Category: Atlanta

Georgia Is Not The Pear State

Bradford Pear blossom pictureGeorgia is the Peach State. That is what all the license tags say, and we need to pay attention to our tradition.

Atlanta, we have a problem, and that problem is the Bradford Pear tree. This flowering perennial, once thought to be the perfect flowering tree, has become the scourge of the home owner. They flower early in the spring, and herald the start of the allergy season. The weather channel is forecasting tree pollen levels in the HIGH category this week, and the misery is starting.

Native to Korea and China, the Bradford Pear tree was introduced into the United States in the early twentieth century. It wasn’t until about 1963 that the USDA recommended the Bradford Pear for commercial and residential use. Things have gone downhill ever since.

Even though the Bradford Pear is considered a mild allergen, I have seen grown men break into tears when coming within a hundred feet of one of those overgrown bushes. Not since the introduction of Kudzu into our ecology have we been attacked so successfully by Asian nations.

With the blooming of the Bradford, men dressed in camo-clothes talk about dynamite and chain saws in the same breath. Women pushing strollers will go to the other side of the street to mitigate the nasal damage wrought by those decorative perennials. Neighbors plot late night tree-poisoning sorties against those who harbor those plant terrorists.

We need to get rid of those Asian pests, and find another flowering tree that is less obnoxious. How about the Japanese Cherry Tree?

It all makes me weep.

Where Did All The People Go?

My current job is something like, “Driving Miss Daisy”. Whenever my wife has a problem, or just doesn’t want to drive, I am drafted to do the job.

Last week, my wife had been ordered to show up in the county superior court for jury duty. In Atlanta  this involved driving to downtown and finding a parking place before eight o’clock in the morning. In my semi-retirement years I consider this to be too damned early.
On the morning is question, the suspects (us) loaded into the family sedan, hooked by McDonalds for a couple of Egg McMuffins, and proceeded southwards towards the big city. We were immediately struck by the fact that there was hardly ANY traffic. At 6:30 on a weekday morning, this was highly unusual. 
It was not a holiday, nor a day next to a weekend. This was a Thursday morning and all government agencies and banks would be open. There was almost NO TRAFFIC!
“What could be going on?”, I thought. Where are all the people? 
Then, it struck me. I looked at my lovely wife and said, “Did we miss the RAPTURE?”. 
My wife has learned to listen to me, only on occasion. The look in her eyes told me that she was considering whether this was that rare occasion when I deserved a reply. Wives are like that.
As we approached a primary traffic artery, I saw a significant stream of traffic coming our way, headed to downtown Atlanta. I said, “Who are all these people?”.
My better half, in  the spirit of the moment replied, “It’s those Godless people from Cobb County”.
You have to understand about Cobb County. Those Godless Cobbites run rough shod over our roads, causing horrible traffic jams, to get to work in a metropolitan area in which they have steadfastly refused to participate in the regional transit system. It is easy to see that most of them will not be included in the Rapture.
I live for meaningful moments like this. It satisfies me a great deal to know that I married a woman who can think like me.