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.
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
One 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.
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.
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.