It’s a season of discord, not harmony; a time for parting, not joining; a time for divorce, not marriage. What does the good book say? “A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.” It sure seems like the latter is in the air, and it all started with the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. It seemed to come as quite a surprise to the ruling classes; so much so that Prime Minister David Cameron quit when the results of the vote came in. And a lot of the more sophisticated types are now complaining that the voters were stupid or misled, even though there were massive advertising campaigns put on by the “Remain” forces to convince voters of the wisdom of staying in the EU when the so-called Brexit issue came to a vote.
We don’t know anything about international politics, but we thought the name “Brexit” was itself pretty funny as were the many copycat, but maybe not altogether serious, departure movements said to have arisen in other countries in the EU. At first we found ourselves hoping that Holland would stay put just because “Hoxit” actually had kind of a disgusting sound to it. There were cool ones, though; for Italy there was “Ita-leave”, for Greece, “Grexit”, “De-Partugal” for Portugal, and “Czech-out” for the Czech Republic.
Meanwhile, people stateside had to get into the act with proposed state secession drives, like “Tennesee-ya”, “Oh-Bye-O”, “Michi-gone”, and “U-tata”. Then there was “Toodleloo-siana”, “Hit-The-Rhode Island” and “Massachus-it’s-been-real”. Only “Texit” was remotely serious, but most observers think it’s long on hat and short on cattle. Inevitably, even cities got into the act, with proposals like “Philadel-Seeya” and “So-Long Island”.
Naturally, it occurred to us that some of our municipalities might want to secede from Allegheny County if only to avoid the extra 1% in sales tax associated with the Regional Asset District. This would be an impractical and frankly cheapskate thing to do, but if you harken back to the late 1990’s you may recall how they put the question of raising the local sales tax even more – an additional one half percent – to a vote and, in spite of emotional and impassioned pleas from local newscasters, sports figures, celebrities and various political pantloads, it went down to a stinging defeat. When the people have expressed their anti-tax will in so resounding a fashion, you have to suspect that they might take the next logical step and instigate secessionist movements aimed at an even lower rate.
Anyway, it’s only theoretical, of course, but you could see nicknames for such efforts like, “Gone-roeville”, and if it caught on there, and continuing in that direction, “Plum Outta Here” might catch on. “North Versailing Away” would be only natural. “Forward-ing Address Township” might anticipate disruption in postal service occasioned by the departure. You couldn’t blame “Upper St. Cleared-For-Takeoff”, what with the thousands in extra sales tax that one percent adds to the cost of the average Rolls or Bentley. “Scram-ton Township” has a ring to it. “Friendship-ahoy”?
Here in the valley, we might be seeing secessionist campaigns like, “Adieu-quesne.” Whitaker could turn to “Splitaker” before long, although movements like “Home-Fled” and “Mc-Flees-Port” don’t seem to have the same pizzazz. “Rankin-You Call Me A Cab” might inspire. “Lincoln Dis-Placed”? We don’t know. “Hazelwood-you-Show-Me-The-Door” might be in the offing. As you worked your way up the Yough, don’t be surprised if you run into “Hasta La Buena Vista” and “Gone-ellsville.” Wait, that’s in Fayette County, huh? You could always have “Stowe-Away Township”
At any rate, the site of our home office, the Borough of Munhall, seems to be safe from the threat of a secessionist movement since, try as we might, we can’t seem to get the name to conform to any clever sounding “exit” or “departing” coinage. But wait. There is one possibility. You’ll have to fill in the blank, though, to “Mun-Hauling _____”
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