Just the other day I ran into one of my friends from high school. It was so nice to catch up. Our conversation broke out into a fit of gut wrenching laughter when we spoke of our first night frog gigging together.
Here the story goes....
When I was in high school there were several cliques of kids... There were the The preps, The stoners, The Christians, The nerds, The trouble makers, and The rednecks. I was the loner. But never was I alone. I drifted from one group to the next. Hmmm, perhaps that made me the drifter instead?
Anyways, I had my preppy friends that I went shopping with. I participated in a few "stoner" functions that lead me to be excepted in the stoner crowd. I need to pray for partaking in the stoner functions so I attended church with the Christains. I enjoyed spending time with some of the "nerds"... and I dated almost all the trouble makers. I was almost a well rounded kid, except for the redneck part.
Don't get me wrong. I am a bred and born redneck. I just never felt the need to advertise it. But this crowd did. Nothing screamed billy bad ass redneck more than driving into the school parking lot in a loud over sized truck with a set of iron balls hanging off the hitch and your man fitting a tight pair of dusty old wranglers with a skol ring on the back pocket. Yeah our school had a ton of these kind of fella's.
Although I had friends in various cliques, the red neck crowd was elite. You had to be a true horse ridin', beer drinkin', squirrel huntin' redneck to be excepted with in this crowd. In high school, I was none of those... That is, until the spring of my junior year.
I had became friends with a prep, a Christian and a redneck through our common disdain of one of our classes... I cant remember which subject because well... I don't think we ever broke from our on going conversations to pay attention to which class we were in. Despite our labels we weren't all that different. Hell living in middle Tennessee its not like there was a lot of culture to set us that far apart! But this class was where a mix of random people became friends. We later discovered how we weren't that much different after all.
Rose was the girl that went on trail rides, went skeet shooting, smoke cigarettes, and could out drink any guy in town. She was a real southern charm. ;) Really! Nikki on the other hand, was the kind of girl that wore name brand cloths, painted her toe nails, and went shopping every other day. Pam, went to work and to church. That was the extent of Pam's socializing.
So one Saturday evening during late July, like most of the kids in town, we congregated at the old parking lot along the main road of town. We were all sitting on the tail gate of Rose's pick up truck. Thats all of us with the exception of Pam of course. She had to work her job at the local Micky D's.
Every once in a while someone we knew from school would pull in. We would get the news of a party or a recent fight.... but not a dang thing was going on that night of any interest to us. We were bored to pieces.
I cant remember who exactly hatched the idea, although I am fairly sure it was Rose but the next thing I knew, We were in the midst of executing what seemed to be a swell plan. We were goin' giggin'! Rose went home to get her pistol- in case we ran across any snakes. I went to home to grab my dads gigs and Nikki called her older friend to get us some.... ehm... "refreshments".
Here we were, three intoxicated seventeen year old girls trespassing on some farmers land to go frog giggin'. I will never forget that night. I remember thinking it was official, "no going back now". I will forever be an out of the closet redneck.
I was absolutely terrified that we could get caught trespassing, or caught carrying a deadly weapon, or underage consumption, and (what would have terrified my dad to no end)... "giggin'" without a permit! But beyond all those fears, I was far more terrified of the scary mysterious things that lurked in the deep dark water! Well hells bells, the terror was what made the whole thing so exciting!
I remember the first frog I speared. I was standing in dark murky water up to my knees. I caught a glimmer as I shinned the flash light along a dam. I closed my eyes when I gigged the massive frog. Suddenly fears of being caught completely wained. We all hooped and hollered like a bunch of rabid coyotes. "Now what", I thought? Of course I handed my gig over to Rose, I wasn't about to pull it off the gig!
The real fun came when the three off use drove through the McDonalds drive thru to show Pam our "trophies". We held up the muddy pillow case of frogs to the window. I had anticipated a grossed out scowl from Pam but nope... not a grossed out at all. The truth was she was pissed we didn't wait for her to get off work so she could go too.
By the time we made our way out of the McDonalds parking lot there was a large crowd forming at our parking spot. We pulled in, stinking and covered to the hilt in mud. Rose hopped out of the truck to greet her boyfriend with a kiss. I was new to the redneck scene. I assumed that the girls went frog giggin' on a regular basis. So when Rose's boyfriend asked where we had been, with a huge smile on my face, I proudly held out our pillow case of frogs from passenger side window of the truck... just about that time Rose's boyfriend and his slew of friends nearly lost their dinner.
Due to the boys reaction, I frowned and looked over at Nikki, "Whose going to clean them ", I wondered out loud. O NO! Rose returned to the truck and off we went to clean our catch.
Rose was in charge of the cleaning process. Nikki and I just watched. I remember my stomach turning just a bit and thinking perhaps it would have been best not to have alcohol swishing around in my gut before this task.
I was standing directly in front of Rose when she preceded to show us how to cut off their heads and skin em'. The street light illuminated our dark working space as Rose put the first unconscious frog on the cutting board. Just as she was about to behead it, the frog made a miraculous recovery. He slipped out from underneath the knife blade and flew DIRECTLY TOWARDS MY FACE. I bout crapped my pants. I screamed and took off for the hills!
Later, (after my friends retrieved me from the woods), I discovered that barbecued frog legs are awesome!
The conclusion to todays post.... we're all a little bit redneck... just embrace it.