Hello, everyone. Welcome to our special tour of the killing fields of Atlanta. I am your host, Grady W. Henry, with the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau. You are some of the top convention planners in the country and we want to familiarize you with our great city and hope we can interest you in bringing your groups and organizations here for your next convention. Let me start by saying you may hear some occasional gunfire. Please just ignore it. It’s nothing serious.

BANG! BANG! RAT-A-TAT-TAT! BOOM!

Before we begin our trip, just a couple of housekeeping items. First, be sure your bulletproof vests are firmly attached and that your helmets are on properly. And don’t forget to check your oxygen masks. They will be necessary as we come across burning buildings in town.

BANG! BOOM! RAT-A-TAT-TAT! RAT-A-TAT-TAT!

Just to be on the safe side, I have issued each of you an AK-47 and a baton in case there is some hand-to-hand combat required while we tour the city.

ACK! ACK! BOOM! BANG!

We are going to deviate slightly from the map we handed out because several of the roads have been barricaded. While that is an inconvenience, the ACVB would remind you that the streets of Paris were barricaded during “Les Misérables” and it didn’t hurt that town a bit. In fact, some great music came out of that situation. And a couple of Oscars, as I recall. I’m sure those manning our barricades will break out in song at any moment. They are such a bunch of wild and crazy guys. OOPS! DUCK!

SWOOSH! BOOM! ACK! ACK! ACK!

Whew! That was close! I guess they haven’t seen “Les Misérables.” We probably need to be moving on.

BANG! BANG! BANG!

Atlanta is, of course, the self-proclaimed civil rights capitol of the world and the “City Too Busy To Hate.” We are also known as the city that has lost all its bank headquarters and where the sewers don’t work and neither do a number of our citizens. But that doesn’t stop us from bragging. It has been said that if the city could suck like it can blow, we would have the Atlantic Ocean at our city limits. Ha! Ha! Just a little local humor for you folks while you pick the shrapnel off your suits. UH-OH! INCOMING!

BANG! KABOOM! BOOM!

As I was saying, there are several things that make Atlanta different from other cities as you consider future convention sites. For one thing, your attendees won’t have to worry about being stopped for jaywalking by the police in Atlanta. That is because there probably won’t be any police around to stop them. Police officers say milking cobras is safer than patrolling the mean streets of Atlanta. Even the Georgia State Patrol is thinking of moving its headquarters to Ringgold after a group of local civic boosters firebombed the place. HIT THE GROUND!

RAT-A-TAT! RAT-A-TAT! POP! POP! POP!

Okay, you can get up off the floor now, folks. They are gone. Looks like most of them are headed off to Wendy’s for lunch and a shootout. I guess they worked up quite an appetite firing at us.

POP! POP! POP!

Another unique feature of Atlanta is that it is one of the few major cities in the country without a daily newspaper and a major league baseball team. The daily paper saw what was happening and cut out several years ago. The baseball team left soon after. If you want to go where there is both a daily newspaper and a major league baseball team, you will have to go to the sleepy little town of Cobb County but we don’t recommend that because of a couple of screwballs on their school board and a guy at the newspaper who is always writing about mules.

BOOM! BANG! RAT-A-TAT! RAT-A-TAT!

Well, folks, we are at the end of our tour. On behalf of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, I want to thank you for risking your lives to be with us today. Please leave your bulletproof vests, helmets and oxygen masks on your seats. I will collect the AK-47s and batons as you leave the bus. In the meantime, in appreciation for being here the ACVB would like you to have this souvenir, a luggage tag that says, ‘Atlanta: We are shooting for your business.’ Clever, eh?

POW! POW! POP! POP! POP!

Now, some important instructions as you leave the bus. Wait for my signal. Stay low. Single file. Watch your back. And when I give the OK, run like the dickens. Is everybody ready? Okay, now! Go! Go! Run! Run for your lives! Oh, I forgot to mention my bosses said to remind you again that we are the City Too Busy To Hate. WATCH OUT! INCOMING!

WHOOSH! KABOOM! RAT-A-TAT! RAT-A-TAT!

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You can reach Dick Yarbrough at dick@dickyarbrough.com; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta GA 31139; or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dickyarb.

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