GQ's Pensive Pouts Have Nothing Over on Bubba's Overalls

by Dennis Rogers

Guys, let's talk hip.

Serious male hipness. Hip, like in Gentleman's Quarterly. Of course if you're a really hip kind of guy, you call it GQ.

This is a magazine that features male models wearing greasy hair combed straight back so the comb marks show, sports coats with the sleeves pushed up, and pensive looks. I'd look pensive, too, if I'd just dropped $350 on a shirt that needs ironing.

In its most recent issue, which I swear on the grave of Hank Williams is the first one I ever bought, there is an article titled "99 things every 30-year-old must know."

It says, for instance, that by the time you are 30, you guys should: have bailed a buddy out of jail, have been to a half a dozen major league ball parks, have had your heart broken, have had a one night stand you're ashamed of, be able to politely say no to a woman, have thrown out your Aqua Velva, have given up air guitar, have said something to a boss and lover that you'll regret for the rest of your life, have all your posters in frames, own socks in colors other than blue, brown and black, and have spent one night in either jail, a bordello, a monastery, a youth hostel or a Motel 6.

It is stuff like that that makes you hip, GQ says.

But this is not hip. This is pretending to be hip. Real Hip is Country Hip. Real Hip is knowing that Hank Williams Jr.'s mamma's name was Miss Audrey and being able to sink a two-rail pool shot the long way. Real Hip is Bubba Hip.

It takes a different set of skills and experiences to be Bubba Hip. While GQ insists that to be hip you must own a tuxedo, Bubba says you must own at least one pair of bibbed overalls that you wear without a shirt.

GQ says you should own a power drill by age 30. Bubba says make that a chain saw and not one of those dinky suburban ones either, but a full throttle monster that can cut through a Plymouth.

GQ says 30-year-olds should have had six nights that you could not remember the day after. Bubba says you should wake up at least six mornings and not remember where you left your pickup or the name of the street where you are.

GQ says you should know how to pronounce "Chassagne-Montrachet and when to drink it." Bubba says you should know how to pronounce "chitterlings" and have the guts not to eat them when those around you are making fools of themselves.

GQ says you should know which is worth more, a flush or a straight, and why. Bubba says if you don't know, you are welcome to play poker with him any time.

GQ says that you should own a hat that is not a ski, baseball or cowboy hat. Bubba says why?

GQ says you should be able to carve a turkey by the time you are 30. Bubba says that you should never carve a turkey that you didn't shoot, either in the woods or at the rescue squad's annual fund-raising turkey shoot.

GQ says you should "have used a good one-liner if perchance, God forbid, by some quirk of fate occasionally you were unable to perform sexually." Bubba has no idea what they're talking about.

GQ says you should have had "an adult sports experience that equals in glory a childhood sports experience." Bubba adds that it should involve shotguns, pool cues or a bored and stroked '66 GTO.

GQ says you must have one restaurant where you are known and still welcome. Bubba says you must have one tavern where you are known -- and not welcome.

GQ says you should be able to pick a ripe cantaloupe. Bubba says you should be able to grow a ripe cantaloupe.

GQ says you should, by the time you are 30, have skinny dipped with someone worth bragging about. Bubba says you should never swim nekkid with a lady then brag about it.

GQ says you should be able to speak a foreign language by the time you are 30. Bubba says that speaking English is tough enough for him by 11:30 on Saturday night.

GQ says you should be able to hum the entire score of "Guys and Dolls." Bubba says you should be able to complete the following country music lyric: "I was drunk the day my mama got out of prison . . ."

GQ says you should have worn an earring by the time you're 30. Bubba says he thinks he understands the problem with GQ hip.