Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Your city doesn't suck. Trust me.


Some cities have reputations for excelling in certain things. For instance, Philadelphia is world renowned for cheese steaks, Baltimore is known for its crabcakes, Kansas City porterhouse steaks are exceptional, and everyone knows about the San Francisco Treat (sodomy). These reputations are hallmarks of their locale; they are public testaments of the region's marked superiority in a particular field.

Terre Haute, IN is another city that can be included in this list. No other city, that I've ever visited, excels at sucking like Terre Haute. Sure, many other cities unquestionably suck, but the natives of Terre Haute have converted it into an artform. When it comes to crappiness, Terre Hautians bring their A game. For instance, take the name Terre Haute. It is actually a French term that roughly translates to "God Craps Here." I'd like to see Camden, NJ beat that.

Terre Haute's city planners have shown an unparalleled dedication to shittiness. It was sheer craptastic genius, to have a paper mill and a large sewage treatment plant located slightly upwind of the downtown district. As if this weren't sufficiently brilliant, they have figured out a way to make the smells alternate by block (raw sewage/paper mill stench/raw sewage...) as you travel on the major north-south thoroughfare. I think that this feat of fecal engineering will be studied for years to come.

The Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce certainly does its part, by only recruiting employers who pay $10/hour. Telemarketing and retail have replaced manufacturing as the primary economic staple, which gives Terre Haute that authentic Ugandan Civil War look which they have come to cherish. To complete the misery, many of the remaining local employers have converted their workforces over to temporaries or illegal aliens, in order to cut down on those bothersome benefit expenditures. You have to admire that kind of wire-to-wire thoroughness.

For the traveler who is determined to make their journey an excremental one, there is the Terre Haute International Airport. It is a state of the art aviation facility which provides domestic and international jet service to absolutely nowhere. The only other remaining form of public transportation is Greyhound: Travel Partner of the Criminally Insane. Of course, as any Terre Hautian will tell you, the occasional axe murdering is a small price to pay to be elsewhere.

The natives of Terre Haute complete the aura of total turdularity. When they are not consuming methamphetamine, they are transporting methamphetamine, selling methamphetamine, or purchasing methamphetamine. Unless, of course, they are manufacturing methamphetamine. To be fair, there is a faction of the population that is not typified by an average episode of Cops or Jerry Springer. This faction has, apparently, angered God and received Terre Haute as their penance. One of the repentant, has even started a website which is aptly titled: terrehautesucks.com. On this site's discussion board, residents argue about what aspect of Terre Haute life sucks worse and what the best method of escape might be.

I was fortunate enough to escape Terre Haute, after a 9 month sentence. Even though I'm over 600 miles away, when the winds are from the west, I can almost smell it calling me back.



39 Comments:

At 3:59 PM, Blogger Jen said...

Jesus...what a horrible characterization of a city. You really have a talent for this. Too bad there's not an anti-tourism board you could lead.

 
At 5:20 PM, Blogger tfg said...

Thanks, but they have done most of work. Even Wikipedia rips Terre Haute.

 
At 7:55 AM, Blogger Neckbone said...

What is it with Indiana? I've traveled through there many times and have yet to find a remotely nice place. Claims to the contrary by The Music Man notwithstanding, Gary, Indiana is a complete shithole.

 
At 1:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trust me... Terre Haute does suck, Jen. I've been here for a little over a year, and can agree with this characterization.

 
At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't live in TH, but I had the misfortune to live in nearby Brazil for almost eight years. Talk about a dump. Half the streets don't even have stop signs, and most of the populace is senior citizens who turn you in to the city if your lawn gets .00001 mm over what they like. I also had the misfortune to work at St.-Mary-of-the-Woods College for much of the time I lived in the "Wabash Valley." They present themselves as this nice little Catholic girls' college, but in reality it's a hotbed of male-bashing Lorena Bobbitt feminism. If you're male, AVOID, no matter how much they promise to pay you! I live in Michigan now...even with the crap economy, I infinitely prefer it to Vigo/Clay County (or anywhere in backwards red-state wannabe-Confederate redneck Indiana, for that matter - and I was born in Indiana).

 
At 5:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its hard to claim that TH is really oh-so-bad when the entire state of Ohio exists! Ohio, BTW, is Native American for "Mighty Sucking Place."

 
At 9:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've lived in T.H. my whole life. it does smell though, and they tear up all the roads making it impossible to get through town without getting rail-roaded for at least 20 min. or realizing they closed another one of the major roads, its really hard to find a decent job here. most of it is temp work and you get laid off alot.

 
At 1:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

born and raised hautian, amen to the article, but in its defense it translates to high land/ground in french, which is ironic in itself since it is in a valley and often floods

 
At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

genius. you left a lot out about why this town sucks, but I'll forgive you since your penance was a short one. I think I must have molested a dumpster full of aborted fetuses in a past life to have been damned to this town for how long I've been here. It's not only dying on the vine, but the vine itself was a withering turd in the first place. The sooner this place is underwater the better off the world will be.

 
At 4:19 AM, Blogger redmancheyenne said...

Terre Haute: An Area In Stagnation
(Indianapolis Star)
Live there,(Head hanging down, red faced) I agree!
Meth Lab Capitol, Nasty Ho capital, Jobless Capital...
Please let the next Asteroid Strike hit here!

 
At 12:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing that people think Terre Haute is bad. Obviously they've never seen New York, Chicago, Detroit, Denver, Peoria, or New Orleans. All cities have scars. It's just that TH's scars are near the interstate.

That said, I find it interesting that the same people who bitch about Terre Haute being craptastic are the same ones who seem to have done little to improve the city. The corruption and nepotism in the city offices must cease, which starts with initiative of eligible voters.

If I recall, there's a new party in the mayor's office after nearly 1/2 century. Patience is a virtue in such a situation, as it takes time to bail a sinking ship one bucket at a time. Hopefully, the citizens themselves get off their duffs and help bail.

Terre Haute needs to benefit from the state assistance that is passed out to other cities, like Indianapolis, Gary, and South Bend on a regular basis. To get such funding, the city needs proactive governmental membership that is both willing AND able to get said sponsorship by showing that the investment will be rewarding. Nobody likes to fund a welfare case.

On the plus side, when visiting TH, you're not charged a 10% sales tax on to-go food. The 'seven smells' is down to just a couple, partially because business has slowed and closed in some cases. Believe it or not, the fish and wildlife are edible with no known side effects.

 
At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for the one person's question about why the people who complain about Terre Haute don't improve it-- it's because they all have the sense to LEAVE quickly without bothering taking on the futile effort to make the place semi-livable!!!

I've lived in Chicago and New Orleans. Yes, those cities have crappy areas, but the crappiness does not PERMEATE the ENTIRE TOWN the way it does in Terre Haute. In Terre Haute there is NO ESCAPE from being constantly surrounded by redneck, meth-addicted, racist, high school drop outs and prostitutes!

Before I moved to TH, I truly thought the people on Jerry Springer were fake. Now I know different. Living in Terre Haute is like living in the Jerry Springer show. Sooner or later all the civilized people take the exit OUT!

 
At 1:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No sales tax on Rally burgers"-- that should be the city's new logo!

FYI, if you look up the federal site you will find that there are over 300 registered sex offenders living within a two mile radius of downtown Terre Haute. That's one thing that got left out:

"Terre Haute-- Child Molester Capital of the WORLD!"

 
At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also "Vandalism capital of the USA."

 
At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

redneck central. i made the mistake of going to college here and i graduate in a few months. thank god that i have the chance to get out of this complete shithole of a town.

 
At 6:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then again most cities do suck. With all the crime and poverty. You should all think about settling down in a smaller town and then you'll truly be able to escape.

 
At 6:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And quit socializing so much then you won't be bothered by those "rednecks" or asshole city people.
Thats whats great about small towns, you aren't surrounded by the rat race.

 
At 11:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"rat race"? Everybody in the Terrible Haute is too lazy and fat to bother competing in anything resembling a rat race.

 
At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

EVERYONE is fat and lazy?

No, no they are not. Albeit, MOST of them are, but please stop generalizing everyone who lives as a white trash meth addict. Some of us have some class.

 
At 12:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Jen. Good for you for not liking something but how much time did you waste writing this piece of shit article that (in the grand scheme of the internets) no one is ever going to read? Terre Haute may suck but you just dedicated what I am guessing was a good couple of hours to professing your love for it.

 
At 1:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot believe you people. The person who has written this article is an uneducated moron. Wouldn't have one thought to understand that when the paper mill and sewage processing plant was built, it was OUTSIDE THE CITY LIMITS!!! The city grows to accommodate it's population and obviously it has done well for itself. Have you been to Philadelphia lately? The bridges are dilapidated, the town is dirty and litter is everywhere. Terre Haute is growing by leaps and bounds. Terre Haute is French for High Land, not what was mentioned above. It isn't even a clever plan on words. Negative people that have something else entirely wrong with their lives have the time to sit down and put that much effort into something that terrible of an article. I guarantee if this country ever breaks out of war, you would want the 'red-neck' people of Terre Haute on your side. Don't come begging then!!!

 
At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like toast!

 
At 3:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really hilarious are the ignorant butt-munching Hoosiers who attend ISU and spend every moment bashing the town! These are the same inbred nimrods from the tiny farm communities that dot the Indiana landscape. Half of them are just angry because they can no longer sneak out in the middle of the night and "attend to" the prized cow in the family barn. They are also to blame for a large percentage of crimes in Terre Haute. Theft, theft vandalism and, yet again, more theft! Scummy little backwoods oddballs. you know who you are...

 
At 7:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was born and raised in TH (1977-1996). Left and went in the military...and vowed to never return. Until I left, I had no idea how shitty of a place I was living in. But, after 12 years in active duty I came back for a federal job at the prison in 2008. I literally despised every moment of my return. After 18 months, I applied for a transfer and got the hell out. TH is a complete crap hole. Yes, the meth is THAT bad, yes it is THAT dirty, yes people are THAT redneckish, yes there are NO jobs and the crime is worse than down here in Austin, TX. I think the authors description was dead on. If you defend TH, then you are part of the problem.

 
At 10:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

terre haute = terrible hole

 
At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terre = Land
Haute = Fill

 
At 1:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep I can agree with that article. What the author said was actually a nice way to describe that dump!
It's far worse. The corruption the dirty politicians and police men... it's crazy. The drugs are bad but a big part of that is due to corruptions at all levels of the Vigo government. I have tried to run for local office but to do accomplish that task in places like Terre Haute, you have to be a member of one of these special Terre Haute cliques.
Basically if you love freedom or peace then you will hate living there. But If you love police state commie/nazi-style oppression and unconditional worship of politicains and cops, then Terre Haute is for you comrade..
Terre haute = USSR

 
At 5:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah...this is the truth. I'm almost finished with my 39 year sentence that began when I was born. My lucky wife and kids are packing it up in July and moving 1000 miles away. I am following as soon as the job calls. There is zero opportunity for them here...unless you're from the right clan. Please don't bash all TH cops though. I mostly agree, but there are some good ones stuck in the middle of the bad. As a whole, Terre Haute is the worst living experience imaginable. Steve Martin was right, and he should have never apologized when he said, "Terre Haute is the armpit of America."

 
At 6:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the 1:41 PM post...Terre Haute has grown by leaps and bounds? Are you crazy? You call a city that's a prime example of the "Welfare State" a city that's done well for itself? A decreasing population and job force. Increasing programs and housing which attracts non tax paying lazy drug users who suck off the gov't tit. Increasing programs and housing which attracts non tax paying mentally ill drifters who get sucked into the black hole called Terre Haute and can't get out. Actually, they don't want to get out for that matter, because there's something here for them which they couldn't get anywhere else...plenty of free housing. Somebody has to pay for it. Who's the moron? As for the sewage and paper plants, They came long after the city was established. Oh, and there is no trash laying around the TH streets. And no graffiti on every flipping building in sight. There are worse places than Philly bud. Even the graffiti here sucks. It's not even the cool graffiti. Everything TH does is generic. Look at the children's museum. What a waste of money. That's another thing, There is absolutely nothing to do in TH...NOTHING!!! Unless you're a tweeker, or a theif. Look at the tens of thousands of potential jobs over the years that were ran out of town because there was some lack of personal gain for the politicians. Look at the crime. Did you know that 1 out of every 3 people in TH are likely to be the victim of a crime? That's sad. It was once the Meth capital of the US until law enforcement hit it hard. That's something to be really proud of.

 
At 5:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that Terre Haute is the text book definition of corruption. From ignorant citizens to evil paid off judges to lawbreaking lawyers to scummy drug addicts to an immoral insane police precinct. Terre Haute is a reflection of everything that is wrong with America. My summer spent their was the most depressing summer of my life. No one should have to live in a place like that.

 
At 5:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes Terre Haute is the most screwed up place to live ever! Most of the people there seem to think that their crapshoot city is somehow part of the confederate south for some strange reason. Maybe they can't read a map, dunno.

There is more to be said about the shady corruption of the city officials, the last 2 mayors that they had, firemen and police in TH. When I lived there, my job was in IL since there was no real work in TH unless you want to work in a prison or a McDonalds. I saved my gas money and just moved to IL and it's not the best place to live either but it's STILL 200%+ better than Vigo! I cannot think of any city in the whole United States of America that is as nasty, scummy, crooked and decayed, and double dealing as as Vigo County IN! Avoid it like the plague. Speaking of child molester capital of the world that would seem to be true too! Not too long ago they actually caught a couple of cops that molested some young kids and got caught with the pictures on their computers and they would have have tried to turn a blind eye to the crimes had it not been for the Federal Marshalls that took the Diaper sniper lawmen away! Do a yahoo search if you think that I am joking about it! Sick!

 
At 1:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now I lived in and from LA. I tried living in Terre Haute for about a year and a half, and I must say, while LA is VERY corrupt it didn't even hold a candle to Terre Haute, In.
No kidding here! I see a few people talking about the police in Terre Haute and I agree totally, they are out of control. They even bother those who aren't doing anything wrong nor breaking any law. (ask my nephew) they went out of their way to get him in the system for getting smart with the cops for trying to illegally search him. Though he had nothing illegal, the cops still said that he "Intimidated" them! which was a felony! Cost our family and arm and a leg to bribe a judge basically and get out of it. If anyone reading this is considering moving to Terrorist Haute - DON'T DON'T DON'T! You will NOT like it at all! Unless you want to live in a place like Nazi Germany with meth addicts everywhere and mentally ill policemen, judges and lawyers.

 
At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terre Haute is a completely ruined city. Decaying structures, no jobs, police department that is extremely corrupt with a Dukes of Hazzard aspect to it. The nicest building in Terre Haute is the scandalous courthouse of injustice. THEY all work REALLY HARD now don't they? Moving away from that city was the best choice that I have ever made in my life. I mean that too! Now if I ever have to drive through Indiana on a trip, I make it a point to avoid Terre Haute at all costs. I have even paid for more gas to avoid it. Yeah that's how bad and nasty that place is! Anyone reading this DO NOT move their! You will regret it.

 
At 12:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's when negative ***-heads like u negative maroon's leave Terre Haute...Looks around..hey! No More sh** in T.H. ahhh... Sh** like U are what make any town Stink! ...:P

 
At 1:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terre Haute, Indiana must be the absolute WORST, and most corrupt city EVER! When I was in the service and stationed in China they didn't even treat their people that bad! I am dead serious about that! The only difference is that the majority of people in Terre Haute must WANT to live in a police state with amphetamine addicts and scumbag cops everywhere. Terre Haute was not for me. What a HORRIBLE city!

 
At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terre Haute sucks! Total police state full of morons!

 
At 8:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! I didn't know that Terre Haute was even around any more. Why the feds haven't raided or condemned that hell hole is beyond me. I never lived there but I did have the misfortune to stay with a relative there for a month and a half. It was deprssing the whole time. Everyone kept telling me how corrupt the courts and the cops are there. Some of the stories I questioned whether they were real or not but my relatives agreed that they were indeed real stories. The city was pretty run down and dirty except for the court building and ISU. I agree with the poster who said the same. The city smelled like decaying crap too. Maybe it's symbolic?

 
At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terre Haute is a ruined city. I don't honestly see how anyone could ever defend a place like that. You have the meth use and it is bad but not to the degree of say San Francisco. Then you have the police-state of the local good old boys club of cops that break more laws that the chicken heads they arrest. And no one is ever happy. Terre Haute is not a city where anything sane happens ever. Why the FBI hasn't came in and cleaned out the town is beyond me. If you are living in Terre Haute now I pity you and suggest that you move ANYWHERE else that you can. No matter where you move to it will not be any worse. TRUST ME!

 
At 4:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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