M. SCOTT MORRIS: News reports inspire ode to Tupelo traffic



About two decades ago, I lived just outside Atlanta and had a delivery job that took me all over the city and its satellites.

That was when the Atlanta Braves were making their first big run, and everybody was doing the Tomahawk Chop.

One guy rigged his Jeep with a giant tomahawk that went up and down as he drove. Wherever a vehicle was required to stop, T-shirt vendors set up shop.

Atlanta has the full spectrum of professional sports, and big-name performers parade through multiple music venues.

There’s always something to do, and I seriously considered staying there until my delivery job convinced me otherwise.

If it’s anywhere near 5 p.m. on Friday, it’ll take 40 or 50 forevers to get from the Stone Mountain side of Atlanta to the Marietta side of Atlanta.

I’d learned back roads and alternate routes, which is where you get the 10-forever variable.

No matter what time of day, there was always the chance a truck would jackknife or a drunken idiot would drive the wrong way on an off-ramp.

There were daily tragedies on the roads that you could watch on the news if you got home in time.

Tragedy aside – a massive aside, I know – Atlanta traffic could make the Dalai Lama honk his horn and scream for people to get out of his enlightened way.

I’m still tempted by big towns and what they have to offer: museums, zoos, restaurants, festivals and the like.

But reports of the wintry traffic jams in Atlanta and Birmingham reminded me how grateful I am to live in Tupelo.

During our last big snow, it took me 15 minutes to get from the Mighty Daily Journal to the Morris Manse. That beats the heck out of the 50,000 forevers I’ve heard about in Atlanta and Birmingham.

I’ve often said, but haven’t often written, that Tupelo is the biggest small town or the smallest big town in America.

We’ve got museums, restaurants, festivals and concerts. The Buffalo Park isn’t on par with the Memphis Zoo, but the kids enjoy themselves and the monkey escapes every so often to liven things up.

That reminds me: A couple of years ago a bull got loose in the city for a few days. Remember?

People in Atlanta don’t get that kind of fun. If they did, someone probably would put it down with a tranquilizer dart, if not a bullet.

Around here, men on horseback with help from a good dog roped that bad boy behind the Mighty Daily Journal. Talk about quality of life.

The Morrises are going to schedule our trips to big towns. Having an excursion on the horizon makes it easier to get through the tough days we all must endure now and again.

But Tupelo is home, where people still complain about traffic and they’re so darn cute doing it.

M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal feature writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@journalinc.com.

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