Greenville#039;s fire ants are better than Atlanta

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 22, 2000

Ever stepped into a bed of fire ants?


Well, I have, both literally and figuratively.

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And, believe it or not, I found the literal encounter with those poisonous insects much more palatable than the figurative confrontation.

In the first instance the suffering was limited to physical pain and a lingering soreness that eventually vaporized.

However, the other instance produced a trauma that will accompany this earthly body to the cemetery.

What it was, was the belt-line traffic one encounters around the South's leading Everything Headquarters, "Hot-Lanta."

A casual glance (if a relaxed manner could be assumed) at the traffic patterns on the fringes of metropolitan Atlanta would scare your grandpappy slam to death.

It almost did that to yours truly and the reason Nina ain't selecting pallbearers right now is on account of I have a very strong heart.

Folks come at you from all angles around that big city, where six to eight lanes of traffic go in each direction, pell-mell.

The people who drive their vehicles along those super-wide highways for the most part are terminally demented.

If you happen to miss your exitusually on account of some nerd persistently keeping abreast of you at your varying speedsyou might actually end up in the Carolinas or Florida before you have a chance to get yourself righted.

It's not only frustratingit's maddening as well, and the madder you get, the worse off you are.

How in the world those almost three million people in that super-metropole justify living there is one of great conjecture.

Most of them drive to work, generally about a 30-mile jaunt from home, as if they were already a couple of hours late and the boss is looking for their pink slip.

No wonder TV takes up so much time talking about this stressful life and offers so many palliatives to put one at one's tranquil ease.

Man, they can have it, those people who live helter-skelter and at breakneck speed.

Me, get me out of that fire ant hill and send me home to the beautiful Camellia City, where the fire ants simply nibble at your ankles and the work place is a scant three minute drive from home, and folks not only know you but treat you like a human.

Vacationing is great, and you can wager your last copper your correspondent will take the leisurely route next timeseeking out-of-the-way state highways and the quiet life of the countryside.

I don't like fire ant beds, but give me those I find in Greenville and Butler County anytime.

You can have the other kind.