The exploits of the bearded Robertson clan are once again gracing televisions throughout the land, highlighting what it's like to be both rednecks and millionaires via their hit AETV show, "Duck Dynasty." And it doesn't take long for Willie and Jase, the brothers Robertson, to get caught up in an adventure resulting more from ignorance than due to any other factor. But instead of killing beavers, frog-gigging, or blowing up old duck blinds, this time they got themselves involved in a race. But not an ordinary race of man versus man or trained animal versus trained animal or muscle car versus muscle car (or four-wheel-drive trucks). No, the boys got themselves challenged to a lawnmower race.
It all started when Willie and Jase ran into an old high school rival, Phillip McMillan, at the hardware store. McMillan pulled up on his souped-up lawnmower and made fun of the beards. Then they dissed him by making fun of his lack of shirt and his ride. He retaliated by challenging them to a lawnmower race. Rednecks that they are, Willie and Jase immediately took him up on his challenge.
Show wise man Jase's aside: "You can talk any redneck into a challenge. That's why so many rednecks die in such strange ways. Because he would rather die than be disrespected."
Of course, neither knew anything about lawnmower racing. In fact, they didn't even know there was such a thing as lawnmower racing (too much duck hunting and money-making going on, apparently). So the boys go back to the Duck Commander warehouse and tell the guys that they'll not be making any duck calls the next day. Everybody was to assemble at Willie's house to see who had the fastest lawnmower.
Uncle Si became confused, wanting to know why Willie needed all those lawnmowers at his house just to cut grass. Willie and Jase both told him that it was to race. Si wasn't falling for that kind of crazy talk, muttering that he was certain Willie just wanted everybody there to cut his grass.
In a ridiculous time trial, Willie's machine comes out on top, so they take it back to the warehouse. Time to soup it up, give it a little more horsepower. So the guys commence to tearing it apart. Once they're finished, Willie, who showed them all a photo of one of McMillan's racing lawnmowers (which everyone thought was hilarious, because to get the photo, Willie had to "friend" his old nemesis on Facebook), told them that the stripped mower looked nothing like the picture. Then Godwin (one of the Duck Commander employee's) told him that Jimmy Red built racing lawnmowers. Willie, incredulous, wanted to know why he hadn't mentioned that before they'd torn the mower apart to rebuild it. Godwin shrugged and admitted he was just trying to get out of making duck calls for the day.
So the guys show up at the racetrack with a brand new racing mower, where Willie and McMillan mouth off at each other about taking the other down. But Willie sees just how fast the mowers are moving around the dirt track and is confronted with the fact that speed and lack of experience might get him killed. The race begins, with show favorite Mountain Man (he of the subtitles because, like Broomhauer on "King Of The Hill," he is difficult to understand) counting to three by counting "one... two..." and pulling out a handgun and firing it into the air.
Willie is terrible. He's so terrible that several of the guys, including Jase, describe him thusly. In fact, he takes the inside track and starts crawling around the oval, getting lapped repeatedly. Not a good showing.
But things start looking up when McMillan has engine problems and stalls on the track. He finally gets his mower going again but not before Willie has crawled back onto the same lap. McMillan's machine has almost no power, making it a neck-and-neck race for the two rivals to the finish line, where now the race has boiled down to simply beating McMillan and finishing the race.
Willie prevails and the guys get to throw a few catcalls at the obviously irked McMillan.
The secondary storyline (there's always a secondary storyline on "Duck Dynasty") shows patriarch of the clan patriarch, Phil Robertson, set to the task of building his grandchildren (seven girls) a playhouse.
His wife, Mrs. Kay, was cooking (as usual). She was preparing a gumbo and Phil deduced she was only doing it to get him to do something. He was correct, but Phil didn't want anything to do with such manipulations. So he let the little girls play around with the pieces (it was a plastic pre-built variety of playhouse). But the squealing kids finally got on the old redneck's nerves and he sent them away. Breaking out a drill, he began constructing, set on amazing his grandchildren with his "archetectural skills." Not using the directions, it was a two-story screwed-together monstrosity.
The girls weren't too impressed, but when grandpa Phil asked what they needed, they said a window. So he broke out the "redneck's best friend," a chainsaw, and cut a rectangular hole in one of plastic sides of the edifice. Then one of the girls said they should make it into a duck blind.
Music to Phil's ears. The next time we see the girls and the playhouse, it is covered in foliage (apparently as "camouflage") and the girls were dressed in camouflage clothes and face-painted for hunting. Phil said he was going to teach them the "Robertson way," armed them with a bb gun, and told them they would get a dollar for each duck they shot (from a row of decoys he'd set up). After several missed shots, one finally shot a duck. Later, she called him on his deal and he noted, "Just like a woman."
As on all the "Duck Dynasty" shows, the episode ends with the family gathered around the dinner table, Willie narrating a "what we all learned today" commentary. So what did they all learn? Willie quoted a "wise man" as saying you can't always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need. He observed that Phillip McMillan needed to get his "tail whupped." And he learned that he had a need for speed (sort of) and that win or lose, his family and friends were there to support him. And grandfather Phil learned that there was still hope for the redneck future, that he just needed to spend some "quality redneck time" with his grandchildren.
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (the "old wise man") should be pleased to know that their words have given good philosophical guidance...
"Duck Dynasty" airs on AETV on Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m. (EST).
(photo credit: A&E Television, Wikimedia Commons)