Columns LaFayette Sun


The Country Mouse was happier
Meanwhile in Atlanta
Me wheeling out of Auburn gameday traffic

At the Old Folks Hotel a large percentage of the residents were born and raised in the country. That has to be why I like most everyone here. A Country Mouse has a hard time relating to city dwellers. I say Country Mouse because growing up there was a book called “Town Mouse, Country Mouse” and I don’t remember it exactly, but I’m certain the Country Mouse was the happier one.

My grandbrats insist on finding jobs in the city, and it baffles me. They argue that that’s where the jobs are, and since for their whole life I’ve said they better make good grades to find good jobs or else “I’ll knock a knot on you”, I may be responsible. I guess there aren’t many jobs in small towns these days. Mills were the bread and butter of small towns, and in the ‘80s those jobs went overseas. Come to think of it, we let all the jobs LEAVE the country and yet we’re letting all the people IN.

Years ago whenever I rode my bike into Lanett ( something Maxine never approved of in spite of me wearing a neon safety vest and a red blinking light like a parade was coming into town) it always pained me to see the abandoned mill site. It’s a good thing us Southerners like to eat because Johnnys Pizza in downtown West Point kept Main Street alive until others followed. So if you need an excuse to gain 10 pounds, just say you’re helping a small town.

My idea was to write why a small town is a preferable way to live. I have many reasons starting with friendlier people, but all roads led back to me saying the same thing over and over again. NO TRAFFIC.

Because the grandbrats have headed to the city, my daughters drive an unreasonable amount of hours to go visit them. I thought we were all trying to be environmentally friendly, but these city mice are burning up all kinds of gas. One daughter went through Atlanta a few months ago and waited FIVE hours in traffic. There was a wreck, hardly a surprising piece of news if you have ever traveled on I-85, and so many car batteries died that a separate unit swept through with jumper cables to charge everyone back up. I shudder to think what would happen to electric cars. I would say Biden has thought all this through before making mandates on electric vehicles, but we all know Biden isn’t holding thoughts all that well.

I hear it’s a male trait, but I hate traffic just about more than anything in this world. For years my client Dr. Hunt would occasionally give me 4 Auburn football tickets and we would load up the Volkswagen with Maxine and the youngest two and head to the game. The parking began with the exit strategy. I was thinking about leaving before we even got out of the car. I would squeeze the VW Bug into a sliver of a spot next to the Eagle cage (remember the Eagle cage?) and then would announce we were leaving the game midway through the Fourth Quarter. It didn’t matter what the score was, I was not going to be in traffic on the way out. No one protested because a man who has made up his mind is a scary thing. This plan usually worked, and other than having no idea who actually won the game, we were all happy. There was only one time, and this is TOLD to me because I still deny it, that I squeezed through two cars and didn’t make it. SCREECH. It was like a fat lady trying to put on panty hose. My daughter doesn’t remember how we got out of that situation, but let’s just say two cars somewhere have two long scratches on the side of their cars maybe in the color of VW-red.

In 2018, the average U.S. driver spent 97 hours in traffic. Do you know what you can do with 97 hours? Sit on the front porch swing and talk about the simple things in life. Yes I’m a country mouse and proud of it.

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