Staunton, Virginia is one of the portals to the Skyline Drive. It is also a Washington, DC exurb full of museum quality morons.
The residents of Staunton are being visited by a winter flock of vultures. Staunton's response to the visitation is to try to scare off -- or kill -- the buzzards.
And the reporter at the Washington Post who wrote about Staunton's big, ugly problem was too lazy to Google and try to find other towns with similar winter vulture roosts.
If the Washington Post reporter of record, Darryl Spears, had done his proper research, he would have discovered the enlightened borough of Wenonah, NJ, which inherited a winter vulture population and has since made a clear profit of $10,000 on an annual Vulture Festival.
Speaking of the ever-popular East Coast Vulture Festival, it will be held on the first Saturday in March, 2011. At this festival, the children of the region will learn the following Religious Truths:
*Just because someone's droppings stink, that doesn't make them bad.
*Vultures do not kill kittens, puppies, or anything that isn't already almost dead.
*Vulture roosts are a WINTER season event only. As in winter, when it's cold. In the spring, they disperse.
*Vultures do not kill pine trees.
*Vultures only throw up on people who try to shoot them with paintballs. (LOL, that was in the Washington Post story. Someone had it coming!)
*Vultures are a protected species. If you kill one, be prepared. You're gonna pay.
On many occasions I have mused about the possibility of moving back into the Blue Ridge Mountains, to some bucolic McMansion-laden, Walmart-saturated bedroom suburb like Staunton, Virginia. But then I look around me at New Jersey ... sagging old New Jersey, with its refineries and its Snookies and its fat Republican governors, and I say, "Wait. This is Jersey. We treat vultures with respect."
Home sweet home.
Staunton, next time I go to the Skyline Drive, you won't even smell the exhaust from my car!