Sunday, February 22, 2009

You can take the girl out of the trailer park, but . . .

Defendants may, overall, be irresponsible, short sighted, drunk, dishonest, and consider violence a viable means of problem solving, but they are my people. It isn't that I fight, drink, lie, steal or find myself utterly unable to foresee the consequences of my actions - for the most part. It's just that I understand.

I credit my upbringing. One of my great accomplishments is that I got through high school without getting in a fight. You may not think much of this. Let's draw a picture. My fondest memories are riding around with my bare feet sticking out of the window of a Camaro with a big joint in one hand and Mountain Dew in the other with Led Zeppelin playing really loud, on the way to the store to get Moon pies, then to cruise around aimlessly or maybe look for drugs. Yes, we were rednecks. People kept shotguns and were wont to bust out the trailer with one in hand if you showed up in a strange truck. I'm assuming cellphones have helped a lot, for those of them who can pay up their minutes.

My family was not unusual, so I don't know where I learned better. I was born in a trailer and encouraged to kick ass whenever appropriate, I just never really found it to be appropriate. My sister, on the other hand, caught on quickly. Once, some girl showed up at the house intending to beat up my sister, which was just a terrible idea, since she could probably single handedly conquer Afghanistan. The chick pulled up in the driveway, got out and cussed until sister bandit heard her, who promptly went flying out the side door and screamed (insert awesome southern accent)"Get the hell out of here, ya big-footed, hairy bitch!" Of course, the girl didn't leave, so sister bandit kicked her ass all over the front yard. Another time, my father lent her his car to go get in a fight, since she apparently needed to go teach some girl a lesson for something involving her boyfriend J.T. and could simply not put this off until her rusty Escort was running again. About an hour later, she came back without a scratch, but was holding her wrist. My dad, who was watching Nascar,, looked up and asked how she'd gotten hurt, with a subtle tone sugggesting she'd better not have lost - he taught her better. She explained she was so mad when she got back in the car, she slammed her hand on the dash and bruised it. Satisfied his progeny had prevailed, he dispensed the fatherly advice "well, that was stupid. You should have gotten back out and hit her again!" then returned to watching the race.

Knowing at some level something was just not right with this picture, I quietly resolved to get the hell out of Dodge when I turned 18.

However, the education has come in handy. I don't get surprised. Of course I understand that when the crack ran out, you had to drive a borrowed car without a license and go steal some things because you needed more, and of course when the car was wrecked, you had to just leave it there, since getting caught would mean getting that old warrant served. Well, duh, what else would you do? Of course when the bitch showed up with your baby daddy and started talking shit, you naturally busted a beer bottle and went after her. Bitch has to learn a lesson, right? Girl got her pride. I think it makes me a better lawyer. At any rate, it gets me through the day and when the clients find me in a sea of stuffy white guys, they know that someone, somewhere, outside the trailer park does, in fact, understand.

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