Earlier this week, Hurricane Irene had Charleston in her sights. Local residents began planning their evacuation routes, checking their food supplies, and preparing for the worst. As of this morning, the National Hurricane Center predicts the eye of the storm will move up the coast to the Outerbanks, coastal Virginia, and eventually die out in the upper Eastern seaboard. While 99.92% of Charleston residents are thrilled to be spared the wrath of Mother Nature, we found the .08% that were not so happy.
Frank Bucci, owner of Lowcountry Hurricane Repair, was banking on some help from Mother Nature this year. His company had just bought a wet-dry vac, two mops, and a shovel in anticipation of Irene. “All that money on new equipment and Irene is a no-go for Charleston. Fingers crossed my other business, Lowcountry Snow Removal, has a good winter.” stated Mr. Bucci.
Bennett McAllister of Johns Island said, “When it comes to hurricanes, it’s all about the Benjamins (street term for $100 bills). Ya see, I’m what you call a ‘Crisis Based Entrepreneur’. This $170 chainsaw I bought yesterday would’ve sold for $600 next week, but Irene screwed me over. I was gonna buy me a new plasma TV, rims for my ride, and an iPhone, but that ain’t gonna happen now. “
The Kilpatrick family of Ladson is upset because their current residence needs to be replaced and they were hoping Irene would help. “Mamma K” responded, “Our home is old and tired and we had our dreams on one of those FEMA trailers but Irene decided to crush our dreams and go somewhere else.”
Charleston’s acclaimed 19th century architect Gabriel Manigault is credited with some of our most treasured historical buildings; the Joseph Manigault House, The William Blacklock House, and of course his crowning achievement, Charleston’s City Hall (circa 1801). 19th century architecture insiders are claiming that Gabriel Manigault would be very intrigued by the latest addition to his masterpiece, two 35 foot waterslides leading from the front stoop of City Hall down to Broad Street.
Joseph P. Riley, Charleston’s long standing mayor (since 1975), is considered by many to be responsible for countless local preservation efforts and as well as this Southern town’s ultimate visionary. His recent vision obviously included a whimsical amusement ride that would help him beat the summer heat.
We tried to catch up with Mayor Riley during yesterday’s inaugural launch of the new amusement, but he was too caught up in the moment to make a statement. During his lunch break, the Mayor made 47 trips down the slide, undoubtedly having a wonderful time with his new recreational amenity. Refusing to talk with reporters, all we could hear were the sounds of running water, shrieks of laughter, and the Mayor repeatedly shouting, “Weeeeeeee, just havin’ fun!!!”.
City Hall’s new amusement ride is currently available to only the Mayor but there are rumored discussions about opening it up to locals and visitors next summer.
The Bulldog Buzz unveiled court documents regarding a recent lawsuit filed by a tourist against Mother Nature. The visitor, Angie Martin of Franklin, TN, claims Mother Nature ruined her visit to Charleston. Ms. Martin nor her attorney returned our phone calls.
Mother Nature’s spokesperson Bill Sharp, out of their Washington DC office, commented, “We are very sorry Ms. Martin was unhappy with her experience in Charleston. We try to provide a variety of weather conditions but it’s impossible to please everybody all the time. And FYI, tell the folks down there in ‘Our Favorite City” that there’s no need to sweat hurricane season this year. With the economy in such bad shape, our storm budget is shot all to hell and we just don’t have the resources to make it happen this year. We know how y’all love to throw those ‘Hurricane Parties’ but you’ll just have to come up with another reason for a social event this September.”
People Against Working Animals (PAWA) has unveiled plans to start their own carriage tour company in Charleston. After years of battling local tourism regulations that allow horse drawn carriage tours, the animal rights group has decided to make a statement to Charleston tourism officials. Their plan is to have humans pulling carriage instead of horses or mules. PAWA’s claim is that despite the large draft horses and mules’ ability to roll the carriages throughout the flat historic district, they would prefer for these animals to not have to work.
PAWA’s official statement is, “We believe animals should not have to work like humans. We realize these animals were bred to work and have no problems navigating the landscape of Charleston, but we would prefer that humans do the work instead.”
Human rights activist Ned Flanders claims, “This is ridiculous. We have to work, why shouldn’t they have to? Doesn’t anybody care about humans anymore? Our stance is that animals were put on this earth to help people, whether it’s by pulling a carriage, pulling a plow, or providing food for our families. If God didn’t want animals to be worked or eaten, why did he make them so strong and so tasty?”
Charleston’s tourism regulations are very in depth as to the conditions the horses and mules can work under. The animals must take breaks after every tour, their stalls routinely inspected, journals of their diet and medical records are kept, and their temperatures taken rectally after every tour during warmer weather. Tourism officials declined to comment if the new carriage company’s people will have to have their temperatures taken rectally. They also decline to discuss if the people pulling the carriages will have to wear exposed diapers like the horses and mules currently do.
Only time will tell as to the success of this new venture. Until then, I will use my leather shoes to walk down to Oak Steakhouse for some dead cow, served by a human waiter.
Lavinia Fisher, perhaps Charleston’s most infamous ghost and a resident of The Old City Jail, has asked her employer for a raise. She has been working at Bulldog Tours for eight years and has been one of the major players in their “Haunted Jail Tour”. People from all over the world have traveled to Charleston to meet Lavinia, including The Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown which featured her on her television show.
Lavinia’s fame grew out of her involvement with a series of highway robberies and murders in 1819 that resulted in being sentenced to death by hanging. Lavinia and her husband, John Fisher, ran The Six Mile House on the outskirts of Charleston where many of their guests never checked-out; they ended up being buried under the roadside hotel. Lavinia is believed by many authorities to have been America’s first female serial killer but others claim she was perhaps innocent. John and Lavinia resided in the Jail while awaiting trial that resulted in both of them being convicted and publicly executed.
Lavinia stated, “I am still very happy residing in the Jail, especially since I have the opportunity to scare the hell out of the people on the ghost tour. Although I make more than most of my paranormal friends, with rising inflation, the cost of groceries, and the increase in my Netflix membership, a pay raise would certainly help. Don’t get me wrong, I love living here and working for Charleston’s best tour company – they are a great group of people, very professional, decent benefits, and are a major supporter of the preservation of my home. I thought I had a grasp on my financial portfolio but after my hanging in 1820, I had no major source of income until ‘The Haunted Jail Tour’ opened in 2003. It’s just tough to plan for 183 years without a job and I could use a little more money.”
Bulldog Tours Human Resources Manager says Lavinia’s performance review is scheduled for next week and a decision will be made then.
 Six Miles to Charleston (SC): The True Story of John and Lavinia Fisher; Bruce Orr, 2010.
Wal-Mart announced today that they have finally gained approval to build a Super Wal-Mart in the middle of Charleston’s famed historic White Point Gardens. Plans to build the 120,000 square foot location have been in the works for over two years and have battled several local preservation efforts that tried to block the rezoning of this historical landmark. Wal-Mart construction crews plan to start clearing the space no later than the end of this month. Wal-Mart’s “Historic Property Division” has worked tirelessly with City of Charleston planners to insure the massive commercial site blends in with the surrounding historic neighborhood as best possible. One example of their efforts is, instead of using 25,000 watt bulbs to light their building, they have agreed to only use 20,000 watt bulbs. “Classic case of a corporation working with a city for the good of the people.”, states Wal-Mart spokesperson Larry Kiley.
Frequent Charleston visitors, the Hinton family of Altus, OK, exclaimed, “How exciting, a place for us to use the restroom while buying sunscreen and postcards. After this thing is built, we’ll be able to do a little shopping in case we forgot something from home. Like last time, forgetting to bring umbrellas in case it rained during our ghost tour.” Tourists are not the only people excited about the new shopping giant coming to their neighborhood, 10 year old Benjamin Cooper of Gibbes Street said, “AWESOME!!! Now I don’t have to bug my nanny to drive me to the one on James Island to get more EPIC video games.”
However, not all residents share the excitement, South Battery resident Nancy Bush, while clutching her pearls, commented, “I will nevah, evah, evah, be caught in that store. My family is way too dignified to shop with the common folks.”
Note: Minutes later, “off the record”, Mrs. Bush said she’s actually very excited that it will be open 24 hours so she can sneak inside while her neighbors are asleep, or better yet, while all of Charleston’s high society are at a cocktail party. “How fascinating, the chance for a lady of my stature and social standing to get an inside look at how the rest of the world lives!”
The Charleston Preservation Foundation filed lawsuit last October but the case was recently thrown out of District Court. We tried to contact the Foundation for comment but their headquarters was locked with a note on the door reading, “We give up”. The Bulldog Buzz assumes the large white flag flying over the building was in reference to the super store approval.
Greetings from Charleston’s best tour company, Bulldog Tours. We offer a variety of history, ghost, & culinary walking tours. We have been featured in numerous publications and television shows, including Southern Living, New York Times, The Travel Channel, A&E, Bon Appetit, Food Network, & USA Today.
We are located at 40 North Market Street in the heart of the historical district. Come by and meet our wonderful staff, they will be glad to help you make the most of your visit. Also available by phone 843-722-8687 or visit our website for more details.
While all our tours are based on historical facts, this blog is not. It’s purely entertainment and will hopefully provide you with a few laughs. The blog’s author is a product of the SC public education system so please do not pay attention to any grammatical or spelling mistakes.
Thanks for reading this and have a great time in Charleston.