Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Small Town, Bad Reputation

Sunday, July 20
Dateline: Zeeland, ND

Some exposition is in order. I work for a newspaper in a town of about 24,800 people. My hometown is surrounded farms and even smaller communities, many of which virtually straddle the South Dakota/North Dakota border.

James MacPherson, writing for the Assocated Press, paints a bleak picture of life in a hamlet far smaller than my own:

Bad blood among feuding residents is commonplace in the tiny south-central North Dakota town of Zeeland. Even the mayor has a restraining order against him for allegedly harassing his neighbor over her barking dog.

Residents seem to be ceaselessly involved in rifsts in the McIntosh County town of about 140 people, the county's top prosecutor says.

And in a sidebar:
Mayor Bob Schumacher pleaded not guilty last month to a disorderly conduct charge accusing him of threatening a woman about her yapping pooch. The affidavit says Schumacher not only complayed about her dog, but also scolded her for being unemployed and overweight.

I can about imagine how that conversation might have gone...

Get that mutt away from me, you fat lazy [expletive deleted]!

To all the residents of Zeeland, and especially Mayor Bob Shumacher, I have a message: Grow up!

I hope someone in Zeeland read's MacPherson's article and sees themselves in it. If absolutely no one does, then that pitiful little backwater is beyond help.

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