I got an email this morning from an OLD friend from high school. I have not talked to him since we graduated 15 years ago. Great guy.
He reminded me of a sport that Seanachai and I invented in high school - hunting rednecks.
I moved to a small resort town in North Carolina half-way through my sophomore year in high school. By my junior year I met Seanachai and we've been best friends since (you must check out his audio blog, BTW. His traffic is over 100k per month).
Two teenagers who are too smart for their own good living in a small resort town planted smack in the middle of hick county USA is a recipe for no good. We were bored out of our skulls.
It all started when we realized at night you could plug a boat searchlight into the car cigarette lighter, shine it on street lights and they would turn off (their light sensors would think it is daylight out).
We would go to desolate roads or strip mall parking lots (no shortage of them in rural NC) and hunt street lights (yep.... we were that bored). One would drive, the other would shoot. Speeding down the road or in the lot, we would see who could shoot off the most lights in one pass. This was very innocent (if not sad) entertainment. Mischief was bound to arise.
One night we went out to hunt lights and came across a K-Mart parking lot that, at first, appeared to be a pick-up truck used car lot. Upon closer inspection we realized that local redneck teens did not have as sophisticated tastes in late-night entertainment as we. They parked their cars in the empty parking lot, turned on one of the 1,732 local country stations and, well, stood around and talked.
As we passed the parking lot you could hear the whisper of the Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom voice over guy clearly on our car radio:
Shhh, this part of the southern outback is famous for one species - Homorednecus Erectus. Native to this region, they sustain themselves on a regular diet of discarded pork products (fried pork rinds and pickled pigs' feet.) They are carnivorous but often display cattle or moth-like tendencies in the nocturnal hours by herding near light sources in approximation to their apparel source.
Our great white hunters have been tracking this herd for hours and just noticed them. They make several passes by the herd and ready their weapon. The thrill of the hunt pulses through their veins as they prepare to take down this stupid and unpredictable breed. Let's watch.
At first we drove by and decided to find an abandoned parking lot for our true contest of skill. After a few passes in the movie theatre parking lot a light suddenly appeared not from the boat light but above our heads. What if we upped the ante by taking out street lights right above the rednecks?
Where and when genius appears can never be explained. It just happens sometimes.
Locked and loaded we sped to the K-Mart for some real sport. Our first pass took them by surprise. They are chillin', leaning on their trucks while their girls lean on them and, without notice, BLA-BAM a 12k candle lumens light appears from a Nissan hatchback and in less than three seconds they are in complete darkness.
We did a secondary pass a few moments later to see them scuttling like worker ants after the hill was stomped on. "That was fun but what if we..."
I started nailing them in the faces with the lights. Needless to say, a boat search light is blinding to say the least. We went to the local Howard Johnson's and had some coffee. With all intentions of heading home we somehow found ourselves driving back again by the lot. BLA-BAM and BLIND, I shot them and the lights again. Our faces hurt from laughing so hard. We went home after the second successful hunt with adrenaline still pumping from our hearts.
The next night we found ourselves with nothing to do... again. You know what we decided to do....
Our first pass this next night went just like the first. We had the initiative and they were in darkness and blind before they knew what hit them. Back we went to the HoJos for more java. Just like the night before, we went back for one more hunt. Even rednecks learn, this time things went a tad differently.
We drove by (BA-BLAM) but, unbeknownst to us, they had boys hidden on the outskirts of the lot in their dark, but idling, trucks. We shot, their headlights cranked on and the peeled out of the lot. If we thought hunting them was fun, it was nothing compared to being chased by five or six trucks and, one-by-one losing them in our own version of reverse Dukes of Hazzard.
It was exciting, challenging and... well... pretty sad. It made for great stories and we took many a friend on the hunts. Once we let someone other than Nissan-Ninja Seanachai drive... the first time he used his turn signal during a chase we knew we were in trouble. This post is already too long so I will spare you the many close calls we experienced at red lights, cul-de-sacs and the gas needle being well south of [E].