Thursday, March 4, 2010
For Chuck "Grainy Train" Cheney being hip has always been an obsession, but now he's claiming it as his profession, and as consequence he's filing his taxes accordingly. We caught up with him the other day to get the inside scoop after one of his live internet radio web vlog podcasts he does from his second story loft in downtown Spartanburg to see what all the hype is about.
PPP News Staff: Good afternoon Chuck, I'm sure our readers are wondering just how this all works, filing as a pro hipster and all. It's not a typical occupation, and I thought maybe you could elaborate on it.
Chuck Cheney: Sure, no prob coolio. I've been hip forever, like, since the prenatal scene, ya dig? It just comes natural to me my man, and it ain't no thing.
PPPN Staff: So how do you make money at being a hipster?
Chuck: Ways and means my friend. Throwing house parties for the peeps, my ultra hip web radio live vlog cast. Hell, people just throw money at me, ya know? I'm that kinda guy.
PPPN: What kind of music do you play on your show?
Chuck: If you have to ask, then you obviously don't know about being hip friend. Only the dankest, most obscure shiznizzle that ever made your ears sizzle my man. Everything from Morrissey to Meat Beat Manifesto, from Dr. Dre to Dr. Dooom. Always on the upbeat switchin' up the platinum.
PPPN: OK then, it must be tough filling out the tax forms, considering the nature of your occupation.
Chuck: Not really bro, I write off all the new gear I snag, and anything I use to be hip really.
PPPN: Such as?
Chuck: I got these fly kicks, my threads of course, my rent for this fly pad, all that PBR and the Salem Lights I smoke, hell, I even claim my Portuguese water dog. I just can't claim the beaster headies, ya dig? Hey, you aren't gonna print that last part are ya?
Chuck: OK then. The lowdown's like this, I'm just riding this gravy train all the way to the station. I can't help that I'm deck, a juicer to the max, hell, chippers sway when I bust a moby. I don't even need no bronson to spring some tassel from some midtown jerry frado.
PPPN: You lost me at, "OK then" man.
Chuck: I got shit to do man, good luck with your article. See ya.
With that I was shown the door. Chuck never returned my calls on following up with the article and he never mentioned the article on his next couple of shows. If the IRS accepts his occupation and write offs as legitimate it'll be to the surprise of this journalist. All in all one has to admit that Chuck does have one thing going for him, the ability to throw a good house party. It's just too bad they won't let me attend.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
The heaviest snow to sweep the upstate in years may befall Spartanburg in the next 24 hours. The mass exodus to grocery stores was an chilly chaos of seemingly life or death survival earlier today as temperatures reached near freezing and the snow began to look like it might stick. People scrambled to find milk and loaf bread to feed themselves and their families, preparing for the worst case scenario as nearly dozens of power outages were a real possibility throughout the night in the county. Those that met with empty shelves at their local stores were panic stricken and violently distraught.
"I just hope we can make it through the night without milk." said a local shopper as he grabbed what little previsions were still available. "We may get several inches they say, if the temperature drops. This place is out of toilet paper too, damn it to hell!"
The mood on the streets is one of frantic urgency, as some people rushed out to buy kerosene and batteries with the flakes of terror already filling the sky.
As the salt is spread thick throughout the downtown streets, and people try to rush back to their homes before sundown to brace themselves for the long night ahead, one can't help but notice several vehicles abandoned in ditches on the side of the road where panic stricken drivers have lost control and obviously taken their chances on foot to find what possible shelter they could, rather then wait for tow trucks to arrive.
"I just hope citizens know it will be short lived and don't do anything rash, like resort to cannibalism." commented Mark Hylman, an officer with the city police that took a moment to comment as he was patrolling the area for wandering citizens who had abandoned their cars after running off the road in a panic. "People get insane with just the mention of snow here in the upstate of South Carolina. I'm from Chicago and it's just an everyday thing up there, but here it's apocalyptic."
Rescue teams all over the county are on full alert, not because of any hazards actually weather related, but due to peoples over reaction to the possibility of the snow and ice. Most businesses in the city are closed throughout the duration of the light snowfall expected, except for the bars, of course. Hopefully things will be back to normal in this typically peaceful and cheery town tomorrow, and life will go on as it always has, without the threat of natures wintry hands hanging over our heads.
Monday, March 1, 2010
When 13 year old Carla Owens came home from an afternoon in the woods behind her house with a squirrel bite, her mother didn't think to rush her off to the hospital for such a seemingly mild injury. Apparently during the following night the child became seriously ill and crazed, viciously attacking her parents in their sleep and infecting them as well with what authorities claim to be the most severe strain of rabies they've ever seen.
The next morning Spartanburg county police and rescue received calls from Drayton area homeowners concerning several crazed individuals roaming the area attacking anyone in sight. Police reports verify several incidents of vehicles running off the road to avoid hitting pedestrians in the middle of the street, only to be dragged from their cars and violently mauled. The people attacked apparently became crazed themselves, attacking others, to where by mid-day reports were coming in from all over the east side of town.
Greg Fowler, a gas station attendant on East Main street, managed to avoid what he described as a violent mob of blood stained lunatics by hiding in his stores beer cave. "The first one was a large bearded man in nothing but his boxer shorts, I thought he was just another drunk till I saw the blood dripping off his deeply bitten face." Fowler explained as he warmed himself after his nearly week long stay in the refrigerated safe haven of a beer cooler. "Luckily for me he went for a customer using the ATM machine first, giving me just enough time to make it in the beer cave, barring the door behind me. I don't remember much after the first 24 hours or so because I didn't have any food or water and had to drink beer to survive in there."
While some got through the ordeal by barricading themselves within their homes, others attempted to survive the tragedy by locking themselves in the old Hillcrest shopping plaza, but when they tried to make a break for it in two Spartanburg regional shuttle buses, reinforced with vinyl siding, they were overrun by the bloodthirsty infected. Paul Blart, a security officer at the plaza, survived by staying behind and shared his story with us. "It was me, a nurse, a cop, some guy that sold TV's, and a few others. I told them it was insane to go out there, but they were determined to reach an island in the middle of lake Bowen, thinking it was their only chance to survive. I told them it was suicide, but they wouldn't listen."
Another couple of survivors crawled out of the ruins of the old Winchester Pub on Fernwood and Glendale. Shaun Taylor and his girlfriend Liz ended up there with others and shared with me how they barely escaped with their lives. "It was us, and my mom, my best friend and another couple. We were fine the first night, but then the jukebox suddenly came blaring on and I guess they heard us. They came crashing in through the barricaded windows like a nightmare." Shaun recalls with terror in his eyes, "They made lunch meat out of everyone but us. The place somehow caught on fire at that point, and we were barely fending them off from behind the bar when luckily we found a trap door and got ourselves underground in the crawlspace to safety."
After many days, and several hundreds dead, the infected seemed to stop being aggressive and came back to their senses. Julie Hartford was one of the infected whom we talked to following the ordeal, and one of the few who were willing to explain her thoughts on what had happened. "All I remember was being attacked while going outside to my mailbox Thursday morning, and then suddenly I realized I was in the Wal-Mart parking lot covered in blood with raw flesh in my teeth." She explained in gory detail. "I've been a vegetarian for over three years now, and this relapse shouldn't count I believe. I was out of my mind, I don't remember a thing, but they said I attacked several people and bit some guys ear off, I'm so ashamed."
It was a tragedy this town won't soon forget, and all squirrels in the area are being systematically destroyed to prevent future outbreaks. The close proximity to Milliken's new umbrella factory has come under scrutiny, and an ongoing investigation is underway. Whatever the cause of this disaster, one can only feel sorrow for the lives lost, and sympathy for their families. We can only hope nothing like this ever happens again, and now the survivors must pick up the pieces and live life the only way they can, one day at a time.