The “Bubba” is a creature of the American South, often misunderstood by those not from the region. I’ve known a half-dozen people whose preferred name was “Bubba,” and it’s been used as a term of endearment for older brothers since time immemorial. It’s fitting, then, that there’s a National Bubba Day to commemorate this.
The classic Bubba is best embodied by Cooter from The Dukes of Hazzard. He’s loyal, friendly, and handy with a car engine. He wears a baseball cap at all times, doesn’t shave on a regular basis and yet never fully commits to growing a beard. Do NOT, however, confuse him with:
Larry the Cable Guy is not a Bubba, in the same way Keanu Reeves is not an actor and anything Kardashian is not a human being. Larry is a faux Bubba: he takes the image and accoutrements of this noble Southern archetype and uses them for his own money-grubbing ends. He even had the temerity to replace the late Jim Varney, a man with true Bubba in his soul, in Cars 2. [NOTE: as K.C. points out in the comments below, LtCG voiced Mater in both Cars films; Jim Varney voiced Slinky the Dog in Toy Story 1 and 2, and was replaced by Blake Clark for Toy Story 3. Apparently I got my Pixars crossed. Still, I stand by my opinion of LtCG’s cultural legitimacy.] So avoid this pandering phony (he’s from Nebraska, after all) at all costs.
However, this is a real Bubba:
In fact, this is a Bubba on multiple levels. Buford Pusser was a real man, one of my Giants of West Tennessee, and he’s portrayed here by Joe Don Baker, a Texan who definitely has a full quota of Bubba in him.
I can’t think of a better way to celebrate National Bubba Day than with a trilogy of films about this quintessential Bubba. So I’m giving away my DVD copies of Walking Tall, Part 2 Walking Tall and Walking Tall: The Final Chapter, along with signed copies of my novels The Girls with Games of Blood, which features a Pusser-esque Bubba character, and Wisp of a Thing, my latest Tufa story.
Just leave a comment here on my blog about your favorite Bubba (you know you have one) sometime before midnight on Sunday, June 9, to be entered for a chance to win.
And happy Bubba day to all the Bubbas!