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New Kid On Block Scolds His Neighbors

I’ve been in North Carolina for a year and figured when I learned how to spell “Chattanooga” I’d be enough of an expert to lecture locals on how to improve things for me.

Being from California is like being from the future. Everything that debuts in the Golden State eventually trickles down to places like Cleveland and Brooklyn and Chattanooga. It’s how progress progresses. 

Let me be the leader North Carolina has been waiting for.

FIRST, CHIGGERS: The lousy chiggers gotta go. If California was able to get rid of its Golden Bear, and in just a few months’ time banish the Oakland Raiders, the A’s and the Warriors, how hard could it be to eliminate chiggers? 

Pass laws against ‘em. Put a bounty on ‘em. Buy up all world reserves of DDT and spread it an inch thick across the state.

For those who don’t know, chiggers are tiny little insects, and when we talk “tiny” I mean no bigger than Congressman George Santos’s conscience or Joe Biden’s frontal lobe. 

You cannot see a chigger, but you can feel one. Or 8000 of them. Might take 36 hours or so but you will surely feel them after having walked in wet grass for 15 seconds last Tuesday. You’ll feel chiggers in your ankles first, then you’ll feel chiggers all night long when you aren’t sleeping. 

I’ve tried everything short of soaking my ankles in gasoline and setting them afire, but I’m afraid my insurance agent would find out and set fire to the rest of me. 

How about this: How about Hot new cuisine trends featuring chiggers? Chiggers in Sweet ’n’Spicy Mango sauce! Chiggers sprinkled on popcorn! “Hollywood Stars swear by Chiggers—the next Super Food!”

Or make chiggers illegal and create a Black Market for smuggled snortable Australian chiggers. 

In California they were able to market kale, of all things, and people actually started eating the stuff. Chiggers couldn’t possibly be that big a stretch.

California was once overrun with stringy-haired unemployed hippies and they managed to get rid of them in less than a generation. Now the only hippies you see look sort of like the homeless, a social problem so profitable California refuses to solve it. Chiggers will be easier.

DOGS: Most people (approximately everyone) here in Las Carolinas treat dogs like they do in Ukiah and Beverly Hills, which means they treat dogs better than they treat their nephews or spouses.

And here in the Carolinas most dogs are treated as royalty. Vast majority. 

But there are people in these parts who obviously hate dogs, although why anyone would get a dog if he couldn’t stand canines is probably beyond the wisdom even of psychiatrists and Ukiahans. 

But they do. And to prove they hate the dog they just brought home they fasten him with a short chain to a metal pole in the backyard, then go to Florida for three weeks.

Or maybe only two. Meanwhile the poor dog stands there wondering what he did wrong to force him to leave his nice warm kennel at the animal shelter and taken out to a vacant lot to stand around in his own excrement mixed in mud. It sure does rain down here.

Those are the lucky ones. The less fortunate dogs also have a cyclone fence around the dog and his pole, and it’s enough to make a dog bark. I would too. 

Listening to a lonely dog bark in the rain at 3 a.m. is one of the saddest sounds on the planet. I’d rather have my nostrils stuffed with chiggers.

I bet a lot of canines spend their days in solitary confinement figuring out a way to hook their collar over a fence post to commit dogicide.

HOMELESS: They must be doing something right down NorCaro way because I have yet to see my first homeless person, nor have I spotted a shopping cart more than 100 feet from the grocery store.

You’d think Ukiah’s Homeless Czarina Camille Schrader, or curious city and county administrators, might visit to see how this miracle is accomplished. But of course they already have the Marbut Homeless Report to ignore, and why spend time and energy learning solutions to problems they don’t want to solve?

Consistent with the homeless non-problems, there continues to be no local evidence of vandalism, graffiti or a gang presence here 20 miles south of Charlotte. Or is it Chattanooga? 

And if your little brain is automatically wondering about minorities, most all are present here in significant numbers. 

These crazy social problems are not everywhere, and local leaders have done an excellent job creating and helping them flourish in Ukiah and Mendocino County. 

Give them raises and a big parade!


  1. Laura Cooskey May 30, 2023

    Thank you for a report with varied subjects, all of interest.
    1. Chiggers. People who live in chigger areas tell me SSS (Skin So Soft) lotion is the secret. It’s not meant to be a bug repellent, but apparently, the chiggers don’t like the smell. Wait– maybe it was no-see-‘ums that it worked for! Or maybe chiggers ARE no-see-‘ums! Might be worth a try.
    2. The dog tie-up people. I would bust them so quickly. They totally suck. You can’t really talk to them first, or they’ll know you’re the one who ratted them out to animal control, then they might come burn down your house or cut your tires. Then again, if they take the dog away to the shelter and it finds a new home, or sits there for months then gets euthanized, is that any better? I don’t know. It’s a horrible situation. Education must be the key. Make videos about how sentient and loving dogs are (or how they can be trained to bring you a beer, etc.), and make sure the kids see them. In a decade or two, maybe things will change.
    3. Lack of homeless people. I’ve seen it in other places, too! It’s something that a typical West Coast liberal will never believe. Or they will assume that the rednecks are simply lynching the homeless and throwing them into shallow (mass) graves. I think there’s more to it than that. You might try talking with some people, both regular people/friends and some people in local gov’t, to see if they have a take on what they’re doing that’s working. Then let us know what you learn. If you please!
    Thanks for writing.

  2. Joseph Turri May 30, 2023

    I think you may have solved the homeless problem……
    Chiggers. :)

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