BENTON, ARK. — Saline County sheriffs have arrested the parents of a 12-year-old boy who was abandoned after he allegedly failed a “How Redneck are You?” quiz on Facebook.
Gus and Jennie McGraff were taken into custody on Monday after their son, Gus Jr., was found wandering along the side of Highway I-30 just outside of Benton. The boy was able to offer detailed descriptions of the rust patterns and Jeff Foxworthy bumper stickers on the family’s pickup truck, allowing authorities to eventually detain the couple after stopping a dozen similar vehicles in the area.
Gus Sr. initially denied that he had intentionally left his son, insisting that the child had simply fallen out of the bed of the truck when Jennie had swerved to run over an opossum. Facing possible charges of child endangerment and animal cruelty for his wife, the 46-year-old Benton native later admitted that he meant to leave Gus Jr. behind.
“That brat is no son of mine,” Gus Sr. said. “I had him answer them there Facebook questions about how redneck he is and it said zero percents. Told us he’s actually a yankee from Ohio. And to think I was gonna get him a Confederate flag tattoo for his next birthday!”
Jennie was no more sympathetic for her son, saying she’d suspected Gus Jr. had “yank blood in him” for some time now.
“I always thought our baby got mixmatched with some city-slickin’ tourists’ kid back when he was a 2-year-old,” she said. “When you pull them out of the mud at the county demolition derby, they all look alike. Yesterday when he told Facebook that he’d rather drink water than sweet tea, my ‘spicions were affirmed.”
Benton Police Chief Doug Haskens said Ancestry.com has confirmed that Gus Jr. is, in fact, an Arkansan.
“This is just the latest in a string of Facebook-quiz-related abandonments in this state,” Haskens said. “People think they’re scientific ways of determining if their child is southern, but there are some flaws. A responsible parent will love regardless of which side the kid will likely take when the South rises again.”