Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Honey Boo Boo

Honey Boo Boo
11 February 2014

The Honey Boo Boo phenomenon is honestly most peculiar.

On paper, it doesn’t really have a lot going for it.  On paper, it’s a simple, regular, everyday American family of six, going about their lives. 

So what’s all the hoopla about?  Why the big fuss?

Well, here’s the thing – they’re not just a simple, regular, everyday American family.  Or are they?  Cause if they’re a cross cut of the simple, regular, everyday American family, then I’d really love to see what the interesting, quirky, different families look like.  Please, please – take me to your people.

Cause this family, though more than likely an accurate depiction of some American families, is rather unique.  Firstly there’s the matriarch – Mama June.  A larger than life woman, who rules her family and her roost, with good ole Southern common sense.  She calls it like it is.  And not very subtly either.  She gets down and dirty with her kids, loves them with a passion and is not adverse to guffawing at them and at herself.  Nothing is PC.  Part of her enduring charm for me, is the never ending guessing game, as to how many chins she really has.  They’re always perpetually moving.  Never still, as her mouth is a very active part of her body – either chewing or talking.  Hence the great chin debate. 

Mama June, is the proud owner of four daughters – and the elder three, have a whole bunch of hillbilly charm working for them.  They are completely without pretences, honest, open, refreshingly down to earth.  They can make one cringe with embarrassment for them, and at the same time laugh at their disarming honesty.  There are no boundaries.  Yet they truly couldn’t give a hillbilly hoot.  This is true of their style of dress, their way of talking, their interests, and the oddities that sprout out of their mouths.  The youngest daughter, number four, is the famous Honey Boo Boo.  Though I believe her name is actually Alana.  She is an extremely precocious child, who speaks her mind, in the same manner that her mother and her sisters do.  They have no filters.  No concept of socially acceptable behaviour – in terms of manners, language, appropriate topics of conversation, etc.  There are no social niceties, no finesse, no particular etiquette to speak of.  For any of them.  Watching an episode in which they go to a local diner, is an education on its own.  It’s amazing how much they can pack away.  Evidently, cutlery is a suggestion, not a necessity and I would imagine that they all would need a shower after a regular meal.  The family shot to fame, through the youngest, little Alana, a.k.a. Honey Boo Boo.  She made quite a name for herself on the child beauty pageant circuit.  And it is amazing to see the transformation from little hellion, to refined lady, when she dons her Honey Boo Boo persona.  Complete with practiced smile, twirls and curtsies, waves, blown kisses, and talent routine practiced down pat.  On the beauty pageant stage, she’s a refined little delight.  Although, to be honest, neither the beauty pageant circuit, nor the coquettishness of the contestants who take part, appeal to me.  They tend to be quite bratty, obsessed with physical beauty only, remarkably shallow, single minded in their determination to win at all costs, exceptionally driven, and blissfully unaware that beauty pageant brilliance is not real life, or a guarantee of future success.  And don’t even get me starting on the kids…

Watching an episode of Honey Boo Boo, is likely to induce many jaw-dropping moments.  Occasional hoots of laughter.  Cringes of embarrassment, as well as a whole host of other emotions thrown in too. 

I don’t watch it regularly.  I promise.  I don’t know what channel it’s on.  When it’s on, or any of the finer detail.  I don’t have the privilege of holding our TV remote very often and so I don’t channel surf very often either.  However, on the odd occasion, I do bump into it, I find it mesmerising.  The same way 99,9% of the world’s population feel about it too.  I find it reduces me to a slack jawed zombie, incapable of doing much, whilst it is on.

It’s kinda like watching an impending train crash, moments before impact.  Part disbelief, part horror.

And bringing up the rear, of the Honey Boo Boo family, is Sugar Bear.  The diminutive, silent husband of Mama June, father of Honey Boo Boo, and stepfather to the other three.  Sugar Bear has a rather impressive under bite, which might be a part of the reason he speaks so little.  Though who can really tell.  He never smiles, shows no emotion and is apparently incapable of any physical facial expression apart from a look of resigned resolve.  For all we know, he actually does have an opinion and a voice, but Mama June doesn’t allow him to air it.  And clearly, if I was in his shoes, I’d knuckle down and toe the line too.  She has an impressive weight advantage over him, and could surely crush him like a little twig.  Chances are, she might even eat him afterwards, as food is rather important to her.  He might make a tasty, if ever so slightly chewy little morsel.

I can’t really tell the other kids apart.  They have a strong family look between them, with a whole bunch of odd names to boot.  One plumpy sister is called Pumpkin, another Chubbs.  One of the sisters’ has had a little baby too.  Can’t imagine she’s older than about fifteen herself.

Family entertainment includes the Redneck Games, mud wrestling, an odd assortment of pets, lots of eating, bickering amongst one another, being outspoken, attempting to instil etiquette into Honey Boo Boo and rehearse her moves and routine before each pageant, even more eating, occasional weight loss attempts, quad biking with friends, country music, hillbilly get-together’s, coupon shopping, trips to the dump with friends to scavenge for other people’s cast-offs, including manky, dirty mattresses, eating take-outs (Mama June does not cook per se), washing their hair in the sink in the kitchen, watching the train that runs through their front yard whizz past, horn and all, to name but a few regular average oddities.

One of my personal favourite places in their home, is the little store room.  It seems to be a small-ish room, with a big table in it.  This is where all homework is done.  The charm of this room, comes from the wrap around floor to ceiling shelves.  Stacked from the floor to the ceiling with coupon goods they’ve accumulated.  Clearly items of personal hygiene are very important to them.  Never in my life have I seen so much toilet paper in any one place, other than a store.  There also appears to be boxes and boxes and boxes of sanitary pads and tampons – they will NEVER run out.  And should a natural disaster, of Katrina proportions, ever reach them, I reckon they’ll be able to soak up a fair amount of water for the whole county, using their loo paper, and various female sanitary items alone.
Some of my other best bits, are Mama June's creative incorporation of road kill into meals.  Hey!  It's free and it's just lying there!  Her obsession with bingo.  And her skill in supplementing the family income, with maintenance checks from the various fathers of her three eldest daughters. They've all got a different dad. Two of whom, are convicted felons, and have spent time in jail.  Peachy!  (Yes, yes - I did end up reading up a bit about the programme, hence some extra facts)

Mama June’s forays into cooking are a culinary delight.  A personal favourite is her “MULTI-MEAL”.  Please note that given Mama June’s honest to goodness Southern twang, it’s pronounced, “Multhaaai-Meal”.  What’s a Multi-Meal, I hear you ask?  Well, it’s easy – you take all of the leftovers in your fridge and cupboards, bang them together and “cook” them in the oven.  Items such as instant mash potato power, left over crisps, bits of chicken, some mince, milk, heap loads of butter, anything tinned (like corn), marranaise (please note that this is in actual fact Mayonnaise), ketchup, cheese, etc.  Chuck it all into an oven dish, mix together (or layer if you’re feeling fancy), and liberally cover with grated cheese, pop in the over for a bit and voila!  Eat your heart out Gordon Ramsay!

They embrace their hillbilly-redneck-ness.  Rejoicing and delighting in it.  Putting it out there for all of the world to see.

And we could most certainly all take a page from their book.  They are who they are.  They make no excuses.  They’re not pretentious, fake or social climbers.  If you look past the bickering, they love one another.  They have a deep appreciation of family and what’s really important in life.  They’re living a good life.  And despite the fame, the fortune, and the thousands of dollars they get per episode, they’re still the same.  Living in the same little house, with the train whizzing past (horn and all), eating their Multhaaai-Meals, doing their couponing, stashing up on loo paper.  Bless them.

Honey Boo Boo Wohooo!!!

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Mama June has coined a few charming Mama-June-isms.  Beautimous is but one of them.  Ain't she just!

The fam-damily.  This might be Sugar Bear's happy face - who can tell.

Mama June and Honey Boo Boo dressed all matchy-matchy for a mom and daughter pageant bit.  So cute!

Not quite sure exactly which big sister this is - my money's on Chubbs

Aaahhh yes!  The homework and store room cave.  Spot the loo paper supply.  Enough for a few years me-thinks!

Honey Boo Boo, pondering the chances of Mama June, eventually eating the family pet pig, sitting on her lap.

Why haven't you heard of Marannaise?  You put it on a sammich.

Mama June and Sugar Bear finally tied the knot.  Not entirely sure what the meaning of the camouflage wedding dress is.  Cause if camo is what she was aiming for, I think the accompanying orange, was a bit of an overkill.

Sugar Bear and Mama June digging in.  Check out the bronze animal "trinket" sharing the table with them.  As centre pieces go, it surely is unique.

Mama June

The coupon/homework room

Honey Boo Boo all dolled up

The family relaxing at home

Honey Boo Boo au natural!

The diminutive Sugar Bear with his rather impressive under-bite

Oh, just wearing a turkey hat for Thanksgiving lunch.  All righty then!

Alana - not dolled up

I'm assuming Kaitlyn is the new baby, belonging to one of the older sisters.  A baby that will apparently enter this world through her sister's moon pie.  Interesting!

Mama June's take on personal grooming

Loo paper anyone?

Sugar Bear and Mama June on their wedding day

To be honest, not her best picture

Honey Boo Boo strutting her pageant stuff

The wedding

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