Duck Dynasty: Bass Man Standing

Posted on April 6, 2013

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Photo Courtesy: A&E Television

Photo Courtesy: A&E Television

When I decided to catch up on Duck Dynasty I wanted to work my way backward, watch the 2nd season later and stay current (blog) on the 3rd as it aired. So I’ve missed some stuff and for that I apologize.

Several personal messages and Facebook comments have corrected me regarding things revealed in season 2 (Uncle Si is a Vietnam vet, the origin of his ever-present tea cup, etc.) so I wanted to explain (warning, I’ll probably make the mistake a few more times as I work my way back).

Bass Man Standing is straight infomercial for DD and a certain outdoor retailer, but danged if those redneck millionaires don’t manage to make it fun and entertaining in spite of the blatant marketing.

The ‘infomercial’ is the main story of this week’s episode, it involves a Duck Dynasty display area, an entire room actually, dedicated to DD at the Bass Pro Shop. Now if you’re not familiar with Bass Pro Shops, it’s Wal-Mart for outdoor-folk. 

Anything you wanna do, hunt, fish, camp, kayak, bicycling, backpacking. You a horse-backer, rock-climber, boat-sailor, boat-racer, skier, skater, runner or rock climber? Bass Pro Shops is your store. So of course, the only Bass Pro Shop in north Louisiana store wants a piece of the Duck Dynasty pie.

The show opens with some great arial video of Monroe. I like that about Duck Dynasty, they don’t try and make the Roberston’s hometown out to be a ‘Mayberry’. A few years ago ESPN shot a season of high school football for a reality show here in West Monroe and all the exterior, the ‘set up’ shots, convey the sense of a Mayberry sized setting, a small American town, with lonely shots of railroad crossings and water towers and cows in pastures and bayous and for God’s sake stop, you’re killing me with the country cliches already.

Now don’t get me wrong, the twin cities of Monroe and West Monroe Louisiana hardly make for a bustling urban metropolis, but they’re not that small. Oh, we are a small town compared to Houston or Nashville, or even a Jackson or Birmingham or Memphis. But the ESPN show was so fake in it’s portrayal of my home. Duck Dynasty doesn’t do that, they show our small southern cities as they are and not as a tiny little burg, population 2,000, as a native I’m appreciative of that.

Now that I’ve said that I’ll tell you something I don’t think they revealed on this weeks show (or if they did I missed it), the Bass Pro Shop Willie and Jase visit, the one getting the Duck Dynasty ‘room’, is about 100 miles from the Duck Dynasty kingdom, it’s in Shreveport. After bragging about the size of my city I must admit, we’re too small, our population isn’t big enough for a Bass Pro Shop franchise. Like a major amusement park or a professional sports team or a TGIFridays, heck – we just got a Hooters 8 years ago.

I actually enjoyed this episode’s subplot more; it involves cute little Ms Kay and for once the Duck Dynasty matriarch isn’t whippin’ something up in the kitchen. In fact, she isn’t in the kitchen at all. Instead, Ms Kay joins two of her grandchildren, John Luke (still say that boy was named after Captain Picard) and Sadie, on a bowling trip. Well, she doesn’t really ‘join’, she forces her way, very sweetly of course, into an invite when the two teens and a few friends go bowling. Mrs Roberston loves bowling we learn, and so in the very next shot we’re inside northeast Louisiana’s only bowling alley, Bayou Bowl in Monroe.

West Monroe had it’s own bowling alley, Western Lanes it was called, but it burnt to the ground a few years ago. Come to think of it, we used to have a bowling alley in Bastrop, one in Ruston too. Note to self: don’t invest in the bowling business. Bayou Bowl is the only one left in northeast La. I worked there, and at Western Lanes too when I was in broadcasting school in the late 80’s.

I not only worked there, I actually got into bowling, I joined a few leagues and even bowled in some tournaments. I remember traveling out of town to bowl, Shreveport, Lake Charles, all around the state, and noting that Monroe and West Monroe’s bowling alleys were the only big alleys (real bowlers call them ‘houses’) without electronic scorers, this was 1987.

When Mrs Kay, Captain Picard Jr, Sadie and their pals arrive at Bayou Bowl in 2013, the place still doesn’t have electronic scorers. They have overhead projector technology, early NASA stuff. But its still fun to hear Mrs Kay make the requisite bowling shoe and ‘What a bunch a balls’ jokes. She also gives the chillen’ romantic advice in between frames- her words of wisdom all boil down to this; don’t do anything remotely romantic till your wedding night.

Back at the Duck Commander warehouse, believe it or not, the guys are almost working. But not making duck calls, instead they’re working as models.

The beards are all decked out as hunter/action heroes for their Bass Pro Shop photo shoot, camouflage, sunglasses and of course, armed to the teeth, Willie even dons a leather vest. They’re trying for Rambo, they’re coming off more Steven Seagal, and not the 80’s Steven Seagal, the modern day, whiskey and cheeseburger bloated and blotchy Steven Seagal.

But its fun, another goofy diversion with my famous bearded neighbors.

According to the TV guide the Duck Dynasty folks are going on vacation soon. Where are these Louisiana Delta multi-millionaires going to get away from it all? A hunting trip to Montana or Alaska, fishing for sharks in Australia, an African safari perhaps? Nope.

Hawaii. That’s right, the beards are going to Hawaii. Redneck surfs up! 

I wish I could got to Hawaii. Or at least visit a TGIFridays… 

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