(MENS JOURNAL) — Way out Jonesboro Road in West Monroe, Louisiana, past all the Baptist churches, past the Jack Fluck realty signs, past the Guns & Gifts store, past the dog playing dead in the middle of the road, you will find Phil Robertson in the ramshackle house where he’s lived with his wife, Miss Kay, for the past 37 years – a born-again, God-loving, God-fearing bayou couple if ever there was one – and maybe his gap-toothed brother, Si, too, and his boys, Willie, Jase, and Jep. One thing is for sure: They’ll mostly all be dressed in full duck-hunting camouflage regalia and wearing headbands to restrain their long, knotted hair but letting their long, freaky beards fly free. All of them will probably have gotten ready for the day the same way Phil has – “There’s not a lot of personal hygiene going on,” he says; specifically, no brushing of the teeth (that being reserved for nighttime), no combing of the hair, no flossing of the teeth, no shower, no face washing, no deodorant – and they will all look slightly dazed and bewildered by the success of their A&E TV show, Duck Dynasty, which is about them, their wives, and their incredibly lucrative duck-call business.
Phil, 67, flips up the footrest on his camo-patterned, extrawide La-Z-Boy recliner, wiggles his toes in the air, tells the rat terrier named Bobo to hush, and says, “We’re trying to infuse a little good into a culture in which gentleness, patience, kindness, self-control, love, joy, and peace have become abnormal.”
Si, 65, is sitting next to him, sipping tea from the blue Tupperware cup his mother sent him while he was serving in Vietnam and that has since become nearly as famous as he has. “Sad,” he says, shaking his head.
“Very sad,” says Phil. “I go out into America and I am literally navigating a minefield. Godliness has become abnormal. I just left California, where I spoke to 40,000 altogether. I told them I was a Bible man. I told them I believe that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth. ‘What’s he trying to say? That I can’t sleep with anybody I want? Is this guy crazy?’ Then they see a little family structure on TV – us – and the show goes ballistic. Thousands and thousands of people have thanked us. Isn’t that right, Si?”