First, we’d like you to enjoy all the amenities of our clean rest rooms. We have information services and free maps to help you navigate the foothills and beaches of the Palmetto State.
Please be sure to be careful as you cross over Lake Hartwell. Don’t eat the fish, either.
And please pay no attention to those signs advertising poker casinos. First, we’ve gotten rid of them all. Second, it was only video poker, anyway.
sharpe.jpgLastly, if you brought a rabid, amphetamine-crazed, homicidal chicken with you, please report to Agriculture Commissioner Charles Sharpe.
He’s been expecting you.
But first, let’s get a few things clear:
We South Carolinians–at least those who are the most vocal–loathe gambling. It may not be a mortal sin, but neither is hypocrisy, and we loathe that, too. Or something like that.
That’s why we stood firm on the issue of video poker. Because we couldn’t negotiate significant tax revenue from the proceeds of video poker play, we all got slothoki together, stood on our moral high ground, and got rid of all the machines. Well, almost all of them There are still a few around and that keeps our State Law Enforcement Division agents busy.
When the law enforcement officials aren’t busy running over illegal poker machines with bulldozers, their colleagues on the municipal and county vice squads spend a decent amount of time busting up backroom craps games.
See, we loathe gabling.
Well, you have to understand, it’s for the children. A couple of years ago, we realized that we were putting a lot of people in prison, not fully funding medicaid, and squandering our portion of the cigarette lawsuit settlement (pay no attention to our subsidized tobacco farms for they are just part of our tradition).
Because we were spending so much money on everything else, our education system had sunk to #49 in the nation (thanks, Mississippi).
Suprise, surprise. The sale of lottery tickets and the rake the state takes from it can contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to the state’s education coffers every year.
Bring on Powerball.
So, we hate, nay, loathe gambling, unless it helps the children.
And those damned Catawba Indians that want to play high-stakes bingo can just go back to their reservation. What? Oh, they’re already there? We’ll have to find a way around that.
Oh, I see you did, in fact, bring your chicken with you.
Around here, we prefer to call it a gamecock. You’ll notice our flagship state university’s mascot is Cocky, the gamecock.
You’re going to need a map to Aiken County.
First (nudge, nudge) you should know that cockfighting is illegal here (unlike those gambling heathen states, Lousiana and New Mexico). So, as you transport your gamecock, we suggest you paste a Tyson Food sticker on your truck. Fools’em every time.
I notice you also brought your new set of high-grade titanium spurs. Good choice. If you are pulled over by our law enforcement officers, here’s what you say:
“Oh, goodness no, officer. Cockfighting? Of course not. That’s barbaric. No, no. Pokey the Chicken here wears the spurs to ward off those menacing Chick-Fil-A cows that have been causing so many problems in the poultry community.”
If that doesn’t work just ask, ‘Do you know Agriculture Commissioner Charles Sharpe?”
You might have heard recently that Mr. Sharpe was arrested and indicted on corruption charges surrounding his protection of a cockfighting ring. You might have heard a SLED agent was arrested as well. Well, that’s just those pesky federales messing around with a states rights issue. We suspect we have some friendly judges around here that might be able to take care of the problem.
So, we loathe gambling, unless it is tradition.
Plus, cockfighting is nature. We here in South Carolina suspect most people will understand it is natural for two chickens to tear each other wing from breast in the farmyard.