The folks in Bremen, Georgia will never forget 1979, the year the Weathington Boys came to town. The twin, sweet-looking seven-year-olds Nathan and Brian, take up residence with their parents in the Southern hamlet. Their father was the local high school’s football coach (in the South, practicality a priestly position) and their mother believed, apparently, that her boys could do no wrong.
The Weathington mini-scofflaws and their pals quickly learned how to put the freedom of a long, hot summer to good use. And so begins, “Where the Hell Were Your Parents?” by Nathan Weathington
Together, the Weathington Boys, tested the local limits of propriety and patience. The stories of their practical jokes are still repeated almost thirty years later in the author’s hometown as gospel truth. Plastic snakes and firecrackers quickly gave way to more outlandish and daring means of raining chaos with their ‘high stakes’ practical jokes. What would begin as a practical joke would have to be upgraded to the next level, as each new prank bore the responsibility of out-demolishing the previous one. Ah, this is definitely good ol’ boy humor. Indeed, the reader will only need to flip to page 58 to find a recipe for making a serviceable grenade from shotgun shells. And, fast-forward if you dare, to page 141 for directions into concocting the ultimate “sh*t bomb,” complete with authoritative help on selecting the proper level of viscosity for maximum effect. Mayhem and madness of epic proportions would ensue whenever Nathan and Brian, along with their partner-in-crime, Ray “Corndog” Womack, the kid who would drive the getaway car, would decide that things in the small town needed stirring up. If a TV show were to be made about these clever and delinquent boys, it would be a mash-up of “The Red Green Show,” “Mythbusters,” and “Dukes of Hazzard.”
These outlandish hijinks are told by the author with stand-up candor, great witty humor and at least a tongue-in-cheek sense of self-deprecation. The scenes in which he, his brother Brian, and Corndog played out their ‘feral’ youth pranks have a palpable, you-are-there believability that will have you guffawing as you shake your head and wonder.
And, yes, the author, Nathan Weathington swears the stories are the genuine original truth. You just can’t make some of this stuff up. When he would tell his wife about one of the infamous pranks, she would consistently ask him (and I quote the author), “Where the hell were your parents?” It is a question that he gets asked repeatedly by more folks than just his wife, hence the title of this hilarious work (as long as you weren’t on the receiving end of the pranks).
Somehow, the boys did not end up in the county jail. Nathan graduated from Auburn with a Civil Engineering degree and a M.B.A. from Victoria University, B.C. Now the father of two young boys, Nathan also addresses another subject that he now takes as seriously as the pranks he used to pull back in the day: parenting. Embracing the nature versus nurture debate, he favors the former, as its laid-back parenting style being more in harmony with his “let ’em go out, get some cuts and bruises and learn about life” upbringing. As such, he is openly contemptuous of the current trend toward ‘helicopter parents’ who smother their offspring.
In this book, his first, Nathan Weathington makes a good case for himself as a published writer and exceptional humorist, and I find most of his outspoken observations to be both substantive and relevant to the times. I’ll thank him now for some of the most gut-wrenchingly painful laughs I’ve ever had.