I've been in South Carolina for the last couple of days in my hometown, a small burg that doesn't have any outlet I know of that carries the New York Times. And don't even think about suggesting I go to the nearest Starbucks to get one, because it is forty miles away.
I know I can go to nytimes.com, but I have always been a hard copy newspaper kind of guy, probably because I grew up in a household that took both the local and the state newspapers.
So I've been reading the papers I grew up on this week. The stories are almost the same as they were fifteen years ago when I lived here - small town America crime scenes, new business spotlights, wedding announcements, and civic club events, sprinkled with a few human interest stories and AP News wire reports.
The two stories that tickled me the most this week were the ones about the "police chiefs gone wild" - one police chief was arrested after a bar fight at a bar called "Bubbba's", and another police chief is being sued because he tasered a satellite dish contractor when they got into a dispute over the bill for some work the contractor provided to the police department.
You can't make stuff up this funny.
I wasn't surprised in the least - growing up, all I heard about was how the sherriffs in a lot of South Carolina's smaller counties often worked both sides of the street, upholding the law by day and running their own illegal operations - gambling, strip clubs - unencumbered by any fear of being caught.
There is nothing like going home for a few days to make me realize why I don't have a lot of nostalgia for my home state. I love my hometown, but there are a lot of things about a lot of the rest of the state that I'd just as soon forget.
Off to grandmother's house we go.