Saunders: Hey, Cindy Adams, only we can talk bad about Charlotte

bsaunders@newsobserver.comSeptember 5, 2012 

Looky here, Sisterwoman. We don’t much like Charlotte, either, but we’ll be dadgummed if we’re gon’ sit back and let some New Yawk columnist – for the Post, no less – badmouth the old girl.

(I know, we don’t really talk like that. But that’s apparently the South that Cindy Adams was expecting when she deigned to favor us with a visit to the Democratic National Convention in the Queen City.)

Had she gotten around the state, she’d have learned that there is a lot to detest about Charlotte and better putdowns of the city than saying its population is smaller than the number of people in her building’s elevator.

Many of us in North Carolina know Charlotte as a pretentious metropolis not above putting on airs when a wig convention from Waxhaw comes to town. So you know it’s absolutely insufferable with the eyes of the nation upon it this week. In truth, then, a better putdown of Charlotte was relayed to me by Chris Fitzsimon, founder and executive director of NC Policy Watch.

He told of the time state Rep. Pap Creecy, D-Northampton, got fed up with the Charlotte legislative delegation’s highhanded demands and thundered “Charlotte ain’t Mecca. Charlotte ain’t Jerusalem. It’s just a big ol’ city on the South Carolina line.”

Condescending Cindy

If anyone has a right to spew vitriol on the villainous city, it’s us: Charlotte stole our only Fortune 500 company – Progress Energy – although it now seems to wish it could give it back.

Adams belittled Charlotte’s NASCAR Hall of Fame and its absence of world-class restaurants, all of which must’ve seemed even quainter to one who’d just attended the Royal Salute Jubilee Cup in Greenwich, Conn. For the uninitiated, that’s the season’s first polo match, she archly informed us.

If the condescending Cindy had done any research, she’d have learned that Charlotte is the cracker capital of America, where Lance created what we now call Nabs in 1916. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather eat a pack of Nabs and gaze upon Richard Petty’s No. 43 Plymouth while it’s sitting still in a museum than watch a bunch of rich dudes in tight britches galloping around on horses.

Do y’all reckon Adams would’ve been happier with the “Gone With the Wind,” antebellum South of yore, where gaptoothed rustics sat on their front porches whittlin’ with bare feet dangling and where starched waiters shuffle along in 1,000-degree heat drawling “Y’all want some mo’ mint in dis heah julep, Miz Cindy?” Adams also bemoaned the fact that she was banished to Rock Hill, S.C., a city whose hotels she compared to something one might find at Guantanamo.

She didn’t like Tampa either

Hey, we don’t care what she says about South Carolina: Those weed benders can fend for themselves. But she seemed to have a deep reservoir of disdain for any place south of 42nd Street. For instance, we in the South are renowned for being courteous – even when we don’t like you – yet she complained that room service was non-existent in Tampa, Fla., at last week’s Republican National Convention.

“Guests,” she lamented without a hint of satire, “had to schlep downstairs and pour breakfast coffee from a lobby urn. One lunchtime, I called down for salad. It came in a plastic bag in a plastic box with plastic utensils.”

Egads! Somebody get that woman a medal of honor.

Of course, her bafflement becomes a mite more understandable when you realize that there was probably a liveried footman to greet her on her first visit to North Carolina, when she alighted from the stagecoach with her carpetbag.

In short, Cindy, Charlotte and its residents are pompous, arrogant and supercilious, given to high-hatting anyone who isn’t them. For better or worse, though, they’re a part of our state, and we don’t need a woman whose idea of wit is calling North Carolina “home of nothing” low-rating it.

As for your opinion of the rest of the state, allow me to paraphrase one of your contemporaries: Frankly, my dear, we don’t give a damn. or 919-836-2811

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