Velveeta Cheese and Marlboros (Greetings from Redneck Hell)

I like Velveeta cheese, though I generally don’t eat it unless it’s in scalloped potatoes or some sort of casserole.  When I was in high school and college I smoked Marlboros- yes, the cowboy killers in the red packs.  If you’re going to do it, do it right. 

I’ve always said that I am not terribly far removed from white trash and/or the trailer park.  I am thankful that by the grace of God I don’t smoke anymore.  But I do understand the mentality that demands that smokes come first and foremost in the budget. I’ve not been above smoking butts in ashtrays.  The nicotine jones is a powerful thing, and heaven help you should you be stranded with a hard core smoker suddenly forced to do without cigs against his/her will.  So it stands to reason that hard core smokers will make sure they have smokes before the White Death might delay their stock-up trip to Kroger’s by an hour or so.  I’ve been there and done that.

A good friend of mine who used to work in the Marion (OH) Kroger’s always used to say that the first things to go in that particular store when the weather warnings went out were Velveeta cheese and Marlboros.  I can’t imagine any store in that town running out of smokes, especially Marlboros, but apparently it happens from time to time.  I have all the sympathy in the world for the cashiers if they have to come back and tell some redneck, “I’m sorry, but we’re out of Marlboro reds.”  I’ve been that pissed-off redneck.  Velveeta cheese I don’t quite understand, because for me at least it’s primarily a casserole ingredient.  However, some people are known to simply cut off a big chunk of Velveeta and eat it just like that which is fine, I guess. 

To some people a Velvet Elvis tapestry is high art.  Dad had a friend whose whole house was done in trashy Elvis kitsch- from the huge Velvet Elvis tapestry on the living room wall, to the Elvis bust lamps, and even the Velvet Elvis toilet lid cover.  In that house Elvis was not just the King of Rock-n-Roll, he was also King of the Commode.  To each his or her own.  If I had to decorate my house with rock musicians I’d pick Steve Perry and/or Neal Schon (the Journey posters I had on my walls back in the 80’s would probably be worth a small fortune today…)

If I had to do a stock up trip, let’s say if I had no grocery store access for a month, my list would appear something like this:

2 boxes of #124 Nice ‘N Easy (because grey hair simply isn’t acceptable)

4 boxes of iced tea bags

2 bottles of lemon juice

2 large containers of Folger’s Columbian coffee

coffee filters

4- 12 packs of toilet paper

meat meat meat

instant mashed potatoes


assorted frozen vegetables

lunch meat


razors & shaving gel

face Nair


I’m sure I forgot something. I always do.

One thing I know I don’t need is any Dale Earnhardt Memorial t-shirts.  You can spot a redneck a mile away if he(she) is wearing some sort of monstrous tribute to the Terminator tee, especially if he is wearing it in the “wife beater” style:

Just cut the sleeves off this puppy and you got it- Dale AND Elvis!  Two of the Redneck Trinity, anyway.

I am reminded of a joke.

A redneck boy was in Sunday School.  The Sunday School teacher asked the kids, “Who can name the Three Persons of the Trinity?”

Little Jimmy raised his hand wildly.

“Yes, Jimmy,” the teacher said.

“I know, I know,” Jimmy squeaked frantically, “Jesus, Elvis and Dale.”

4 thoughts on “Velveeta Cheese and Marlboros (Greetings from Redneck Hell)

    • I am not an Elvis fan at all and have never owned any sort of kitsch associated with him, but I do have a tapestry of cats playing poker- it’s not currently gracing any of our walls, but in the last place we lived I hung it over one of the walls because there was about a beer can-sized piece of plaster missing.

      It’s all about the decor. Mine is Sheenatized- white dog hair all over everything.

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