VOL. 127 | NO. 28 | Friday, February 10, 2012
New County Of Them
By Dan Conaway
NEW BILL CREATES EIGHT NEW COUNTIES. Continually annoyed about existing law that gets in his way, Tennessee Rep. Curry Todd of Collierville has introduced a bill in the state house eliminating Memphis and Shelby County and creating eight new counties.
Senate majority leader Mark Norris immediately agreed to sponsor the bill in the Senate and gave everybody 30 days to do exactly what he says. Ron Ramsey kicked it up the agenda, Gov. Haslam did nothing about it, and the rest of the state piled on.
“It’s pretty simple,” explained Todd. “If you don’t live in Memphis but something about it just ticks you off, ole Mark and me will pass something against it before the ice in my drink melts.”
The new counties of Germantown, Collierville, Bartlett, Millington, Lakeland, Arlington and Them (formerly Memphis) will be defined by existing city limits, and anything outside of those limits in former Shelby County will define the boundaries of the eighth new county – Greater Fisherville.
The proposed county seats are the Apple store, the Collierville Train Museum, Bartlett Cinema 10, Terry Roland’s tire shop, the Cracker Barrel at the Canada Road exit, Gardens Oy Vey, The Rendezvous and a bait shop.
Other language in the bill requires photo IDs to cross from the new county of Them into any other county in Tennessee, new or otherwise, and includes the understanding that no existing law that’s inconvenient to the wishes of the state’s legislative majority shall stand. Further, in the off-chance that the new county of Them should choose to do anything about anything, all the people in Tennessee outside of Them get to vote on it first.
Problems related to general societal unpleasantness – such as poverty, crime, unemployment, single parents, illegal aliens, unexceptional children, second languages, liberals, gays, the uninsured, Muslims, rowdy behavior, the teaching of evolution and Planned Parenthood – will be confined to the county of Them, and it’ll be up to Them to solve.
Asked about the constitutionality of the bill, Todd responded, “Do I look like I care?”
All the proposed new counties, with the exception of Them, immediately hired the same consultant and paid the firm a small fortune to tell them what they wanted to hear. Regarding the feasibility of forming new counties, all were told, “Sure you can. And it’s finders-keepers for anything the old county left behind.” Regarding any additional costs to do whatever the hell they want, amazingly, a half-cent addition to sales tax in each new county, regardless of population, will cover it.
The proposed new county of Them terminated the existing contract with Boston Consulting and immediately entered into a new one for twice as much to tell them things it already knows.
The Memphis City Council resigned their charter, the Shelby County Commission dissolved into a fistfight, and Greater Fisherville announced that David Pickler would head its new school board.
All the other counties in Tennessee should rest easy knowing that Nashville knows what’s best for them.
I’m a Memphian, waiting for another bill to drop.
Dan Conaway is a lifelong Memphian, longtime adman and aspiring local character in a city known for them. Reach him at email@example.com.