Try this in a small town
Op/Eds, Politics, U.S. & World

Try this in a small town

Chris Graham
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(© Robert Clay –

My small town doesn’t have enough money to pay teachers a living wage, but we’ve got money for our schools to get brand-new weapons detection systems.

Try that in small town.


Dude, we’re not afraid of people from somewhere else coming here to shoot us.

We’re afraid that we’re going to shoot each other.

We’re spending our money to protect ourselves from us.

This whole Try that in a small town thing is bullshit empty words from a fake country bro millionaire who lives in a big mansion outside Nashville and wouldn’t know an actual small town if it bit him in the dick.

All that asshat cares about is if you go to his concerts.

What your kids learn at the school that can’t afford to pay its teachers, but has plenty of money for weapons detection systems, means shit to him.

It should.

The reason for that being, his audience is going to be priced out of being able to go to his concerts.

I say this because, where I’m from, my small town, there aren’t many jobs that pay even decent money anymore.

My small town is an exit off the interstate for people going from one somewhere with money to the next.

The jobs we get here involve flipping burgers, serving them with fries on the side and cleaning the bathrooms for people with money to leave on their way through.

Well, now, to be fair, we do have a few jobs packing boxes for people in other towns with money so that they can have things delivered to their front porch that we can’t afford.

The only people who make decent money are the managers, and they’re not exactly eff you rich or anything.

But anyway, yeah, try that in a small town.

Dumbass thinks he’s riling up small-town folks.

Reality is, people who grow up in small towns spend the first 18 years of their lives dreaming of the day they can get as far goddamn away from their small town as they can.

A few manage to escape, but for most, life hits them squarely in between the eyes before they ever get a chance.

For me, I’m the guy from my high school clique of academic overachievers who willingly stayed behind.

The rest are out making other places better places to live.

The bulk of the kids who get left behind do the best they can with their crap jobs to make ends meet.

The escape plan for the ones with kids involves … sports.

I shit you not.

For all the talk from liberals about how people in small towns cling to their guns and religion, what the ones with kids do is cling to the outsized hope that their kids are the next Tom Brady, Mike Trout, Lebron James, whoever.

The money that these folks throw into travel sports for their kids is mind-blowing.

One of my friends got caught embezzling money from his job to feed his travel-team dreams.

He got prison time.

And no, his kids weren’t even close to being that good to have been worth him serving hard time.

And yet somehow, people like me from small towns who point out how effed up it is that we spend more money on weapons detection systems for our schools than we do our teachers, that the best thing we think we can do for ourselves and our kids is put them in the minivan every weekend to play in a tournament on the off-chance that they might become millionaire athletes …

Somehow I’m the bad guy here.

That itself is effed up.

It’s effed up that I have friends and family who can’t afford to get sick because they can’t afford to miss work, and that I know one family that ended in divorce because their kid was seriously injured in a car accident, and when their health insurance ran out before the need for medical care did, they went bankrupt.

It’s seriously effed up that all of this is going on, and that some assclown who lives in a big mansion outside of Nashville pretending to speak for what people in small towns are thinking is making himself a martyr because CMT won’t play his precious video anymore, like that’s what’s important.

Eff that guy, and eff the big city TV news people who live in New York City, and the big city politicians who live in Washington, D.C., who pretend to know the first thing about living in a small town.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page,