Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Let's Keep Everybody Out

The Eastpointer

Let’s keep everybody out of Franklin County

By Richard E. Noble
There are a bunch of “outsiders” who have showed up here in Franklin County in the last 5 to 15 years. And some of them have organized a group to keep more “strangers” from finding our little paradise. I thought that I would join that group because ever since I arrived here I have been dead against anyone else coming here. But I feel a little hypocritical. How can I join a group of outsiders who, if I had the chance, I would have prevented from settling here in the first place?
Now I have to be honest here, Franklin County is not the friendliest place in America. In my adventures Hobo-ing America, I have been to places where total strangers have taken me to their home, fed me and my wife, and let us use their shower. A lady in a Safeway parking lot in California saw our Florida tag. She came up to our van and invited us to park in her driveway. She said she loved “our” Florida orange juice.
In Franklin County people aren’t quite that friendly. They are polite but usually if they don’t know you, they don’t speak to you. And sometimes even if they do know you, they don’t speak to you. But that is just the way I like it.
When I first arrived here I felt that most of the natives really would have liked me better if I went and settled someplace else.
But as for discouraging people from settling permanently here in Franklin County, I organized my own devices.
Whenever I met a possible intruder who expressed the notion of settling here, I first brought up the mosquitoes.
“Well, you are right. This is a beautiful place to live,” I would say. “But … have you seen the size of the mosquitoes here? Two or three Franklin County mosquitoes, working together, can pick up a small child and carry it to the next county.”
“Oh yeah, and the roaches here are quite large also. I use a mouse trap baited with a daub of cheese grits myself. The giant army ants can be troubling at times too. The darn things get into your clean underwear draw, or some other place that you don’t go to that often and the next thing you know there’s ten thousand of them in there.”
“Oh my god!”
“But at least the army ants don’t bite, the fire ants are another thing altogether.”
“Fire ants? I’ve never heard of a fire ant.”
“Well, you will hear about them if you settle here. Many Eastpointers once walked around without wearing any shoes. Most of them are gone now. They would find a local resident every now and then lying in his front yard looking like a giant whitehead pimple. When the emergency people arrived the first thing they did was bust the pimple. When they did, the stricken individual just disappeared and all that remained was a small, gooey blob. But the fire ants ain’t really as bad as the yellow flies. You got any yellow flies up where you come from?”
“I don’t think so. I never heard of a yellow fly. We have horse flies and house flies.”
“Yeah, well the Franklin County yellow fly is to the horse fly what the African killer bee is to the domestic honey bee. Many people have died from a yellow fly attack. They suck the blood right out of their victims and leave giant welts all over the dying or dead carcass. I think they are indigenous to Franklin County. I have been all over the United State and I never ran across one anywhere else.”
“You plan on building a house?”
“Well, you’re lucky. There is a new place over in Carrabelle that will build you one out of steel. I would use steel, aluminum, cast iron, plastic and stuff like that – no wood or anything natural or biodegradable.”
“Why’s that.”
“Well in the last few years we have had an invasion of wood boring bees. They are the size of a bumble bee and they can eat up your house worse than our local termites can. They’ll turn that sucker into a million little piles of pre-digested sawdust in a couple of seasons.”
“Wood boring bees? I can’t believe it!”
“Well, build yourself something out of wood here in Franklin County and I guarantee that you will be a believer real quick. And stay away from the beach and don’t eat the fish or shrimp during a red tide and keep yourself posted during hurricane season. It’s not the hurricanes as much as the tornados that bother me. But other than that, it is great here. You will love it.”
“I hope so. Where’s the closest Wal-Mart or Publix?”

Richard E. Noble is a freelance writer and has lived in Franklin County for about 30 years. He has published several books. You can find them all on Amazon or by contacting the author at 1-850-670-8076 or