Jim Thompson
Jim Thompson
By Jim Thompson
HCP columnist


You are going to have to hang with me on this one – we’ll be figuratively flying around the country.

While the country is focused on the presidential election, a replacement judge for the Supreme Court, Covid-19 and social justice, coastal state legislatures this week decided more important matters were at hand.

In California, where, besides all the matters I have just mentioned weighing heavily on the population, they are also facing rolling blackouts and a literally incendiary environment, the state legislature has decided this week to ban the purchase of new gasoline-powered automobiles by 2035.

Not to be outdone, the New Jersey legislature, on Thursday, banned single-use plastic and paper bags. Need I mention these are both Democrat-controlled bodies?

Hang on.

Tired of being cooped up this year, we decided to go on vacation this week. Laura and I have a favorite little hotel in Highlands, North Carolina. Only 109 miles from our home in north suburban Atlanta, it coincidently is owned by the same family that owns R&L Trucking near Wilmington. That is a cute enough coincidence in and of itself, but likely would not draw us back more than once.

What does draw us back to the “Park on Main” is their dog policy – bring as many as you want of any size you have. The mascot of the establishment is “Mr. Pickles,” a Scottish terrier in silhouette everywhere around the establishment.

We discovered this hotel in the days of our late dog, Fred, and now, Cotton and Broc, our two current mutts, have experienced the special therapeutic dog beds and pampering of the Park on Main. We also believe this is a good place away from home for Covid-19 times.

Not only is it close to home, requiring no stops between our house and the hotel, the elevation change to 4,100 feet puts one in a completely different environment. Additionally, a hotel with a dog policy such as this one must be dedicated to a fastidious cleaning regimen, a very excellent condition in the Covid-19 season.

Plastic bags went out of fashion several years ago. I happened to have had a business call this week, part of which covered the issue of investing in a paper machine which largely makes paper grocery bags. In that call, we were patting ourselves on the back about the continuing production of paper bags, not aware the New Jersey legislature has other ideas (or whether these other ideas will catch on nationwide – a problem for my client).

So, in this frame of mind, this afternoon, I am walking Cotton and Broc from our room to “Mr. Pickle’s Dog Park,” about a block away, for their afternoon relief and exercise session.

Focused on the task at hand, I notice I am using a plastic bag to do the owner’s duty when the dogs need to relieve themselves. I then think about the dogs’ food, which comes in a multiwall plastic and paper bag. I do something I have never done before. I consider what problems I am going to have helping my client, while in the same breath, I wonder about how we’ll take care of the dogs, if we happen to be in New Jersey (not likely).

It is beginning to look like the California legislature, for me personally, is the one that made the most sense this week. For, if they do succeed in banning new gasoline-engine cars in 2035, and if I succeed in living that long, I’ll be 85, and no one is going to let me drive anyway.

Jim Thompson, formerly of Marshall, is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and the University of Cincinnati. He resides in Duluth, Ga. and is a columnist for The Highland County Press. He may be reached at jthompson@taii.com.