Essay
3:38 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Charleston (The Town for Extreme Tourists)

Credit Steve Shaluta / West Virginia Division of Tourism

Like many others, I’m distressed and angry about the chemical leak that fouled my city’s water supply and turned off the taps for three hundred thousand taxpayers. But I can’t sustain my outrage without a dose of laughter now and then. And it occurs to me that Charleston may want to consider looking for a niche in the extreme tourism market. So, with the help of my co-writer and accompanist, George Castelle, I’ve put my thoughts into a song:

Charleston—the town inimical

Hip, historic, cool and chemical

Yes, there's sludge, and it could spill

So if you’re looking for a thrill…it’s

Charleston—we’re excellente

Whole place smells like Good n’ Plenty

You’ll get accustomed to the stink here

Just don’t shower, eat or drink here

Flush your pipes and flush your hoses

Close your eyes and hold your noses

Flush your drain and flush your sink

Now fill your glass…let’s have a drink

Charleston's a real big time

Come on in, the water's fine

It’s a dandy place for a holiday

Unless you work for the E.P.A.

Methyl cyclo hexane methanol

May not even kill us after all

But downstream they’re goin’ batty

It’s on its way to Cincinnati…from

Charleston—there’s no place hotter

Better bring some bottled water

Climb our mountains, if you care to

Y’all come back, now, if you dare to