Where Memphis Leads the Pack



Not to be crass or insensitive to the suffering of others, but is there not a marketing opportunity for Memphis as a disaster play?

Texas is parched, as it seemingly is every summer. The West Coast and, now, the East Coast have earthquakes. The Gulf Coast has hurricanes or is on the watch for them. The Northeast has floods. The Southwest and Northwest have fires. San Francisco, which I visited recently, is picture pretty but awfully crowded and expensive and the week I was there protesters all but shut down the BART train.

Memphis has abundant pure water for drinking, bathing, making beer, and watering lawns. At least this summer, our grass is green from riverfront to suburbs even though it has been hot as blazes.

The last big quake was nearly 200 years ago.

Hurricanes are spent by the time they hit the Tennessee line and dump a few inches of rain.

Our record-breaking flood this year was 90 percent family-friendly photo op. It was downtown Nashville that got the serious flood damage in 2010, and the Cumberland River, not the Mississippi, was the culprit.

I suppose we could have a forest fire in Shelby Forest but it hasn't happened in my memory.

Our protests lately have run to animal shelters and bike lanes.

Our airport is eerily quiet, inside and out, except when the FedEx and Delta fleets land, and even then it is eminently manageable. We have an unused airport in Millington. When President Obama made his speech last night, I kept saying to myself "Got that" as in airport infrastructure (check), highways (check), and new schools (check).

I don't want to wish any bad luck on our fellow Americans, but on a day like today you can't help but feel that Memphis has it pretty good in some ways. And as things get worse, Memphis could look better.

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