running down the street and went to notify Kaylee’s parents that she was loose. I got about halfway up my driveway, when Alice started back to her house. She caught me there and began stalking me back down the driveway.
Every step I would take backward, she would take a step forward. My goal was first to just back up enough to get back inside my fence. Then I thought maybe I could just back up enough to open the gate and let my Rottweiler out. I didn’t want him to get hurt, but I knew he would win this fight, and I needed his help. But I was too far away even to do that. I had no weapon, no defense.
So I called out to Kaylee, who was giggling up a storm, she thought this was a lot of fun. I said, Go get your parents. I asked twice and she kept giggling. Poor little thing, it wasn’t her fault. Finally, not sure how this was going to play with Alice, I screamed at Kaylee GO GET YOUR MOTHER NOW! Yelling at Kaylee hurt her feelings and she started crying, and ran in the house. Within seconds her father came tearing out of the house, grabbed Alice’s collar and apologized over and over again.
This was in the summer, and before winter, they got another smaller dog, which they claimed was some sort of toy breed. It was black and curly haired, and probably weighed about 30 pounds. My best guess was Chow mix. What was wrong with these people?
They were straight up Florida Panhandle rednecks But they seemed to need their dogs to be sort of fancier breeds than they actually were, which I thought was poignant.
Fast forward to Thanksgiving Day that year. The father went deer hunting very early in the day and brought a deer home, which he cleaned in the back yard. (What!?) He left all the parts he didn’t want in the back yard with Alice and Curly Black Not-Toy dog.
Apparently it was their turn to host Thanksgiving because a bunch of people showed up. All of them were told not to go in the back yard. But two little boy cousins dared each other. (“I’ll go in if you will!”) The minute the 9 year old who had been dared walked into the back yard, Alice launched and bit him in the face.
So everybody there spent Thanksgiving in the Emergency Room. I know this story because the father shared it with me. He told me he was going to have to put up Beware of Dog signs and didn’t want me to feel threatened. Really?
He never did put up signs, and moved away very soon after that. Happy Thanksgiving.

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10 responses to “The Ghost of Thanksgiving Past

  1. Those small dogs can be vicious…probably the canine version of a Napoleon complex.

    When I was in about second grade, I went to a friend’s and his two dogs were on the porch. The German Shepard did a lot of barking and the dachsund was silent. I didn’t want to go past the gate but friend said not to worry.

    So I cautiously came into the driveway. Shepard still barking, dacshund still silent. After about ten steps the dacshund charged. I was sorta laughing until he jumped up and nipped me just inches from a very important part of make anatomy.

  2. “They were straight up Florida Panhandle rednecks were straight up Florida Panhandle rednecks”

    Ahem………….as contrasted to exactly what?

  3. sc, no matter what size, you always have to be most careful of the quiet ones. pt, as opposed to say, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas rednecks. They’re all like subspecies of the Redneck genus with their own special characteristics.

  4. “pt, as opposed to say, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas rednecks. They’re all like subspecies of the Redneck genus with their own special characteristics.”

    This is where I get confused by liberals. It seems that their “tent” is as exclusive as it is inclusive, which seems a contradiction to a platform of tolerance and social justice. Having grown up with Florida Panhandle Rednecks (FPR) I have some working knowledge of their character and culture, and Alabama/Georgia for that matter.

    So I pose this question, is a FPR then excluded from liberal membership? How about Georgia and Alabama? Perhaps until he/she becomes a charged minority felon? Or gay? Clearly poverty doesn’t qualify them , I just don’t understand. How does one obtain the password for admittance to the liberal culture, and get a seal of approval?

    I know one thing anyway, if Government builds a welfare office in Quincy FPR;s will come for a share of manna, and then vote for the Santa Clause/Robin Hood that feeds them. Are they then like lepers just welcome to come out on election day? Maybe that’s it. They’re just not edgimacated enough to be true liberals huh?

  5. Ah…c’mon, pt. Are you serious? Or were you being funny? You have reach to connect this post to politics. Since you claim to know some rednecks, I won’t try to define it for you (not sure I could), but I’d say their political leanings as a group are all over the map. I’d just like to say that I was born in Tennessee, lived there (twice) and in Virginia (twice), North Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida, with a two-year fluke in Iowa. You don’t think I know rednecks? With possibly some personal heritage there as well.
    Since you aren’t on Facebook, you miss a lot of funny stuff. There is one thing going around (which you can probably find on YouTube) called “S%$t Southern women say”, which cracks me up every time. I’ve either heard it, or said it.
    As for the password to liberal culture, well, I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.

  6. Here’s the thing I am trying to define. It has to do with implied patronizing and “indulgences” like how I grew up in the 1950’s racist and sexist South. Little offhand comments about niggers and females that were “OK” in white male circles, but we knew better than to repeat them in mixed company.
    We were quick to say “aw c’mon I really didn’t mean anything by that, it’s not my point at all”……..and it wasn’t. But the cultural recognition of how we felt then has changed for the better in today’s culture. Perhaps that is why I recognize the similarity of telling red neck jokes without intent to harm, it still does is my point. Perhaps not in the story but in a larger sense reveals existing bias to the culture,, whether it is inherited or acquired, it still affects others in unintended ways.

    It is particularly odd from the mouths of liberals.

    I’m just not a facebook fan, there may come a day but probably not.

  7. Gosh, pt. Well you know, Freud wrote a whole book about jokes. In certain kinds of jokes, there is always a joke-teller, a listener (who is assumed to be in collusion with the joke-teller), and the butt of the joke, who is some “Other”, not of the same tribe. Assigning labels to people (e.g., redneck) is a not a joke, but still a way of distancing them from your “tribe”. Is there condescension in that? Possibly, but it depends on which end you’re on.
    The specific people I’m referring to are not in my tribe, because they were ignorant. They had dogs they didn’t know the breed of but tried to fancify them for some apparent status symbol? They threw the remains of a deer in the back yard, wasting most of the deer and putting their families in danger.
    In the “big tent” of liberalism, should these people be included just because they exist? I think your definition of liberalism is at fault here. Pointedly expressed by your expression that perhaps they will be let in in they become a charged minority felon, gay, or line up with the rest of the “takers” for handouts. Liberal is a label too.

  8. “The specific people I’m referring to are not in my tribe, because they were ignorant.”

    OK! They live in Tallahassee, on your street, next door to you but they are not in your tribe because YOU are educated. Got it. So ignorant people cant be in your tribe then……..by your definition, all liberals are educated. Thus conservatives must be ignorant. Let me go check my back yard for that damn deer meat.

  9. Don’t bother to look for the deer meat. Your dog ate it, along with part of your cousin.
    I am educated and so are you, and ignorant people are not in my tribe no matter where they live. But you made a great false leap of logic there re: liberals and conservatives, or my opinion of them.
    It’s like the thing about how an uninformed opinion is equivalent to an informed one. You know, because this is America. What bullshit. Americans are entitled to social justice, life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, freedom…and health care. Had to throw that in. But not equal respect for their opinions.

  10. pt, I had to return to this post to tell you a story. I belong to a Facebook group called “Remember Waynesville When…” Waynesville is the small town in the mountains of North Carolina where I lived from age 8 to age 17, and graduated from high school. One guy on there was highly offended by the suggestion that he was a redneck. He said you could call him a mountain man or a hillbilly, but you could not call him a redneck because there was a big difference. I’m not sure what that difference is, except for geography, but I thought you might find that funny.

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