Blogger for a Day: My Dad's City Can Beat Up Your Dad's City

The Mature and Gathered Thoughts of a Lunatic

"My Dad's from Chicago!"

The kid’s faces bore that shock of anticipation. What was I to do next? The immediate thought was, of course, answer with violence. However, punching this loudmouth Tommy would only have confirmed that he and his father did, in fact, know more about deep-dish pizza than me and mine. Truth be told, my father barely knew the Open Kitchen sold pizza.

This childhood memory haunts me still today. I’ve maintained the desire to stick up for what I believe in, and if I don’t like something, I usually punch it.

I'm StockCar Johnson, Ambassador of Charlotte, and I'm a native.

That's not my 12-step program intro, just who I am. Since I was a kid, my fair city has grown, and in growing has taken on some adolescent pains. Sometimes Charlotte has acted bigger than its britches. Other times, we take a back seat when maybe we deserve more credit. We did after all have most of the leaders of the free world here for a week, incident free; that's not something some dump like Tampa can boast. I've done some research on this town in my day. Heck I've probably forgotten more about Charlotte than most people ever learn. I blame this mostly on White Lighting – ‘shine I get from Ashe County.

Now, I can go down a list of why I think my hometown is the best, throw in some census dot gee oh vee figures to back it up, dash some money numbers around, and abracadabra, my dad’s city can beat up your dad’s city. But, this is not the recipe for Shake and Bake; this is serious business.

Instead I'm asking some key questions, putting to use my very single-minded, unbiased research. I'm willing to find out where Charlotte would stand in a city-by-city UFC Battle Royale. Questions like, when Charlotte enters the octagon, what song is giving you goose bumps? These are very pertinent questions. I'll answer the song one now: "Flirting With Disaster" by Molly Hatchet.

Here are some more questions:

Are we really named after a Queen? Yes, of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, to be exact. Lick that, Cincinnati.

Have we had a street gang featured on Gangland? Big ups Hidden Valley, said no one in Austin.

How many total days with sun? Over 200; have some rain for your tears, Portland.

I've resorted back to my childhood. Chicago Tommy challenging my dad, my city, my pizza knowledge. I wanna stand in the octagon for Charlotte and take on any and all contenders; send them back from whence they came via a wailing fender strat solo. But this is my dad’s city, a city of rebellion and resilience, and I've gotta let it fight its fight.

The ‘89 Book Fair taught me that. My attempt to show Tommy’s dad’s face Where the Sidewalk Ends ended with the taser shot heard ‘round East Charlotte. Now our dads get drunk together each year at Speed Street and pick fights with Kurt Busch fans.

Can Charlotte beat up your dad’s city? Ask Cornwallis. So if Charlotte can, will it beat up another city? Maybe.

More likely, Charlotte will find a common reason for y’all to soak up some sun and catch a buzz.

Categories: Arts + Culture, Revue