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Masters Week is here, and so are the visitors

As if I needed another reminder that it's Masters Week, I received a rather humorous one Monday afternoon, nonetheless. I realize there is a huge influx of tourists to our area during the first week in April every year, but I like to think of myself as fairly well-traveled.

I fought my way to a fast-food establishment through busier-than-normal lunchtime traffic. Since there's always something left to write, I sat in line at the drive through window to get my food and return to the office to work while I ate.

As I was waiting, I noticed a car bearing a Missouri tag in the parking lot between the two restaurants. I thought about how wonderful it was to have people come to our county on purpose for once during the year.

What I neglected to consider was how some people consider sights - however insignificant - that are different from their everyday lives as something to behold and cherish.

While waiting on my meal, several people climbed out of the car with cameras in hand and started snapping multiple close-up pictures of wisteria blooms draped along the fence between the businesses.

I had to chuckle for a few reasons. First, if anybody knows better than to advertise being an outsider, it's me. People across the world know the ripest of pickings to take advantage of are those from out of town.

Never advertise you're a tourist by, say, taking pictures of something the locals see every day and likely don't even care about. Just do your best to blend in, and things will always go much more smoothly.

My next thought was how sad of a place they must think Thomson is that the only interesting thing they could find to entertain themselves was a flowering vine. That'll last all of two minutes. Three if they're from the desert.

But the funniest thing was that they have no idea what kind of a pest that plant can be. Yes, the blooms may be pretty for a week or so, but the vines themselves can eat sheds, abandoned cars and even slow moving children in much the same fashion as kudzu.

And you can't kill it. I vividly recall my father's description of how to attempt to vanquish wisteria. He said dig up the plant by the roots; chop everything into one inch long segments; let 18-wheelers run those over 24 hours a day for a month; brush the remains onto a lawn, and it will proceed to grow back.

So in short, as we have obvious out-of-towners here for the rest of the week, I'll just smile brightly and nod warmly. They won't be here long, taking pictures of our wondrous plant life. And by the way, the money they spend here does come in handy.

Web posted on Thursday, April 05, 2007

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