One of my father’s favorite conversational nicknames is “peckerwood.” He peppers it through his stories. He uses it in jokes. He probably bestows that ignominious title on half of his Old Man Coffee Club that takes over the Florence Starbucks at least once a day. The barista who gives him fifty cent refills under the table? Also a peckerwood.
That old peckerwood gave me a refill for fifty cents. I bet that peckerwood charged YOU full price, Andra. ‘Cause you ain’t me.
No, Dad. I’m not a broken down old man who threatens these Starbucks employees with moving the Old Man Coffee Club to another location if you can’t get refills for fifty cents.
Yep. We went to the Krispy Kreme, but them peckerwoods wanted to charge us $1.50 for a refill. That’s highway robbery!!! (Pounds round plywood Starbucks table with his fist. You know the one.) Broken down old man……….I’m good lookin’, ain’t I? Huh?
For much of my life, I’ve heard my father refer to countless people as “peckerwood,” but I never really knew what it meant. (Neither does he. He isn’t prone to swearing or slurring.) According to Wikipedia, “peckerwood” is a slur primarily used in the Southeastern United States to describe poor rural whites. Synonyms include “redneck” and “white trash.”
The true meaning of “peckerwood” made a certain weekend experience more, um, colorful for me. The Valley Ho pool is a place to glue a lounge chair to my butt and refuse to move until the call of nature threatens to embarrass me in public. I don’t like to lay out on the beach, and I go mad doing the pool thing anywhere else. But there, I can actually relax and enjoy it. It is an honor that they let me in the gate – at least a decade older than everyone else, the opposite of tan, no cool tattoos. I am the antithesis of hip.
It’s great for people watching and
eavesdropping accidentally overhearing drunken proclamations like this one.
I’m really glad I got this tattoo under my boob right here – SEE? – because when I’m old, and my boob sags, it will disappear without having to get it removed.
The young man who set up next to me smiled and wandered past the Girl With the Boob Tattoo, headed to the bar. Watching his retreating back, I almost detached my butt from my chair and levitated. There, on his finely sculpted back, perfectly aligned between his shoulder blades, set off by his awesome tan, was one word.
In all caps and everything. Why does a person go get a tattoo and pick THAT one? I drove myself crazy for much of the rest of the afternoon, imagining possible scenarios.
And, a new series was born.