Small towns are nice, safe, and quiet. All the drama takes place in the big city, right? Not exactly. There's a dark side to small towns. Countless scandals and incidents that can range from harmless and annoying to outright terrifying. So, before we pick out that remote hamlet that looks great for retirement, let’s consider these strange stories sown by small-town folk.
1. If These Walls Could Talk
When I was in middle school one of my brothers’ friends that lived down the street went missing. She had an older boyfriend who also lived on the same street. He was allegedly the last person to see her and the story was that she had left his house late at night to walk home, and he never got the usual phone call that she got home safe.
After 24 hours of not hearing from her, her boyfriend and her family filed a missing persons report. Eventually, the search parties stopped, the missing posters were taken down, and she was deemed as lost. Fast forward to a couple of years later. The boyfriend had been moved out of the house for a while now, a new family moves in.
The kids are playing in the woods behind the house, and they find her bones. The skull was totally bashed in and a disturbing amount of her bones were broken. The worst part was the remains were no more than 6 feet from the house. I have no idea why the officers hadn't found them, but it really sparked a debate in our town about how serious our police force is.
2. Headlock Justice
A few days ago, Amber Alert sent out an emergency message about a fellow in a green car who had knifed his girlfriend and stolen their baby out of San Jose, which is three hours north of us. Lo and behold, the guy was caught right at our own downtown gas station when he accidentally locked the baby and his keys in his car, which drew attention to him.
A good Samaritan from an entirely different town (a tourist) put the puzzle together and put the guy in a headlock until the authorities arrived.
3. Self-Serving Justice
A local PD likes to post "wanted" pictures on its Facebook page. The other day, I saw one of their dumb wanted postings of some woman who is allegedly evading officers for substance charges and intent to distribute. The suspect herself commented on the post and said, "I'm not evading, I'm not on the run, I've been out of town, and when I come back, I'm turning myself in".
Maybe not a scandal, but I thought that was pretty funny.
4. Grocery Gripes
I left my small town years ago, but I was home over Thanksgiving and got an earful. The local grocery store was renovated/expanded after 30 years and now "everything’s moved and you can’t find nothing". I was home for four days and literally every new social interaction with people in town involved the freaking grocery store and how awful it is now.
Spoiler: It actually looks quite nice and they hang signs over the aisles telling you where things are. You know, like a grocery store.
5. Cheese Thrower
Someone keeps throwing slices of cheese on cars in the next town over. The neighborhood Facebook page is in an uproar. Our townspeople are being vigilant that they don't bring their troublemaking to our town (there's a bit of a rivalry between towns, ours is your typical suburbia, theirs is more rural and the people are referred to as "pineys"). I follow it all for amusement.
6. The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree
A local jerk has been taking people's money to do house repairs and not doing the work. Did it to an elderly lady in her 80s whose daughter is my mom's friend, and the daughter has been telling everyone. Now the jerk wants to sue her for defamation by...telling the truth. Guy's as bad as his dad, who ran for mayor and lost badly because nobody liked him and was caught telling lies.
Better than last year's scandal—someone was breaking into seasonal homes and was eventually caught with the stuff, illicit substances, and guns.
7. Poor Neighbors
A woman took money from a school. They just trusted her. She lives right next to me and her kids still go to school there. The girl was always very quiet; she has only said like three words to me and I've known her for about two years. The mother is away right now, so the kids are left with their grandparents, whom we're also neighbors with. They have like 12 dogs and they're constantly on our property.
They chase our cows and slaughtered our kittens, so we don't have cats anymore. They (the neighbors) said that if we get a dog and it goes onto their land, they'll shoot it. So yeah, basically a bad situation for the kids and everyone else involved.
8. A Warm Place to Sleep
A local dude got sent to a maximum-security prison for breaking into his own house. Granted, it was condemned and that was his fault because of illicit substances. But still. Dude needed a place to sleep. It was like ten degrees. He needed to be taken into custody but rehab would've been a better place for him. It was his second or third brush with local authorities so they went pretty hard on him.
His whole life has been one bad thing after another and I don’t know if anyone could help him at this point, but it just doesn't seem humane to send a guy to the pen for needing a warm place to sleep.
9. The Bully
The biggest scandal that I know of involved a bully and overall bad guy from school who I sat next to in art class. I tried to help him, but he was a lost cause. He ended up being jailed for slaying a 20-year-old girl during a drug deal. He was going to buy dope off her but decided to shoot her, later stating he "wanted to know what it felt like to kill somebody".
He was 17 at the time, I believe. This was a couple years ago, but not much really happens here, thankfully.
10. The Flip Flop
About four months ago, this one cheap and discarded flip-flop remained at a "busy" intersection for enough time (about two weeks total) that people noticed its continued presence, acknowledged it in our town's social media groups, became fond of it, and all but rioted when it was finally removed after it became popular.
The next day, there was a new, cheap, discarded flip flop at every intersection in town as protest, and when some of those were removed, others appeared "until the original flip flop was placed in its original location". The hype fizzled down soon after that and I stopped reading our local news because of it (which was easy because I was in an industrial turn-around for the last three months).
11. The Chicken Town
Okay, so our last mayor decided to not run this year because he's been in the news a lot for threatening to kill his neighbor's dog, as well as just threatening the neighbor in general. Wasn't faring well for him. So, a friend of his who was a very well-known socialite and realtor decided to run in his place. Well, my city is sort of small, and the people who have lived here a while would like to keep the houses from being built pretty much on top of each other.
So, she quickly found herself opposed, with the competition's platform built around preserving the natural land we have left and dumping old, earmarked projects that were planned literally 20 years ago that no one wants anymore. Surprisingly, yet not surprisingly, her opponent won. And right after the opponent took office, she began pushing through decades-old earmarked land sales and making new land sale negotiations—the exact opposite of her platform, like "mayor" just means "honorary realtor" or something.
People very much badly want her head on a platter. The population here is completely furious. To give further info in my small town: population of 41,000. That includes kids. The city's main Facebook page (run by the socialite) only accepts adult residents of the city into the group, and the last I checked, there are about 35,000 members.
For another example of how small it is, I'll use this bizarre story that's 100% true: Someone a very long time ago dumped a flock of chickens in the middle of downtown. According to the stories, an old guy had a lot of chickens and when he passed on, his son inherited everything—including the birds. He didn't want to keep the chickens so, instead of selling them, he just figured if he dumped them off in the middle of downtown, they'd be scooped up or eliminated.
What ended up happening, though, is that the town weirdly rallied around these abandoned chickens. No one takes them in. They're allowed to roam wherever they want; the outsides of restaurants, the post office, the library, schools, etc. Vets do chicken check-ups pro bono, and people will absolutely lose their freaking minds if someone doesn't always respect the chicken. It's kind of odd.
There are chicken souvenirs all over the place, even though literally NO ONE comes HERE to visit if they don't already know someone here, so they pretty much already have their chicken swag.
12. Double Scandals
I've got two stories. The first one happened almost two years ago, and it involved a girl in one of my classes. She was in lockdown because her parents didn't trust her. This girl is adopted. She quit coming to school and we found out she had been homeschooled. No one really heard from her from then on. So, one day everyone hears that when her "mother" came home from work...she walking in on a horrifying scene: The "daughter" and her husband doing it in the bedroom.
She was devastated. She kicked him out and the girl. She filed for divorce. The man, who is in his late forties, decides he doesn't want his wife anymore. He left her, bought a new house and is living with the girl now. They've been in a relationship since then, just going on like everything is totally normal. It's insane.
The second one happened last year when the football coach got busted for sending a minor inappropriate messages. The authorities had the girl’s phone in custody when he sent one to her phone. It was so shocking because he was so well respected. His last name is one of those names that was instantly respected in the school/town.
He has children who do sports and are also a big deal so when this came out it hit them hard. But they weren't mad at their dad...they were mad at the girl for getting their dad apprehended. His daughter said quote, "When I see her, I'm going to freaking beat her up". That girl didn't come to school in a while. Everyone at school didn't mention it but we all knew.
We knew from the secret whispers and the news. All in all, he isn't allowed to go to any school/town gatherings.
13. The Ballad of Jim and Bill
This happened years ago, but it's good. Bill, long-time and beloved mayor, announced he was done, and even if winning from write-ins he would decline. Jim, a local business owner, is the only one who runs for mayor. Jim isn't well-liked. His employees often speed and don't stop at stop signs (no lights in this town). Well, come election day Jim wins by a small margin against Bill's write-ins.
Jim's first order of business is to revamp the budget. He suggested to fire the one officer and sell all related equipment. Less than a month after his wish is granted, Jim resigns as mayor...then slowly, his devious plan comes to light. He allegedly wanted the cop gone because his guys kept getting tickets. Bill then takes over for another term.
14. The Palm Reader
A lady lost control of her car and drove into a palm reader's storefront. The palm reader was apparently quite surprised...
15. Family Drama
I don't live there anymore (had to escape to the city) but one of my little sisters (let's call her Ali) has recently: Stiffed one of her friends on a $90k loan to repair their home telling them that she has to take care of her family first and they'll never see the money. Filed for bankruptcy and told the judge that one of my other sisters is who pays for the private school for Ali's little boy.
This is a complete lie. She also said private school is a complete joke and the kids who come out of it are spoiled little brats who are about two to three years behind kids in the local public school, academically speaking. Been gossiping about a ton of folks. She owns a well-known business and folks are starting to avoid going there. Ali doesn't know why business is suddenly dropping off.
So, it's not just small-town drama, it's also family drama.
16. Moose Warning System
We have a moose warning system in the form of a Facebook group where you write out when and where you saw the moose. We use it to track the movements of those monsters so as to warn others of potential moose on the road situations. To avoid traffic accidents. Now some people have been found guilty of ignoring the group. The town is divided. I've seen ugly looks thrown around, whispers behind hands, rumors are spreading, harsh words on the internet.
This is growing bigger than the kidnapped trash cans. Oh, and Freddie the Chihuahua broke out of his yard again. His escapades always seem to engage everyone. That dog is God darn Houdini reborn.
17. Tiny Town, Big Problems
I live in a tiny town of 2,100 people. The town itself is only a mile wide. It takes maybe 45 mins to walk around town and see everything there is to see. But it's a haven for illicit substances. I got into them pretty bad when I moved here. I still am. And it's a difficult process of getting off them because EVERYONE here does some kind of drug. Our last mayor was kicked out of office for doing hard substances and sleeping with his associates.
But things have recently gotten so much worse. A couple of kids have been getting fatally shot recently over gang and dealing activity. The last one was shot so many times we couldn't recognize who it was at first till his sister posted on Facebook that he's been missing—they put the pieces together and found out it was that girl’s brother. But the crazy thing is we only have two officers in our town. And they live next to each other.
Whoever shot him threw his body on top of the fence in their backyards. Crazy stuff man.
18. Fake Friends
An acquaintance of mine made up a fake friend a few weeks ago, and it only got worse. All fake names. I didn't notice this at first, since I don't keep track of the new people I see in my Facebook feed, but a person I'm friends with because I knew her in high school (let's call her "Jane") was making a lot of posts of, with, and/or involving this friend of hers (let's call him "Dave").
It only became notable to me because I'd never met Dave or heard of him before this slew of posts happened, and for a while I was good friends with Jane and felt it weird that I'd never heard of him. But I wasn't suspicious then—but then a tragedy struck and changed everything. Very recently, a group of popular guys in our hometown had a motor vehicle accident and all perished. It was a very sad event (I knew one of them personally).
On the day of the incident, though, Jane made a post declaring that her best friend Dave had been fatally struck in a similar motor vehicle accident when he was on his way to meet up with her. And yes, she confirmed, they were secretly in love. Now, remembering how he seemed to pop out of nowhere a few weeks earlier, I began to get suspicious.
You see, Jane has a bit of a bad habit. Over the past few years, she's created several fake Twitter and Facebook accounts of several of her favorite singers (none so famous that it would be blatantly unbelievable) and faked friendships and entire conversations with them to get admiration from her more gullible friends.
It's kind of an open secret that she does this, and nobody really pays it much mind. She's a very dramatic person (the main reason I don't really talk to her anymore) and I can only assume everyone else doesn't want to deal with the drama that'll happen if she gets put on blast for it. So, I did some digging. "Dave" had only ever posted one profile picture. Weird.
Turns out, the account was created a few days before their first post together (there was a brief bug on Facebook where you were able to see someone's date of account creation by looking at the date the "[year]: [x] was born" post was added to their timeline). What a coincidence. Seeing his only one profile picture, I looked up some "emo boys often used for catfishing" and, would you look at that, his profile picture was right in there.
Yep, fake account for her best friend. More attention-seeking behavior. Or so I thought. The story's not over. A couple of days ago, Jane posted a long rant on her timeline. It began with the phrase "to everyone accusing me of stealing their clothes" and did not let up there. It went on a long somewhat rambled rant about how "Dave’s" mother had started sending her his clothes after his untimely "death" and ended saying that everyone accusing her could go screw themselves because they were in LOVE and she was still so very, very sad about him dying.
And that's the end of the story so far. A few people other than me have started to figure it out. Waiting with bated breath to see where it goes.
19. The Police Chief
Our (now former) police chief was running a "sting" that nobody else on the force knew about. He was posing as a teen boy on Facebook to get the details on the bad kids in town. Supposedly. That was his defense. In reality, he was pulling over the cute teen girls he connected with on Facebook, chatting them up, asking for their numbers, and God only knows what else.
He got investigated and fired shortly after. New chief seems like a decent guy.
20. Small-Town New Zealand
Oh yeah, small-town New Zealand. Someone keeps pooping in the community pool. Also, someone is sending poison pen letters to people in the township. Before all of these scandals, the self-serve gas pump got a new sign which really had the locals talking...
21. Small-Town Injustice
Small town cop shot an unarmed Native American guy right smack-dab in the middle of the town's crowded 4th of July celebration. Fireworks went on as planned. They finally released bodycam footage and the guy's last words to the cop were, "Hey, be cool, man". Then pop, pop just immediately after while the guy steps out of frame. Cop claimed the guy was threatening him with a screwdriver, which was never seen in footage.
Prosecutors are deciding whether the cop faces charges.
22. Homeless Phobia
We have one homeless guy. Half of the town is clutching their pearls in horror at the very idea. They call 9-1-1 on him whenever they see him anywhere in town. The officers had to release a statement in the local paper that it is not against the law to be homeless. I really don’t get people a lot of the time.
45. Walmart Shootout
Well, Well, Well...Finally, something that I can add to and be relevant. I live in a small town in North Carolina and it’s not incredibly small, but it is by no means large. Just big enough to have a Walmart 10 min from my house. There was a kid known for getting into illicit substances and violent situations and everyone knew it. He was apprehended in middle school.
The other day late at night in the Walmart, he got shot several times. He did not die but is in "critical stable" condition. There were 12-15 gunshots but not all of them hit and I don’t know the exact number that did hit. I knew him. He was cool. Now he’s shot. Tough luck.
24. A Slow Descent
A high-level employee at a very prominent and well-regarded local indie business is fired. He makes public social media posts confirming that he was fired and claiming it was for no good reason. This person is relatively popular with many friends/acquaintances in town and succeeds in turning quite a few people against this business and having them proclaim they'll never shop there again for how they treated him.
Fast forward a few months and the guy is caught stealing...at this business. Finally, his web of lies unraveled. It now comes out that he was fired for illicit substance use and suspected prior theft. He now publicly confirms that he was on dope, but claims he is deeply remorseful and trying to get clean. Loses some support due to the offenses committed, but still has quite a few vocal supporters due to "admitting he has a problem" and "trying to get help".
Over the next several months he has a long continuous public meltdown on social media and it becomes obviously apparent that he is still using and in no way seeking help, due to both logical inconsistencies in his stories and the increasingly deranged content of the posts. Supporters quietly drop away with each passing day and eventually, he is left just kind of yelling his instane rants into an empty social media void.
At the height of said derangement, a local woman makes a public post with included receipts showing that he's been harassing many, MANY local women (sending them inappropriate pics and very aggressively demanding hookups) and also confirming that he is still heavily using and dealing. He has now dropped off the face of the (internet) earth thanks to that post.
The affected business is still booming, and many, many local people are feeling really stupid for rallying behind him.
As Australia is currently on fire still, we have had people in my town starting fires even though there is a complete fire ban. Their intentions are to increase the fire size faster and join it with the main fire zone. This is happening in multiple places because teenagers are freaking stupid.
26. Old Habits
The county high school decided to remove the confederate flag from their logo. Their mascot is "The Rebels". There was immediately a huge uproar so they caved in and kept it. I also heard the same town where the school is located was going to have a gay pride float in the Christmas parade. Again, there was a huge uproar so they just canceled the whole darn thing.
27. Park Poisoner
Someone's been scattering some kind of rat poison or similar pellets across the grounds of public dog parks or areas that are known to have pets roaming (with owners). Since dog owners have protected their dogs from said poison (you could see powder or pellets scattered), it instead poisoned all the kangaroos in the area. Just for context, you don't typically see kangaroos roaming in broad daylight, they like to stay away from human life as much as possible and they roam in tall grass or woodlands.
At night they come out to the open parks and pastures to graze and chill. After the dog park poison attacks, we were finding lifeless kangaroos and wallabies laid out in groups. Their skin under their fur had turned a slight purple/blue hue. It was absolutely heartbreaking. The person(s) responsible for the poisoning, which happened repeatedly over a period of two months, was never found. The council instead just had to close the parks altogether until they were deemed safe to reopen.
They would close and reopen several times due to contamination fears.
28. Quirky Town
There are two pretty big ones in my hometown. A sheep farmer has lost two sheep that have been on the lam (please forgive the pun, but that’s what everyone around here says) since like October and not a single person, including animal control, has been able to catch them. To this day, they’re still wandering around out here.
The second is some lady put department store mannequins in her yard and people are upset because it’s ugly, and she often dresses them in revealing clothes and puts them in provocative positions and on top of that most of them are only the bottom half. The debate is whether it’s junk or her expressing herself and the village has given her 10 days to take them down.
And we’re still waiting...
29. The Crybaby
A board member at our local high school tried to get our football coach fired (the board member was his assistant coach about 4-5 years ago and did an inadequate job so the head coach fired him). This man fires the football coach for revenge (the team wasn’t even terrible this year) but the whole football team came to the meeting to get his job back.
Coach gets his job back and the board member gets to be an even bigger crybaby for not getting what he wants.
30. Axe Wielding Man
Schizophrenic man pulls an ax on a park ranger and threatens to slit his throat. The authorities come and he runs. He’s now wanted, armed, and dangerous. He keeps coming into the gas station I manage. I keep calling 9-1-1 but they won’t send anyone down to check it out. They claim he’s out of town. I’m scared to work my third shift.
31. Everyone Knows
Town of about 3,000 people. Buddy of mine, 25 years old, slept with the 45-50-year-old wife of a well-known business owner. My buddy was at the same time engaged to his girlfriend. They are now married. Everyone, including my buddy's girlfriend and her parents, and the husband, know this. Somehow, everyone seems to ignore it.
The older couple have a son by the way, who's about 18 years old—and I think he might literally be the only person in town who doesn't know.
32. The Ice Debate
I live in Japan. An elderly man was trying to walk to the convenience store and, for some reason, decided to walk on the edge of the road and not on the sidewalk. It had snowed the day before, and while the sidewalk had been cleared, the roads were clearer because of all the people driving on it. Unfortunately, it also meant it was super slippery as well.
He slipped and fell and half my office ran out to help him into the ambulance and the other half stayed in to make sure work kept running smoothly. Then, the drama started. For about a week the debate was on whether the city did a poor job clearing the sidewalks, or whether the old man shouldn't have been walking in the road.
I've seen old people do this even in summer because they don't give a heck about rules for some reason. Also, walking on a slippery semi-busy road after a snowstorm seems absolutely not a good idea.
33. The Fire Chief
Local fire chief and his wife have been embezzling thousands of dollars from the fire department fund. They’ve also have received multiple federal grants that went straight into their accounts. State troopers finally caught them yesterday.
34. Underwear Thief
Someone keeps stealing old Mrs. Robinson’s underwear during the wee hours. Apparently, the suspect is hard to nail down as he’s been described as Caucasian, with short brown hair, aged 35-45, and 6ft tall with a strong Irish accent. That describes 90% of the lads in the shire! Personally, I think these people need glasses—I’m actually 5’9"...
35. Another Day in Paradise
A huge Facebook Data Center just opened in my small, very backward town. A lot of people moved here from out of state to work there. All very young, fresh out of college, tech types. The types that come from cities...neighborhoods where drug addicts and families of 14 living in a single mobile home aren’t exactly the norm for them.
Some of these new folks (a super sweet, nerdy guy and his girl) move in right across the street from me...and right next door to the most stereotypical trashy, crazy, drug dealer you can imagine. Like this guy always looks like he just walked out of a freaking explosion or something. So, the new guy is obviously worried about his new neighbor and repeatedly calls 9-1-1 on the dealer and his increasingly deranged behavior.
This soon escalates into an all-out war of craziness and retaliation. The climax of all of this culminates with the dealer standing on the roof of his trailer, completely, screeching, playing with himself, and hurtling old tires and other debris all over the new guy's property, trailer, and Prius... at 2 am on a Monday night.
I wander out to watch just in time to see the new guy finally snap when one of the tires hits his girl and lays her right the heck out. The new guy grabs a shovel from his yard, hops the fence and begins scrambling up the side of the dealer’s trailer. Just as he gets himself up on the roof and begins brandishing his shovel, a sheriff car pulls up and hits both of them with their floodlight.
The officers take one look at the scene in front of them, stare at each other for a moment, then one of them yells: "KID, DROP THE SHOVEL AND GET DOWN FROM THERE! AND FOR GOD SAKES RANDY, PUT SOME CLOTHES ON AND GET SOME SLEEP!" The new guy obeys and hops down. Randy then scrambles down, gives everyone watching (pretty much the entire neighborhood at this point) one more good junk-shaking shimmy then skitters inside.
The good old small-town sheriff deputies, of course, do their job and immediately take off once new guy and Randy are both inside their homes. The next day, the new guy's water heater goes missing (i.e., gets ripped right out from the side of his trailer) and everyone in town is talking about Randy's junk. It's been weeks, and people are still talking about Randy's junk.
Another day in paradise.
36. The Flying Poop Bags
My neighbor divorced his wife and she took the kids. So, he rented out half of his house and built a wall that separates his now split-in-two house. The thing is he has only one bathroom and it’s with the tenants. His part of the house HAS NO TOILET. So, my neighbor decided that the best thing to do is to pee in the sink and poop in plastic bags.
He then proceeds to toss these plastic bags outside his window to an open field next to him. We only found out because a group of kids were playing there and a flying poo filled bag exploded next to them. I still have PTSD flashbacks every time I see a black plastic bag. They were everywhere.
37. A Change of Heart
I live in a suburb of Chicago that's like a small town. My bartender is tied up in a court battle with her brother. It came as a shock to everyone because her brother is deaf and she took care of him a lot. They were thick as thieves. Their dad passed on and the brother did a 180 and sued my bartender for stealing his inheritance. My bartender is heartbroken and everyone is shocked. He's a good kid, very quiet and hard-working.
Something overcame him and made him turn against his sister. No one can figure out how his brother found a lawyer by himself or thought to sue her in the first place. He won't talk about it with anyone, he's just angry at everyone now. My bartender thinks that his wife is controlling him because she wants the money. It's a mystery.
Another scandal—a regular at our bar was found lifeless at his own home, no one knows how he met his end. Some think that it was homicide. There are a lot of theories.
38. The Useless Department
The local volunteer fire department is run by a bunch of freaking idiots. About 3 years ago, one of said idiots was caught on video using prejudiced slurs. We all know how freaking stupid they all are. They're useless as heck, too. The city fire department from nearby Bayou la Batre, AL, has been onsite at fires 25 minutes plus away from their station, and had the blaze controlled, but not quite extinguished before the local guys ever show up.
The volunteer station is no more than five minutes away from anywhere in my little unincorporated town.
39. The State Trooper
A few months ago, a guy was working on his relative’s vehicle that broke down right outside of a school. Long story short, a state trooper shot the guy working on the vehicle because he was carrying a pistol with a permit. The wife is now suing the state.
40. The Skate Park
The town I grew up in, a tiny farm town, had a skate park built by some kids using compacted dirt ramps. It started as a bike thing. The city saw their initiative, sold the kids the plot of land for $1, and funded it to get paved and become a full-on skate park. Granted, it's in a flood zone, but it was awesome to see the town support the kids and not tear their ramps down.
This was when I was in high school, I am 33 now. Not a scandal or anything, but this made me think of it and how vandalizing that kind of thing is pretty messed up after all the effort was put into it to help out the kids.
41. A Troubled Past
About two years ago, my small town in the mid-west had a lovely woman working at the local breakfast spot. She rented an apartment above one of the other stores downtown (downtown was roughly a half-mile long) and embraced the town's culture. A couple of weeks later, the man she left to come to our town showed up and held her captive for 18 hours in her apartment.
The local authorities had no idea how to handle it, nor did the sheriff. FBI negotiator ended up getting her released before the guy ended his life.
42. Spell it Out
Well, the main square was under construction and the mayor decided to spell out his last name with black bricks on the floor so it could be seen when the square was done. When people noticed, he tried to talk his way out of it by saying that the letters represent the stores around the square. Now he had to resign as mayor...
43. The Barbed Wire Fence
Not a small town, but when I lived in San Antonio there was a tilt-wall building not much bigger than a double-wall trailer surrounded by a chain-link fence with tilted barbed wire on top and a double gate. Unmarked white SUVs went in and out somewhat regularly. It was right near a Taco Cabana where some of my work buddies and I would go eat lunch and we saw it and never thought much about it.
Until we recognized that the angled barbed wire on top was tilted inward. Typically, when you are trying to keep people out of something, you mount the barbed wire so it's facing outward. This was to keep something/someone from escaping. We were guessing it was a DEA interrogation room or something.
44. Train Problems
Our current scandal is that the company running our trains hasn’t been doing a good job lately. Basically, they decided that the old trains needed replacing with new ones, and that as these new trains would be quicker, they would be able to add more services. Trouble is, they added the extra services before they were ready. The drivers have only just been going on their training to learn about these new trains, and as such they aren’t available to drive them.
This has led to widespread delays, in some cases resulting in there being a two hour rather than one hour wait between trains. It has gotten so bad that our local MPs have been stepping in and demanding that they get the trains running properly or they will cancel their contract and go with another company.
45. Yoga Drama
Does chatter around my yoga studio count? One woman brought up another’s yoga pants and she said she got them at Marshall’s. The next lady declared said Marshall’s to be embarrassingly lacking in different things to buy. Then another loud snowbird said she was at the Marshall’s last week and "couldn’t have spent money there if she tried". Head visiting girl declared it downright "countrified" and said in a Marshall’s in Atlanta, she would spend "$500 in 6 minutes".
Then a local guy brought up the nearby city’s shopping center and all three whiners started complaining about the traffic surrounding it, and the time to get there. Like...you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Either you vacation in a small town, and live the small-town life, or you go to a bigger city and deal with the traffic!
Ticked me off pretty good actually, and I’m not even from here originally.
46. The Self-Interested Mayor
They decided it would be great to add a bike path through our small tourist town. We already have a bike lane running through it, but no one seems to mention that. Now, adding a nice wide path doesn't sound immediately like a big deal, but the highway runs straight through the center of town, so if you add anything to either side, you have to tear up either residential yards, or the already tiny and impossible to maneuver parking lots of small businesses.
Of course, city hall decided that it would be a mess to tear up 30-40 yards, so they're taking the parking lot space instead. We already have a parking issue, and the businesses that it would screw over are the ones that actually serve locals (gas stations, hardware stores, and some small restaurants). But our mayor literally doesn’t care. It's become really apparent that if you aren't a bar, high-end restaurant, or art gallery, he doesn't care about your opinion because you don't serve the tourists as much as everyone else.
So, over the course of two years, our main road through town is going to be clogged to heck, traffic will be redirected to God knows where. People who own small businesses that have been serving the community for, in some cases, 40 plus years, are going to have their parking removed or access ruined, roads into the lots will be removed permanently, and a few are losing their signposts.
All for the bike path. Did I mention the mayor is an avid cyclist and owns and operates the bike shop in town? Oh, and they just removed several massive elm trees that were upwards of 80 years old to make way for the project, BEFORE they officially got the go-ahead to do the path. They said they had called in arborists from several different companies to examine the trees, city hall said they were sick and therefore would need to go anyway.
Apparently, they did actually do this, but the arborists in no way said the trees were dying. Now downtown along the highway where they were growing looks like any other little town, not my home town. I'm just angry they lied to get people off their backs. There was a small protest on the cutting day to keep the trees because they ignored the petition a lot of people had signed.
My girlfriend's mother went to city hall to talk to the mayor and just ask him, "Why?" He apparently went on vacation for the weekend the morning the tree cutting started. Screw this. Why?
47. Bad Sheriff
Get a load of this...Basically, a sheriff's deputy from my town was caught stalking different families and waiting for the perfect opportunity to burglarize their homes—which just so happened to be during funerals. One of our firefighters passed on last year while rescuing a stranded motorist, and the sheriff even targeted his family's house. You don't get much more psychotic than that, and I heard that she did all this while pregnant.
My town is fairly small, so word travels fast, especially on Facebook. People are furious man! Some of them want to throw her in prison for a year or two, and I'm with them. Honestly, the audacity of some people astounds me.
48. Aggressive Sports Dad
During my sister’s volleyball game, one of the super-aggressive sports dads slapped someone else's kid because apparently, she "set the ball into a bad positioning" and that caused his daughter to miss the spike. His kid is terrible at volleyball. I played volleyball for a long time and my mom sent me footage of the set, she set that ball beautifully for the small league she's in...they won the game, just be happy!
The entire community is turned against him right now, and the family of the girl is considering pressing charges, which I feel they should because this guy has gotten close to crossing the line before and he needs to be reprimanded for his actions. How didn't he get his butt kicked at the game? Because what he did next was unbelievably cowardly. No one had the chance because immediately realized he messed up and ran out to his car. He drove away leaving his kid to be embarrassed and alone in a court full of people angry at her dad (one of the nice moms gave her a ride back to her house where she spent the night.)
And on a happier note, I've just learned from my mom that charges are being pressed, and investigations into the living conditions in his house are being conducted. Not only is he getting punished for slapping another person’s child, but because of this incident, his home life was looked into and they found evidence of domestic conflict.
He's now not only going away for aggravated assault but also child and domestic abuse. His wife is filing for a divorce because in an interview she said, "I really wanted to for a long time, I was just terrified what he'd do to me". Luckily the woman is getting all the assets, and custody of their daughter. I don't know exactly how long his sentence is, but I know he won't be welcome back in our town once he's out.
But for now, our little town can go back to being happy again, and I think everyone is thankful for that.
49. Bad Company
My grandfather comes from a small town with less than 5,000 people and it is kind of spread around into smaller districts; so essentially his district has about 500 people and the bakery turns into a bar at night. I grew up going there at least twice a month until I was 14 years old, and once a month until I moved abroad for a while. Despite being such a small town, and greeting the mayor who was the local butcher every time my family needed to buy something (the butcher shop was also the second biggest market in town), we had big, big-town issues—and it led to the worst tragedy in the town's history.
One of the biggest issues was corruption and since the town planned on expanding, building a new public school and whatnot, they got some extra funds from the state. Our friendly butcher/mayor decided to crack down on the folks that were stealing public money and he ended up being fatally shot by two men in a motorcycle in front of his six-year-old while they played in a park near one of the main squares.
I was in town that weekend and everyone was instructed to lock all windows and doors since the two men weren't caught. All lights were out by 7 pm and I could not think of a more terrifying evening all my time spent there—with the exception of when three years later a jaguar decided to visit me at midnight in the little bedroom outside the main farmhouse.
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