Welcome to the live chat with Brian Hicks. It begins at noon but you can type in your questions now.
Brian should be sauntering in soon ...
Good morning, South Carolina. We're a little late today because I've been out chatting with people about how wonderful Columbia is.
You know what I've noticed? A lot of people don't care for satire.
JKuenzie, there are plenty of things to columnize on around here - like our new school that promises a law degree in 30 minutes or your next one's free.
But since The State took a shot at Charleston in its attempt to have fun with the ranking, I thought it would be appropriate to respond in the tone of a typical Charleston snob. Apparently, I sound just like T-Rav because someone just wrote that they hope I get hit by a bus.
Brian, are you surprised by the reaction, and have you received any positive reaction?
Good question Jack. People are watching, but no one other than you is wading in.
Surpised by the reaction? No. The volume? Yes.
People in Charleston think today's column is hysterical. They tend to overlook the part that pokes fun at them and our city's healthy opinion of itself. When I want to write like an old Charlestonian I just think of a redneck version the New Yorker's Talk of the Town.
OK, now I'm going to have to move to Columbia.
Columbia folks have been a tad defensive. I don't really blame they - the city is far too often the butt of jokes. It's done nothing wrong. But The State newspaper provoked me.
Aside from hoping I get hit by a bus, I have been called body parts, smug and condescending (which is fine, since that's what I was going for) and told I was fat and that I needed to go back to Tennessee.
Hey, according to today's Post and Courier, we're the 7th fattest state in the country, so can I blame the government?
Hey Brian, speaking of important South Carolina news. DMX has been arrested again ...
Jack, my readers - both of them - are just emailing me right now. I blame the technology. Or maybe they are standing in line at Hyman's
You know, I don't know much about DMX. Why is he always in South Carolina? Does he live here, or just his weed dealer?
We wonder if DMX's opinion of the Upstate is declining since he keeps getting arrested there ...
Steve, thanks for the kind words. Be careful making the commute between Cola and Charleston - the Dept. of Transportation wants to cut down every tree between us.
You know, Diette, I thought you'd stumped me but I've got a pretty good one.
10th grade, first day at the largest three-grade school in Tennessee, and I'm in Algebra II class. Took one look at the text book and decided I had to get out of there fast. I had passed Algebra I in 9th grade with a 70, which broke down like this: 84 average first semester, 56 second semester (don't ask what happened that spring).
So when I'm looking for an excuse, or class I can transfer to, I settle on something that no longer exists: Typing I.
I use typing every day of my life, and I still don't know Algebra II (or even Algebra I very well). Probably a good thing because then might calculate how much money I've lost being a writer.
Ha, John Frank! A former Columbia resident. How are you?
Yes, I commuted to Columbia every week to cover the Statehouse for years. But I never moved because those lying editors at The Post and Courier (who initially told me I'd never have to cover politics) kept telling me "You won't have to cover politics much longer."
Screen door to hell? That's pretty good.
Brian, what if anything should government do about our increased obesity?
Dick, your question is on deck.
Good question: what, if anything, should government do about our increased obesity? Well, obviously, they need to quit feeding us. That's the conservative answer.
And, if we keep on the conservative track, we'd quit interfering with the food business and regulating restaurants. Then, instead of getting fat we could all be afraid to eat. I think fear is the answer to a slimmer body, and slimmer mind.
I saw a thing on the Facebook the other day that showed a salad and said $5 and showed a McDonald's burger, which was 99 cents. That's actually part of the problem. Ah, the wisdom of social media.
Thanks for the kind words, Dick.
I was the guest of the 88 Club in Mount Pleasant this morning, a great group of folks who for some unknown reason gather at 7 a.m. (yes, in the morning). Do you know how early I had to get up to smoke a cigar before going over there?
Trick question, I didn't go to bed.
"Keyboarding" sounds like something David Quick does on the weekend, Diette. And then writes about it for Features - and then hits us up for overtime.
Yes, I learned on a typewriter, and I think it was electric - but not sure.
If no one else has any questions, we might just go ahead and wrap this up. Brian has a meeting to go to, Haters Anonymous, or something like that.
Actually, I'm meeting with my real estate agent. She's found me a really nice bungalow in Shandon, my favorite Columbia neighborhood. Really. Cool place - close to town, not too many college kids.
Ok, though I really do think Shandon rocks - well, for Columbia - (KIDDING) I have to go see our legislative delegation. Apparently, they are not talking to the School of Law (Jack Black was great in that one, by the way) about what they might or might not do in the next few weeks that will leave their alumni wishing they'd just gone to USC Law School -
which is in COLUMBIA.
And that's all, folks.
Thanks everyone for coming by!