Auburn sophomore Paul Reynolds, home on Thanksgiving break, came to the startling realization that his hometown is way shittier than mainstream country songs say it is. In fact, just the drive back into his southern Georgia birthplace showed that it was a poorly-maintained, slowly dying crap-hole compared to the idyllic settings portrayed on the pop-country airwaves.
The old family-owned drugstore where he used to buy candy as a kid was now a payday loan with an ice cream counter. Where there wasn’t a pawn shop or high interest-rate financial scam business, there was a Walgreens or CVS. There were approximately 32 Dollar Generals. There was one Dollar General you could see another Dollar General from. Were there any Cole Swindell verses about Dollar Generals?
Paul drove downtown, where country songs say the square is epicenter of tiny town culture. No teenagers were cruising, but there were about 5 of them in the vape shop that used to be a fancy cigar shop. He heard no bluegrass band playing on the plaza, but there were a couple of gunshots nearby. The beloved old men’s clothing store was now a hip wedding party venue for the private school set. Never heard about that in a Brantley Gilbert song.
Wednesday night, he figured he’d hit up his old high school friends to go out. Unfortunately, his buddy Matt had some sort of Facebook drama with his baby mama and couldn’t risk having his picture taken at the bar that night. Larry wasn’t home because he was in jail for selling pills. He thought about calling Kenneth, but Kenneth had a face tattoo now. Justin Moore never sang about this shit.
Throwing one last Hail Mary in an attempt to capture that throwback vibe of an Aldean tune, Paul went out and sipped a beer on a picnic table at the lake. Many a bonfire party and make-out session had taken place here, but tonight there was only one sketchy dude asking if he wanted to buy some meth. “Kiss my ass, Dustin Lynch” Paul told the confused narcotics dealer, before driving back to his folks’ house, completely sobered up.