|An undated file photo showing the early redneck
man on the cliffs at Point 19.
Scientists have identified a man found living at Norris Lake as a possible missing link between cromagnon man and present-day redneck. The man was discovered cooking a rudimentary gar stew on the cliffs at Point 19 by Powell High student Gilberto Graneros, who frequents the cliffs for fishing and swimming activities.
Graneros immediately reported the strange find to a park ranger when he was later pulled over for driving his boat with improper running lights. The park ranger, Bud Tackett, observed the strange humanoid himself before calling in scientists from Oak Ridge National Laboratory. “At first, I thought he might be a freak of nature, you know, irradiated or something, so I called ORNL in case he had simply gotten loose,” Tackett explained.
ORNL authorities would not comment for this story, but they called in anthropologist Dale Burnhardt from the University of Tennessee. Over the course of several months, Burnhardt set up camp and made attempts to befriend the man. Slowly, he gained the man’s trust and they shared many bowls of gar stew while Burnhardt attempted to establish meaningful communication.
Using a roll of duct tape he had found, and various old car and boat parts, the man had developed tools. He had also developed a system of religion, and had created a shrine to his sacred objects, a Number 3 hat and a discarded plastic Skoal can.
Besides gar and other fish, the man ate woodland creatures, including squirrel, rabbit, and possum. He hunted those using stealth and his giant wooden club.
Surprisingly, the man had developed the mullet style haircut on his own, had a dark red neck, and rarely bathed unless he went for a swim in the lake. He also kept a collection of discarded lottery tickets, which he presented to his religious icons as gifts.
“Scientists have long sought after a missing link, that would show us the evolutionary development of present-day redneck from a common ancestor of humans,” explained Burnhardt, “and I was sure I had found him. He had a mullet. He used duct tape. He worshipped the number three. There were simply too many coincidences!”
Those who have observed the man, nick-named Earl, disagree on how he came to be at Norris Lake. Some suspect a wormhole must have brought him forward in time. Others suspect an isolated clan may still live in the area.
Through various tests, it seems the man’s memory is not very good, which scientists agree was probably caused by his fascination with crushing aluminum cans on his head. He remains more or less uncommunicative unless offered a football, so any knowledge must be hypothesized. DNA tests reveal him to be only a few chromosomes short of being homo sapien, but “those few chromosomes make a world of difference,” explained Burnhardt.
One day, anthropologists hope to crack the nut on Earl and find out exactly where he came from and who he is. Until then, he will remain under observation in an undisclosed location.