Tail, meet dog. Dog, tail. 

This town wears me out sometime

More and more around here, it seems the tail is wagging the dog.

Your city council just told the world that given a choice between having in its tourist district either a nightclub with a long, well-documented track record of sordid activity or a national hotel chain -- Savannah will take the club, thanks!

Forget all that guff about Savannah’s desire to attract quality investment and our need for more hotel beds downtown. There’s a 600-capacity club a block away from River Street that wants a liquor license! Stat!

I understand old-fashioned horse-trading, even admire it on occasion. But what constituency does this club serve? I doubt many of its patrons vote.

In fact, if the police are correct when they tell us it’s the best place in town to start a warrant sweep, many of its patrons can’t vote because they’re convicted felons.

Anyway, good luck to Comfort Suites and to SCAD, who now get to experience the same delightful pleasure -- a veritable “paradise,” one might even say -- on Indian Street that so many businesses on Broughton Street experienced for so very long.

Let’s look at the bright side. As Alderman Tony Thomas said approvingly while voting in favor of the license: What other club in town employs so many policemen to protect its patrons? What other club is conscientious enough to wand its patrons before they can enter?

Indeed, Tony. Kind of like how Baghdad is the safest place in the world because of all the tanks and guns and soldiers there....

Someone I know restored a house in midtown and has it for sale. Judging from the minute attention to detail that city inspectors pay to such projects these days, one would assume it’s exactly the type of quality, private-sector restoration the city wants in order to upgrade its tax base in that area.

After the long, laborious process of passing all the stringent city permits, the attractive little home sits on a well-manicured block populated by quiet, law-abiding, tax-paying working class people.

Except for the crack house right across the street.

Traffic comes and goes at all hours of the day and night. It comes by foot, it comes by bicycle, it comes in late-model SUVs with very good sound systems. The customer’s always right!

The efficiency of the enterprise is aided immensely by the “court” behind the crack house -- actually a nicely paved alley the city thoughtfully keeps in immaculate condition.

The crack house itself is an ugly shack with paint falling off, usually housing upwards of a dozen people depending on who’s in jail at the time.

Sometimes there’s no running water in the house, but that’s no problem. They just walk next door with a bucket and steal water from the neighbor in broad daylight. Needless to say, the neighbor doesn’t mind. Being all neighborly and what not.

When they’re not conducting business out back, gentlemen hang out on the front porch making overt sexual comments to passing women and occasionally having drug seizures in the street, screaming gibberish and frothing at the mouth.

The police say they’re aware bad stuff goes on at that house across the street. But hey, there’s only so much they can do. It’s just so hard to catch them in the act.

Much, much easier to catch someone in the act of disobeying a “No Turn on Red” sign. Doing that will cost you exactly $280, by the way.

Last time I checked, the house remains unsold. Besides dictating every other aspect of life on this otherwise peaceful, attractive block, the crack house across the street literally dictates the terms of the local economy. It literally determines whether you can sell or rent your house, and if so for how much.

Tail wags the dog....

I read with great amusement the recent article in the Savannah Morning News headlined “A local businessman’s war against the Creative Coast.”

Now, there are plenty of legitimate questions one might, and probably should, pose to SEDA and The Creative Coast as partially taxpayer-funded entities. But instead we got an article about a notorious local gadfly’s quixotic, litigious and enormously time-wasting effort at blatant self-promotion.

I don’t mean to sound superior, because the joke’s on me. The gadfly got what he wanted, which was attention.

Not in a million years would I be able to summon the Chamber of Commerce president and the assistant city manager to a meeting, like this character was apparently able to do. (If I did I’d no doubt discuss items one and two from this column, which I guess would prove problematic.)

But the tail wags the dog, again.

So why doesn’t the dog regain control of his tail, as nature intended? Doesn’t the pup understand that everyone laughs at his folly?

Isn’t it time for the dog to finally grow up and put his tail in its place, so he can resume wagging it himself, in happiness?

Jim Morekis is editor in chief of Connect Savannah. E-mail him at jim@connectsavannah.com


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About The Author

Jim Morekis

Jim Morekis

A native Savannahian, Jim has been editor-in-chief of Connect Savannah for ten years. The University of Georgia graduate is also a travel writer, authoring regional guides in the Moon handbook series... more

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