Miller Monday – Champagne wishes, Caviar dreams, and a Chevy Nova up on blocks in the front yard

June 25, 2007 at 10:04 am 12 comments

I have a secret.    Many of you may know that I was raised in a nice affluent area of the Peoples Republic of Southern California.  I attended quality schools.  I wore nice clothes.  I never went without.  But the truth is, I aint no purebred.  I’ve spent the majority of my life runnin’ from my roots, but I’m tired of runnin’.

My mother was born in Idaho and my father was born in the Valley of the Dirt People.  You see, no matter how you slice it I am almost 100% white trash.  I thought for the longest time that being white trash has no genetic component.  I thought that every man chooses his destiny.  I was such a moron. 


I would cringe when my roommates would get all charged up for a night of good eatin’ at the Chuck-a-Rama.  My spine would tingle in disgust when my father would wear his Teva sandals in public.  I would laugh and point at the guy wearing the Garth Brooks T-shirt in high school, just like the rest of you.   But I have always known that deep down inside I am a no good piece of white trash.

Don’t get me wrong, I still hate buffet style eating.  I hate Garth Brooks and would rather chop off my right arm than wear Teva sandals.  Most of my white trash genes are buried, and buried deep, thank goodness.   Most people, in fact, feel that I have very refined taste.  I certainly don’t look or dress white trash.  However, thanks to my parents I have adopted a certain element of trashiness that I cannot kill.  I love 80’s butt rock.  You name it, from Poison to Bon Jovi to Winger.  I love ‘em all. Lemare reminded me of a time in college while playing tennis (an extremely un-white trash thing to do) we took a breather to play air guitar with our rackets and sing everything from Warrant to Def Lepard (an extremely white trash thing to do).   I’m sorry if I just outed you there Lemare.

To compound my problem, my wife is also from the Valley of the Dirt people.  I thought I could change her from Macaroni and Cheese to Filet Mignon.  What a fool I was.  I will never forget the day when we were driving past an RV dealership and she confessed that she had always secretly dreamed of owning a motor home and driving around the country.  I almost broke down and cried.  That statement was nearly the death of me.  I now know that I never wanted the Filet in the first place.  My inner genetic child was crying out for corn dogs and tater tots.

Every night I look into my baby’s eyes and I wonder how his white trashiness will be made manifest.  Will he own a gun rack?  Will he be a NASCAR junkie?  Will he eat at McDonalds much like Jeanie Irving (sorry if I outed you there Jean)? Will he adore Nicholas Cage?  Although I always swore against it, I brought another 100% white trash soul into the world.  It’s my prayer that he marries some high brow woman from the city to begin to dilute the white trash portion of the Miller gene pool.

This may be my confession, but there is no doubt that there is a little bit of white trash in each and every one of us.  And you know what?  There is some logic in the white trash mantra.  When all you aspire for in life is a pickup truck and tribal tattoo, in all likelihood you will one day achieve your wildest dreams.


Joe Miller


Entry filed under: Miller Monday.

IRF Weekly Wrap-up Of course he would.

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lowdogg  |  June 25, 2007 at 10:20 am

    Wow. I thought you liked Chuck-a-Rama. That must have been Dave’s idea. It certainly wasn’ mine.

    I think that in my case I am more white trash than my elders. I love Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Que and Chick-Fil-A (love those hyphens!).

  • 2. jdon  |  June 25, 2007 at 11:03 am

    Be proud of who you is. We all have a little inner white trash child.

  • 3. lemare  |  June 25, 2007 at 11:41 am

    I accept blame for your roommates love of Chuck-o-rama. It was Cousin Wes who had a innate love for the food hidden under the sneeze guard.

    I have to admit, my family roots do not constitute PWT (all high overachievers), but part of them wish they did… The part that likes to get to the Chuck-o-rama at 4pm so they pay lunch prices, but get the dinner meats.

    I blame it on the Great Depression.

  • 4. TRussell  |  June 25, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    Hey, the Russian guy in Hunt for Red October had only one dream, to buy a pick-up truck and live in Montana. That inner white trash in all of us is nothing more than our citizenship in this great country. One of my good friends of white trash decent, yet born and raised right here in Palo Alto, drives a Ford 350 v10 just to spite the liberals in their Prius “I’m better than you” cars.


  • 5. Cousin Wes  |  June 25, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    I admit it: I love the chuck-o-rama. Although I’ve always avoided the cooked squash, mac & cheese, and other questionable items on the menu, I really do look forward to the carrot & raisin salad. Where else can you find that stuff??

    It’s true that Mr. Miller always thought he was too good for the Chuck-o-rama, but the rest of us always wondered if some insecurity from his past was keeping him from enjoying what we knew he craved deep down inside… I felt secure enough with my roots to confidently stroll into the chuck-a-rama with my billabong board shorts and reef sandals, smirking as I labeled and numbered each mullet that walked by.

    However, I’ve come to realize I’m no better than the semi-truck driver who wantonly dangles his rat-tail out the back of a dirty, weathered mesh hat. We probably both listen to air supply when nobody is watching, and we’re both secretly hoping that the guy slicing the turkey at Chuck-o-rama will be feeling generous when he we finally get to the front of the line.

    Nice post, Joe.

  • 6. lemare  |  June 25, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    Cousin Wes speaks the truth. Our family is chalk full of highly educated, well-traveled, cultured people who just happen to love a good value. And a softserve icecream bar.

    It would be a lie if I told you that we didn’t have the lunch after my grandfather’s funeral at the Chuck-o-rama.

  • 7. Yur Pa  |  June 25, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    I thnk it’s pretty sad that you’ve chosen to blame your weak choices on your parents and their alleged white trash genetics. All the money we invested in psychologists, drugs, and summer camps have obviously come to naught.

    I did my best to keep you off the 80s rock stations. And this is the thanks we get?

    My Teva sandals were purchased at Nordstrom.

  • 8. Massimo  |  June 25, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    LeMare, I always imagined you as an Old Country Buffet sort of gal.

  • 9. lemare  |  June 25, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    Massimo, I find buffets to be offensive. I simply come from families who like mass quantities of food for less than $8.

    I refuse to go on cruises because I believe them to be a floating Old Country Buffet.

  • 10. Lindsay  |  June 25, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    My kids love the Old Country Buffet. I guess that gives me away as a relative of the Cardalls, who just might keep Chuck-o-rama in business by themselves.
    Parker even liked it better than the very ritzy Brazilian Barbeque we took him to. Oh well. The Cardall genes live on.

    And I agree that Joe can blame his white trashedness on his genes. I always blame Cardall genes for my loudmouthedness (if not my cheapness).

  • 11. Lowdogg  |  June 25, 2007 at 9:46 pm

    I always preferred Golden Corral to Chuch-a-Rama.

    What was the name of that slogan on those buttons we got there during the first BVD awards banquet?

    I was pretty pumped to see a comment from Dad Miller. I’m just glad he didn’t call it Nordstroms.

  • 12. Jen  |  June 25, 2007 at 11:02 pm

    As another Cardall reared in the ways of thrift, I’ll add my two cents. When we were little and went out to a special dinner, we always went to the Sizzler where the adultls ordered the steaks and tacked on the “buffet court” that us kids ate off of. Sometime during our first year of marriage I convinced Timmy to go to Sizzler with me with tales of its bounteous smorgasbord and crusty cheese toast. Needless to say, we were both disappointed.


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