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Take this conversation that I just overheard in a McDonald’s off I-80:

Redneck A: I’m telling you, if we wanna solve the problems in the Middle East, we gotta go into places like Eye-ran and Afghaineestan and start educatin’ the wimminfolk!

Redneck B: We’re already doin’ that.

Redneck A: Yeah, but we’re only doing it this much [holds fingers about an inch apart], and we gotta be doin’ it this much [holds hands apart at arm’s length].

Redneck B: You got that right.

Yes, Redneck A really pronounced Iran and Afghanistan like that, and he really said educatin’ and wimminfolk.

That’s not the point.

The point is, here are two rednecks of apparently no prior acquaintance, discussing the Middle East loudly in an interstate rest stop, and they have keyed in on the lack of education of women in that part of the world as being part of the problem there.

Sadly, I have no idea what they were talking about prior to the snippet above, because I have a regionalist tendency to block out redneck accents when they start talking politics, on the unfair assumption that I’m not going to like what they have to say. A tendency that it all the more unfair when one considers I grew up in a Republican stronghold in Southern California, where people who pronounce words the same way I do still say all sorts of things I disagree with.

What can I say? I’m working on it. This conversation was a great reminder that I can hear useful things from all sorts of sources.

I know the odds of either Redneck A or Redneck B ever reading this are miniscule, but wherever you are, guys, I’m going to have a smile on my face all day because of you.

-jane

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