Side by Side(s)

In a recent camping trip to Grande Prairie, our family rediscovered the beauty up north. 
The country is so different, the people quite redneck, and literally everyone owns a pickup, multiple ATVs and horses. 
First of all, I love me some rednecks. I was curious what the definition of redneck was so I looked it up, only to find it related generally to poor, uneducated white folk (surprisingly political). 
When Albertans say redneck I think we mostly mean people who live in the country with more guns that we have who actually speak their mind about things and listen to country music. 
I don’t believe in country music and make fun of it as often as possible, in fact one article I wrote for the paper received some negative comments (which I was secretly hoping for because I love arguments I start about things that don’t matter because they’re funny). 
I should clarify.. I received one negative comment out of the three or four total in 220 articles, but not because the person was personally offended I was making fun of country music, but because they were afraid it would offend their sister they were trying to invite to Venue Church, who happened to like country music. 
I was decently certain if someone was that fragile about music that is terrible and had no sense of humour whatsoever they wouldn’t work out at Venue anyways. We poke a little fun at everything because it’s hard to change when you take your problems more seriously than your solutions. 
Religious people… 
I put music on in earshot of our redneck friend and heard her say “That had better NOT BE RAP!”
I said “It’s not rap, it’s hip hop!” with a big smile. It was definitely rap, of course but that’s why it was funny. Also it was morally wrong of her to “music genre profile” but I didn’t bother pointing out her hate crime. 
I once made fun of drummers in an article because I used to play a lot of music and drummers have problems, so someone decided I should probably feel their wrath because drummers are people too… or something. 
I was making fun of drummers because A. It was funny, and B. My daughter is the drummer at church and that makes it extra funny. 
Our friends rented our family a side by side, which is like a big ATV and we spent the day roaring around trails, down by the sand dunes at the river, and doing our level best to get stuck climbing mud hills and having to winch our way out using the local trees. 
My wife’s knuckles were white grabbing the “Hold this so you don’t die” bar, but it was exhilarating and we had a crazy amount of fun. 
We heard the announcement that the government was commissioning drones to help with forest fires/ spy on people over covid. As terrifying unconstitutional as the rumour was, the reaction from most people up there was “No problem. We can shoot things that fly:)”
One hour later and three thousand names on a petition seemed to put that to rest. 
I like rednecks because their lives on farms and ranches are generally not soft, and soft people tend to enjoy the outrage, fear and drama far too much because they have too much time on their hands and not enough dirt. 
Farmers deal with life and death and disease on a regular basis, and might be better adapted to keeping panic down and just dealing with issues in a results oriented fashion. 
When I think of turkey, I think of the grocery store where turkeys are. But most turkeys come from places like farms it turns out!
My buddy figured it was time for me to become a real man so he saved a turkey for me to murder. As weird as the deed was to this city boy, it was good to get back in touch with my parent’s roots and realize life is not risk free, or all that sterile when push comes to shove. 
I plucked it too, but then started to feel a little “Needley” (I faint when I get needles like I almost did with the vaccine last week) when the gutting went down, but Erin the farm girl loved the whole thing. 
In a return to opening the country again, I do hope we can take the journey in a side by side and realized that whatever we were told about the people on the other side of the covid issue (“spreadneck” or not:), nobody really was trying to kill anyone even if their judgement was flawed. 
And I do hope we learn our lesson and move away from the bureaucracies that nearly buried us and back into the leadership it actually takes to run a farm, no wait…
Nation. 

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