10 Things I Hate About Charleston


Charleston, South Carolina is my home and I love living here. Recently, Charleston has gained a lot of national exposure for good reason. It has a lot of wonderful characteristics and features; and they have been covered and covered and covered by blogs, TV shows, travel websites, cooking magazines and TMZ every time Oprah comes here to shop. My purpose is not to counter those arguments because I agree with them. But here are a few things I hate about Charleston.

1. Palmetto Bugs

Have you ever heard the phrase, “lipstick on a pig”? Well, this is putting a nice hat on a roach. According to the Orkin Man, there is no entomological difference between an American cockroach and a “palmetto bug.” But proud Charlestonians don’t want to admit that the city is teaming with roaches, so they changed the name to something charming. Frankly, a more apt description of a palmetto bug for me would be the guys hocking those palm frond roses everywhere you turn.

2. Bad Food

Huh? Yeah. Charleston is home to some of the best restaurants in the country. But there are a lot of restaurants that slide by on those coattails. Here is a simple test to tell if you’re in a bad restaurant or not: ask them where they get their shrimp. If the waiter doesn’t know, then it is imported frozen crap; run for your life. I don’t need to know what dock it came off of but at least fool me into thinking it’s local. If they don’t do that they aren’t trying. And, if you find yourself waiting in a huge line on Meeting St. to get into a place serving fried seafood, you’re better off licking the gum stuck to the lamp poles around town.

3. The song “Wagon Wheel”


First of all, quit pretending the “Carolina” reference in the song is about SC. It’s about North Carolina, and not the good part of that state, either. It’s about Raleigh.  I guess I’ll forgive Darius Rucker, but please, bands, stop covering this song. Bob Dylan wrote most of it and hated it. He never recorded it except for a demo, which of course some turd found and released. Yeah, that’s right, your hero hates that song and so should you. Look it up.

4. People complaining about tourists.

I live in the ghetto…well, not really but it’s close, and I never see tourists. I frequent bars on “upper King.” They may be creeping down, but there aren’t many tourists around there either. Most of the population of Charleston lives off the peninsula. The people who live in Mt. Pleasant and “Avondale” (ha) think their surroundings are special, but not many tourists care to see the local drunks at “The Roost.” Most tourists in this city are concentrated in the King St. shopping district, the Market, the Battery and the beaches. Yes, they can be annoying but tourists in Charleston spent roughly $16.4 billion last year, get over it. And if you live in a giant house on the battery that’s 200 years old people are going to come look at it. So either shoot them or move.

5. “Sustainable” Food Chefs

I think this is a fine philosophy, but please stop telling me about it. It’s stated on their menus, they tattoo it on their arms; they get on the Food Network and announce it like they’re some patron saint of parsley grown in a pot in their apartment.  I’m in favor of sustainability, especially when it comes to seafood, but enough already. I think Sean Brock weaves his napkins from the wool of some sheep he sleeps with. I mean keeps. Cook good food and get stuff local when you can, but cook good food. I’ll eat it. That’s the point, right?

6. Dog Shit on Sidewalks

Jerry Seinfeld said that if aliens are watching us pick up dog crap, they probably think the dogs are the superior beings. I agree, which is one of the reasons I don’t have a dog. You have to be a real slob to let your dog booger the sidewalk and just keep walking. First of all, how stupid is your dog? Secondly, bruh, we’re trying to have a society here.

7. Cyclists

Just stop. Obey the traffic laws and I’ll do my best to not plow over you with my car. Thank you for your cooperation.

8. Carriage Tours

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the reasons we moved so strongly towards the car when they came out is horse ass. It is terrible. This is a tourist thing and frankly I don’t mind the business. But I think the horses are treated poorly, especially when it is hot, and I get tired of smelling them and what they produce; a product Richard Pryor explained, “flies won’t even mess with.” Can’t these tourists waddling off cruise ships take a walking tour instead? Personally, I’d prefer a nice stroll over sitting on a wooden bench being hauled by a smelly horse while some goober drama student shouts “facts” at me.  But that’s a matter of taste, I guess.

9. Shark Attacks


I went fishing on Sullivan’s island one day and caught a sand shark, probably two feet long. I unhooked it and let it go. Some nosey woman walking on the beach saw me do this and asked in a whiney accent, “why’d you put that back”? I said, “Because he lives there, you dolt.” Sharks are plentiful off the coast of Charleston and we should be very thankful for that. Even though we do not belong in the ocean, humans, including me, love to swim in it while pretending there’s no risk. Well, I hate to tell you, but scientists say that typically you are no more than 50 feet from a shark at all times while swimming in the surf. I think this year there were three shark attacks on Charleston’s coast. What I hate is the panic that ensues. It’s similar to being outraged because a kid got hit by a car while playing tiddlywinks in the middle of I-26. Actually, the odds of a shark attack are much less, but I think you get the analogy. I do know they never happen on the beach; so if you are afraid of them, stay there.

10. Halloween

This may be in general because Charleston’s tradition isn’t as huge as Chapel Hill’s or where ever else it’s a big deal. I really don’t hate the holiday at all; I hate people expecting me to dress up. I don’t want to, please get over that fact. Every year I go out on Halloween as me and people stare like I just whizzed on their birthday cake. Have your fun, enjoy and don’t let my lack of enthusiasm ruin your day. In fact, while on the subject of dressing up, can we agree to stop all theme parties? The only theme anyone cares about at a party is drinking, so let’s concentrate on that and stop requiring anything else.

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I think I can live with these things, how about you? If you think I left something out please say so in the comments below. If you think I’m a jerk and should shut up you can tell me that too.


59 thoughts on “10 Things I Hate About Charleston”

  1. You have a really nice oak tree 🙂 I have seen the white squirrels. My sister lives on Sullivan’s Island, and yes I was a tourist riding in a carriage, but my three year old granddaughter really enjoyed it.


  2. Tourist towns all have similar complaints. Can’t live with’em, can’t afford not to.

    Most tourist buggy horses are horribly treated. Not all, but far too many. I love horses and would just as soon NOT see them hauling wagons full of tourists in the blazing August heat.

    Now, about bicyclists. I don’t know about yours, but our local ones have An Attitude. They clearly feel superior to anyone in a car. Mind you 99.9% of those cyclists also own cars. And drive them, but when they’re on the bike? They are better than us. Better than traffic laws. Morally superior. I used to ride bikes. And horses. I hope I wasn’t like that. I think I was more terrified than superior. I was expecting to get run over and peddling like mad to avoid it.

    Ah, palmetto bugs. We had them in Israel. Giant flying cockroaches. They caused me something akin to heart failure several times. Only the scorpions produced more hysterical panic, but with better cause.


  3. Hey Thomas – gripping stuff! I appreciate #9 especially and chuckled at the sign… How on earth did they derive the formula that stipulates watersports are not recommended for three days after the alleged attack? Fabulous! Tight lines and best regards – metiefly


  4. Love number 7 – concise and very much to the point. But I am married to a cyclist who got knocked down by a bus while wheeling his bike across the road on a green man. Irate, he knocked on the door and when the driver opened he asked ‘why didn’t you stop at the red light?’ and she replied ‘because it wasn’t safe to do so.’
    He was speechless. Fortunately only his bike was hurt, not him.

    Thanks for following my blog. I can see we have a similar grumpy streak.



  5. I’m one of those tourists who comes to Charleston about once a year and I thought this was hilarious. In fairness, we’re there so often because my husband has family there (one branch of which is named Cochran so there may be some distant by marriage relationship here ….) Thanks for liking my blog and for the funny post. It’s now about to be circulated to the rest of the family.


  6. I commented before, so I’ll keep this brief.

    Thanks for following my blog. I will be following yours as well as I find your humor hilarious.

    Best regards,


  7. I lived in Charleston for a short while and have many relatives there. It’s actually a charming city with all it’s history…no , I won’t be going back 🙂


  8. Thank you for deciding to follow my blog. I hope you won’t be disappointed. You found me on an un-kindhearted day and probably thought we’re kindred spirits. You’d be wrong. Most of the time I try to project love for fellow man, warmth and nostalgia. With a few wry smiles. Also I could be your grandmother (although I would prefer a granddaughter). Nonetheless, I will keep a kindly understanding eye on you. You get 100% on grammar, vocabulary, punctuation, and that counts for a lot with me. Bottom line: I’m in for a follow, too. 🙂 🙂 🙂


  9. Thanks for stopping by my Evolution Made Easier blog and deciding to follow. I always appreciate when someone takes the time to do that, plus it helps direct me to what they’re involved in, like this entertaining, informative post of yours about Charleston. A very good read!


  10. This is a unique take on a beautiful city like Charleston. All I ever hear is good reviews. And I must admit when I went to Charleston, I thought the food was a bit overrated but I wont call out the restaurant lol. I never thought of those things and it’s only something a local could know. I think more people should expose the secrets in their cities. Eye-opening! Also thanks for the follow.


  11. I go to charleston, SC for work a lot. I have liked my times down there and met some kind, dedicated people. I do have to agree on the restaurant take. I was actually arguing that with someone lately. There are good restaurants there but there are some that are not so much (but won’t admit it). I look forward to checking out the “upper king” area


  12. Found you through your very generous “like” of my post today. I was in Charlotte in early Dec. ’13 and blogged about it. Ashamed to say it doesn’t come close to this post. So funny, such great insights, I wish I had read it before visiting as a, yes, tourist. Love this!


  13. Thanks for following me.

    Had to laugh at this post. I am in the Myrtle Beach area. The worst part is there are so many of them and NONE of them know where they’re going, so they’re a menace on the roads.


  14. i think charleston is terrible. i was born here and have occupied here most of my life. i do not say i live here. i live where i travel to. living in charleston is just surviving at best. i know there are worse places to be- and that is what makes me feel less bad about it. if you do not have a certain last name or hang around others with certain last names in this city- it makes no difference that you were born here and have been putting up with all the stupid til just this morning- u do not count. that is not hospitable- and that is downtown charleston in a nutshell. i cannot afford to move because i have family members based here that really cannot move and rely on me for care. …off to more travels…


  15. This was a riot! I love Charleston. But, yeah, I only visited… Oh, the palmetto bugs! That’s what they have in south FL; up here in the Panhandle, we have roaches. Yeah, we don’t put on the Ritz up here. 🙂 Thanks for the follow, Tom. I can’t wait to read more of your blog ’cause your byline cracks me up.


  16. I lived in Charleston for 11 years back in the mid-90s to mid-aughts. Everything you say is pretty much, true, especially about avoiding that long line for the downtown seafood joint…kind of surprised that Spoleto or Wild Life Expo didn’t make it on the list. They should have a Local Wild Life Expo each year that focuses on nothing but the palmetto bug. Palmetto bug paintings, palmetto bug stuffed animals, palmetto bug posters. The state flag should have a palmetto bug jumping off that palmetto tree, towards the moon. Anyway, enjoyed the post, a year after you wrote it, proving the durable goodness of the whole blogging model.


  17. Ha ha-the comment about dog poop on the sidewalks cracked me up! People around here take their dogs for a walk, and let them crap in our yard. Also, my wife’s dog takes a dump in our backyard and I hit the piles with the lawn mower! Thanks for following my blog!


  18. Love the insights, and thanks for dropping by. Must reciprocate with my worst hates of the Lake District – I live on the outskirts of this beautiful UK national park. No Palmetto bugs, only midges.


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