Category Archives: Locos Only

Monterrey’s Ordered to be Less Authentic

Immigration deputies want to have their refried beans and deport them, too.

Mexican Food has never been a specialty of the Monterrey’s Mexican Restaurant chain. Now, in the wake of a nine-month investigation by the South Carolina Department of Labor, the burritos and chimichangas served at at least one restaurant in the chain—the Monterrey’s on Killian Road in Northeast Richland County—are about to become even less authentic.

The chain’s official corporate policy is to employ Mexican workers when possible to prepare its pseudo-Mexican fare, but the Northeast Columbia location took the quest for authenticity a step too far and was cited Thursday with violating the state’s illegal immigration law, according to a report in today’s Daily Coupon Circular.

“We knew something was up the minute we came in,” said labor department immigration deputy Larry Whiteman. “I could smell it in the air – these [people] weren’t serving up your average gringo tacos.”

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New Reality Show Highlights Southern Intellectuals

In a sign that a knowledge-based economy may finally be taking root in the Midlands, high-end arts programming network VH1 announced this week that it will host a casting call for its new reality show “The South Rocks” right here in the Capital City this weekend.

According to the Daily Circular and WIS-TV, the network is looking for local intellectuals who like “mudding, jacked-up trucks and camouflage.”

Lexi Gossett hopes this weekend's casting call could lead to a career in television: Look Out, Y'all! The South Rocks!

That’s great news to Lexi Gossett of Cayce, who says she first heard about the casting call over the weekend while conducting water sample research at the Saluda River rapids. Gossett hopes to attend the University of Phoenix  after completing her GED in 2017 and thinks a role on “The South Rocks” could expedite her dream of one day becoming a marine biologist and/or a spokesmodel for Platinum Plus.

“If they was to pick me I’d freakin’ flip out, honestly,” Gossett told The Bug. “I’d be so psyched I wouldn’t know where to begin.”

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Irmo Smokers: ‘Lighten Up’

Pro-cancer and emphysema advocates in Irmo have cleared another hurdle in their ongoing fight to stamp out fresh air in the area but may be ready to compromise with opponents, so long as any new law forbidding smoking doesn’t actually carry any legal weight.

Several key city leaders are aware that smoking can kill you but openly oppose any sort of ban that would also impinge on the individual’s right to kill other people.

As The State reports, councilwoman Kathy Condom is one of the members of city council who recognizes the danger of secondhand smoke “but doesn’t like imposing limits that some smokers and business owners may find onerous.”

Condom was unavailable for comment, but pro-smoking ally Randy Rubber says the councilwoman has the right idea, likening the imposition of a mandatory smoking ban to passing a law prohibiting unsafe sex.

“Everybody knows you can catch herpes or HIV or whatever if you don’t bundle up, but that doesn’t mean there should be a law. People need to lighten up,” said Rubber as he sucked on a Pall Mall outside Hemingway’s sports bar in downtown Irmo.

Asked to explain how risky behavior affecting only the two people engaged in that behavior could possibly be analogous to behavior such as smoking, which affects everyone in every direction for as far as an airborne carcinogenic cloud can travel, Rubber exhaled a long dark plume of tar and chemicals, then said he did not understand the question.

Of course, Condom and Rubber are not alone in their opposition to a ban that would be in the public’s best interest. Councilman Hardy King, who according to several sources likes to throw his weight around and may be the most powerful man in the smoky Midlands village, believes it should be up to individual storekeepers to decide whether they want to ban smoking, regardless of how employees feel about their own mortality rate.

“A lot of places have already started to self-regulate,” he told the city’s largest daily coupon circular.

Still, there are those on the Irmo city council, notably Councilman Harvey Hoots, who think it’s time for the town to dump its ashtrays. As several sources close to the councilman report, Hoots doesn’t think there’s anything funny about the current situation at all.

Hoots told The State that getting a ban in place would be “an uphill battle” and said he would even consider a plan that would drop all penalties in exchange for getting a meaningless ban enacted.

“Makes sense to me,” said Rubber as he lit another Pall Mall and blew smoke in this reporter’s grimacing face. “I like it.”

“That’s actually a compromise I could get behind,” Rubber added once the coughing stopped. “Hell, you can go ahead and enact a law like that one right now if you want. I’ll call up Condom and King and they’ll vote on it tonight.”

–Posted by Kara Little

Editors Note: Hardly any names have been changed to protect anyone in this story.

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Tar-Like Substance in Congaree Raises Questions

Tar, Feathers in Congaree: Hot Fun in the Summertime!

As The State reported yesterday, “a gooey tar-like substance” has been discovered at the bottom of the Congaree River near the Gervais Street Bridge. At this point, no one is sure exactly what the substance is, though that hasn’t stopped folks from putting forth theories, many of them highly plausible.

Several local sleuths shared their opinions yesterday at the riverfront park amphitheater, just a few yards from where the strange and unsettling black goo was first discovered.

“I heard it’s something they manufacture up at the chicken plant,” said Riley Beason, a former West Columbia councilwoman who enjoys long walks by the river, chicken salad sandwiches and picnicking downwind from Columbia Farms.

“It’s some sort of tar-and-feather concoction they sell when breast meat futures drop,” she told The Bug between bites of her sandwich. “I also heard somebody say they dumped it out of the fryers over at Eggroll Station. Either way, it’s probably delicious.”

“I never seen nothing like that, but could be it’s possible,” said Darius Monteith, who works at Columbia Farms and was sporting the waist-high rubber boots to prove it.

Wendell Degraw Jr., of Cayce, was of a different mind.

“It’s supposed to be this whole area was at one time some sort of tar pit, like what they had out in California, where the dinosaurs were supposed to be, according to some heretics,” offered Degraw.

“Not what I heard,” said J.C. Canady, who stopped off to investigate the scene after tubing down from the rapids at Riverbanks Zoo.

“Everybody up at the Rapids say it was dumped in there by the Democrats to direct more tax dollars to the E.P.A.,” Canady told the Bug from behind mirrored shades and 22-ounce Budweiser. “Now I don’t know if that’s true, but it would make sense, what with what’s going on up in Washington these days. I mean, it’s either that, or it’s got something to do with the Lizard Man, one.”

Of course, there’s also another possible explanation for the mysterious substance—albeit one slightly less plausible than the others thus far posited.

“Maybe it’s from when they were resurfacing Meeting Street this week,” said Billy Merriweather, an eight-year-old Leaphart Elementary School student who came to collect water samples for a summer camp science fair project. “If you take a whiff you can still smell it on the air. They just finished this morning.”

Indeed, under the nauseating, antibiotic smell of beaks, feathers and rotting chicken flesh, one could still make out the distinct, tarry odor of fresh tar. Tarry black dribbles could also be seen running down the concrete pilings of the Gervais Street Bridge.

A USC student who had braved the 100-degree temperatures to go jogging thought the kid might be onto something and tried to support his theory that the tar-like substance was in fact tar, but passed out from heat stroke before she could fully make her case. Anyway,  the majority of the sweat-drenched onlookers were too fixated on their own notions to give the youngster’s dubious theory much credence.

“Could it be it’s related to the BP oil spill in the Gulf?” asked longtime Mill Village resident Hiram Waddell. “I mean, it could be, couldn’t it? It seems like a awful big coincidence if it ain’t.  It coulda come straight downstream from New Orleans.”

Several people present picked up this line of reasoning and ran with it. Within ten minutes, they had successfully connected the sudden appearance of the tarry black substance in the Congaree River to health care reform, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the federal bank bailout and the immigration policy currently being discussed by the Obama Administration.

DHEC has yet to confirm any of these theories but is reportedly running tests.

–Posted by Kara Little

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Healthcare Fails to Provide Immortality

Mark Livesy had the shock of his life last week when it occurred to him that the sweeping healthcare legislation passed by the Obama administration earlier this year won’t make him live forever.

The 42-year-old Irmo man, who is in basically reasonable health for a football-loving suburban commuter with a family history of diabetes, cancer, heart disease and gout, was passing a cemetery on Piney Grove Rd. when it dawned on him that, despite the new laws prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage based on preexisting conditions, someday he would still have to die.

“That was a real eye-opener,” says Livesy, who says he is still shaken by his own epiphany. “Two years ago, yeah, I expected to die any minute. But after healthcare passed I figured I was in pretty good shape to live forever.”

For the past few months, Livesy has lived recklessly, eating and drinking anything he liked. In April he even resumed smoking after having not had a cigarette in sixteen years.

“I was like, yeah, it’s not good for me, but it doesn’t even matter now,” says Livesy. “I mean, I’ve always been pretty religious about visiting the doctor.”

And then he was en route from the dentist to the doctor for an annual checkup when he saw all the headstones and it occurred to him that while he did stand to save a significant amount of money once the new legislation goes into effect, eventually everybody still dies.

“At first, I was in denial, I just didn’t want to believe it,” Livesy explains. “Then I went home and checked online. Sure enough, mortality is not listed as a preexisting condition. I contacted my provider to make sure and called my congressman, and everybody told me basically the same thing: ‘Yeah,’ they said, ‘you’re pretty much shit out of luck.’”

-Posted by Kara Little

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Citing Age, Fading Hipster Supports Barrett

Jason Williams closes the local alternative weekly, sips from a half-finished pint of bitter and groans to himself. He’s been coming into the Hunter-Gatherer brewpub once or twice a week for over ten years, he says, “to talk music and politics over beers with whoever snags the next stool,” but today he’s come to a realization — and it’s not sitting especially well.

 For the first time in his life the 38-year-old journeyman dishwasher, out-of-work bass guitarist and one-time poetry M.F.A. is supporting a Republican.

“I decided this morning,” says Williams, his tobacco-rough voice tinged equally with existential angst and self-loathing. “I was online looking at the different candidates’ bios, and while I liked Sheheen’s platform the best—it’s really the only one I even remotely agree with—I finally decided I need to support Gresham Barrett for Governor.”

And why exactly would that be? Has Williams finally rounded the corner from liberal to conservative, as so many voters eventually do when they have kids, run off to the suburbs and move up to a higher tax bracket? Has he finally decided it’s time to start looking out for Number 1 and screw everybody else?

“No, no, not all,” says Williams as he tugs the sleeve of his vintage Pixies t-shirt, which barely covers a red hammer-and-sickle tattoo. “I still make minimum wage and live in Olympia, for Christ’s sake. No, this all about age, simple as that. I’m 38 and Barrett’s 47. The other two candidates—Sheheen and what’s-her-face, the one everybody says they’ve slept with—they’re both 37.”

“I can’t deal with the idea of a governor who’s younger than me,” he explains.

Williams isn’t a member of any political party but has long supported liberals in both local and national elections. In the past five presidential elections, he says, he voted for Clinton twice, Ralph Nader, John Kerry and Barack Obama. He even worked on Howard Dean’s campaign for a while, at least until his band went on tour and Dean imploded.

“Dean was a really inspiring candidate,” he says. “We could use more candidates like him, and not just for president.” 

Still, when it comes to this year’s gubernatorial race, Williams says age is the only factor influencing his vote.

“Look,” he finally says, just a bit defensively, “it’s not as if I like the guy. In fact, I disagree with nearly everything Gresham Barrett represents. He’s pro-gun, pro-life—his views on immigration are borderline psychotic, and I can’t stand that damn TV commercial where he’s talking to the drill sergeant. But the fact is, I can deal with all that nonsense a hell of a lot easier than I can deal with waking up every morning to realize we have a governor who graduated from high school a year after I did.”

“I know it sounds stupid,” Williams adds as he orders another bitter and scratches his bald spot, “but that kind of thing just freaks me out.”

And what if Barrett loses the primary runoff against fellow uber-conservative Republican Nikki  Haley?

“I don’t know,” Williams admits. “Do you know what month her birthday is?”

–posted by Kara Little

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