Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Save me from the Touridiots by Kat Magendie

I’m not feeling very grateful right now. In fact, I’m feeling irritated and annoyed. With spring break near, it is time for visitors to our mountain. Some have already arrived, including the people above us, who have left their dog on their deck while they go touring. The dog hasn’t stopped yelping for almost two hours now; and who knows how long the tourists will be away, either oblivious, or uncaring, of what their visit has brought to our quiet little cove. I stomp about my little log house. I turn up the television (so that while I am writing this, Rachael Ray is also yapping excitedly right along with the dog). I try to tune it out, but doggie only becomes more frenzied, as no one is there to let it know it hasn’t been left for good.

“Touridiot,” I mutter. I’ve meanly named the people who visit our beautiful mountains and disrespect it, and us. The touridiots who decided to hold a screaming drunken party at two in the morning. The touridiots who threw their fast food empties along the road. The touridiots who left a bulging sack of garbage by the side of the road, too lazy to take it to the nearby garbage disposal site. The touridiots who shot firecrackers during a drought, and even onto our neighbor’s roof.

I grit my teeth. I grind out, “Tourists go home!”

I take a deep breath. I was once a tourist to Western North Carolina. A good tourist, a reverential one, a respectful one. Good tourists do exist: The phantom bagpipe player whose mournful sound filters through the mountain mists and calls to that part of me who is Scottish. The young men who played their acoustic guitars while singing with lilting voices. The family with children, who I heard laughing and playing while building a little fort by the creek; what nostalgia to remember my fort-building days. The older couple who waved to us, the happiness evident on their faces; joy and reverence. I feel calmer. Funny thing, just as I wrote those positive things, the dog has stopped—this isn’t a metaphor or analogy or “moral ending,” the dog really has stopped right at the moment I wrote: I feel calmer. I decide to be grateful while it lasts. The family will return. The dog will calm. All will be as it was, or how it will be when it isn't; either way, I live in paradise. Yes, I do. Ahhhh.


Nannette Croce said...

One thing to be grateful for is that your peaceful times will return, while some poor folks will spend their spare two week vacation in a spot they hoped would be peaceful and instead is filled with loud "touridiots."

Angie Ledbetter said...

May spring break fly by...and in the meantime, may future touridiots be replaced with tourrespectfuls. ;)

Barbara Quinn said...

Sounds like the touridiots have a version of Tourette's. ;-)

I often find myself repeating what my mama always said...This too shall pass.

Enjoyed your post.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Yes, Nan! So true.

Now, the doggie finally stopped about 7:30ish that evening--seven hours later! It was so exhausted, it didn't do it constantly, but...then the next day, the touridiots were gone...a one day one nighter! yay!

Anonymous said...

ranger dan is always amazed and frustrated at the insensitivity and ignorance of some of the touridiots. why can't they respect and appreciate peaceful, beautiful places instead of trashing them and polluting them ? guess that's why they earn they name touridiots.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Dang straight, Ranger Dan!

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