Thursday, January 19, 2006

Rural news report

Today Crazy Neighbor Ed and his son made a bid for the 2006 Darwin Awards. First we watched CNE as he balanced in a tree, chainsawing off the end of the branch his ladder was propped on. [Note to CNE: Physics dictates that when the weight falls away, the branch will rebound!]

Then we watched CNE's son trying to pull out a tree stump, first by tying it to his 4x4, then by tying it to the bumper of a pickup truck. The first time, he did a lot of wheelies. The second time, the top of the stump splintered and the truck jumped forward as all the bystanders scurried out of the way. We had hoped the bumper would just shear off, but this was almost as dramatic.

After dinner, we got the newspaper. The headline read: "Two Heavyweights to Open Near I-20 in Near Future--Home Depot and Wal-Mart."

The site is 10 or 15 miles away, at the Greensboro exit.

How should I feel about this? I hate Wal-Mart. Their employees make crappy wages and get crappy benefits. They squeeze small businesses out of existence by demanding cripplingly low wholesale prices. They kill local businesses. On the other hand, unemployment in our county is sky-high, the majority of the people are living in abject poverty, and the downtowns are already completely deceased. I guess it can't make things worse...right?

Home Depot--well, fine. But their timing stinks. Do you know how many round trips to Athens we could have saved if they'd opened, say, four years ago? ;-)

Never a dull moment!