By RAMON PRESSON
As Tennessee continues to be an attractive state in which to live and work, more and more transplants are losing touch with some of the important news happening in their home state. I’m here to help. Over the last few weeks here are some events you may have missed while you’ve been away. If you missed Parts 1 & 2 in which I shared weird and wacky news from Alabama, Alaska, Pennsylvania, Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Oregon, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, Minnesota, and Tennessee, you can read those here.
If your home state or favorite state didn’t make it into this three-part series it could be because…
a) I was already over my word-count for each column.
b) Your home state is very normal and nothing bizarre ever happens there.
c) The strange people in your state were making news in other states last month while on vacation.
d) You did not send me any financial incentives (bribe is such an ugly word) to give special attention to your home state in my research.
Now on to this week’s altered states and states of confusion.
NEW YORK: Pet cemeteries in New York state could soon be getting a bit more crowded, thanks to a new regulation that makes it legal for pet owners to be buried with their deceased animals. Passing the regulation was a pet project of attorney, Taylor York, who battled the state for three years to allow her uncle to spend the afterlife with his three Maltese four-legged loved ones.
So, starting this month pet graveyards will be allowed to accept the human remains of pet lovers as long as the businesses don’t advertise that option. What, no advertising? Dang, I was already working on some marketing pieces such as… “Let Gramps Slumber Beside His Shih Tzu,” “Pearly Gates & Golden Retrievers,” “Great Moms & Great Danes All Go to Heaven,” and my favorite, “Shar Pei Diem: Together for Eternity.”
SOUTH CAROLINA: A Spartanburg woman this week says a porch pirate probably plucked her pricey package. A FedEx email notice confirmed delivery but when the woman arrived home there was such parcel whose contents were valued at $1000.
I’d love to see a video of the thief in his apartment ripping into the FedEx box and finding … nine live tarantulas. Yep, nine big hairy crawly tarantulas. Spartanburg police currently have no suspects but I suggest that detectives review the list of July 26th EMS calls for heart attacks.
COLORADO: In other animal-related news a black bear in Lyons was caught on security video trying to break into the dumpster of a marijuana dispensary. After a failed attempt to break open the dumpster lid, the resourceful bear is seen standing on his hind legs and pulling the dumpster-on-wheels backwards out of the gate and then down the street. I’d say this cannabis caper gives a whole new meaning to Smokey the Bear.
CALIFORNIA: Speaking of cute cuddly animals, piglets will be replaced by watermelons at the Sonoma County Fair this week. That’s right, the pig scramble has been eliminated due to rising public concerns and protests over animal welfare. In the long-running event at the fair in Santa Rosa, youngsters chased and tried to capture piglets weighing 40 to 60 pounds.
Officials say this year’s event will instead include elementary school children carrying watermelons slicked with vegetable oil around an obstacle course in a timed race.
If this sentiment catches on, I fear that rodeos could become extinct in our lifetime. Calf-roping and bull-riding could be replaced by squash roping and greased pumpkin riding.
And I find it fascinating that Sonoma folks are horrified by the thought of kids trying to catch piglets in August when on Sept. 21 the very same county is hosting a fine swine festival called “Burning Ham.” I’m not kidding, Google it. One of the first lines on the BurningHamSonoma website reads, “In addition to whole pigs being roasted…”
So, let me ask you — if you were a little porker, at which gathering would you rather make an appearance? Huh? And let’s think about the kids for a moment. Would a child be more traumatized by being unable to catch a squealing piglet OR by seeing the roasted carcass of an adult pig being butchered with the head still attached? (Hey folks, I’m just relaying what’s on the website video.)
NEVADA: And speaking of food (I hope someone is appreciating all these smooth segues) a pizza joint in Las Vegas is making lemonade out of lemons, or more accurately pizza toppings of out grasshoppers. This is after Sin City was plagued last week by a massive swarm of grasshoppers, an insect invasion so large it registered as storm clouds on weather radar.
So, Evel Pie pizzeria added The Canyon Hopper to their menu, a pizza whose signature topping is grasshoppers roasted with lime and garlic, reported to be “crunchy like pork rinds.” Grasshoppers that taste like pork rinds. Yum-yum, what more could your taste buds and digestive system ask for? And for only $5.50 a slice it’s your best gamble on the strip. And with pork rinds we’ve made it full circle back to pig products in Sonoma.
Ramon Presson, PhD, is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Franklin (www.ramonpressontherapy.com) and the author of several books. Reach him at [email protected] To read Presson’s previous columns go to www.franklinhomepage.com/?s=ramon+presson