A debate among Southern states has resurfaced in the past few weeks, leading to cheers, jeers and uncontrollable laughter. It involves American borders and, miraculously, has nothing to do with Mexico. Rather, it has been discovered that Georgia’s northern border, which lies literally feet away from the Tennessee River, was incorrectly measured by surveyors in 1818. And here is where the plot thickens.

Fast forward nearly 200 years, and Georgia is in the midst of an unprecedented drought, crippling local agriculture and other water-dependent industries. Had Georgia’s northern border, and consequently Tennessee’s southern border, been correctly marked along the 35th parallel, the state would now have access to the Tennessee River’s abundant water supply and be able to reverse the damaging effects ushered in by the drought.

Georgia’s legislators, foreseeing how thirsty constituents might exact their revenge come Election Day, have responded in a reasonable manner: They have demanded that Tennessee cede the bottommost part of its state. That’s right. Georgia wants to redraw its borders by invading southern Tennessee. A resolution that recently passed both houses of Georgia’s legislature initialized this process by establishing the Georgia-North Carolina and Georgia-Tennessee Boundary Line Commission. This stuff is too good to make up.

And poor North Carolina! Who brought these innocent folks into the Jerry Springer-worthy conflict? Upon further researching this madness, I discovered that North Carolina is a constant target of bullying. A similar border dispute is currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court in the matter of South Carolina v. North Carolina. To add a little more scandalous flavor to the already outrageous scene, consider this: If Tennessee is ultimately ordered to redraw its boundary along the 35th parallel, a portion of Memphis will become property of Alabama.

Four southern states, three separate issues, two Carolinas and a partridge in a pear tree later, the conflict is moving towards the forefront of American politics. The issue has gained substantial momentum and national attention, enough so that Tennessee’s governor was forced to respond by asking, “This is a joke, right?” No joke, sir. This is very, very real. The entire episode has enough comedic material to fuel “The Daily Show” for years. As this ordeal plays out, we must keep in mind that time spent on the controversy over interstate borders detracts from other pressing issues, like what to do with Britney Spears and which brand of toilet paper is really the softest.

Not all is lost in the Battle of the Borders, however. This meticulously planned embarrassment of American government has deftly distracted us from Congress’s inability to do anything at all. Disgruntled citizens all over the country are saying, “At least Georgia’s legislature is able to pass something!” We can also take some comfort in the entertainment value that the fiasco has provided. For instance, National Public Radio ran a Valentine’s Day segment titled “Georgia Wants Part of Tennessee.” Talk about tough love.

As for Tennessee, let me assert my belief that it has absolutely no obligation to help a Georgia that is literally dying without receiving anything in return. If Tennesseans wanted to help others, would they have named themselves The Volunteer State? I think not.

Yet, if Tennesseans come to their senses, they will swallow their well-hydrated pride and grant Georgia the rights to funnel water from the Tennessee River back home – with certain conditions, of course. Here is a sundry assortment of proposals that Tennessee should demand of Georgia before offering to aid those parched peaches:

In exchange for temporary access to the Tennessee River, Georgia must require Paula Deen to cook biweekly dinners for the entire state; Six Flags Over Georgia must be renamed Six Flags Over Georgia But Really, Really Close to Tennessee; every year, Georgia must deliver 10,000 peaches to Al Gore on his birthday; Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R-Ga.) is no longer allowed to use his first name as a pun when referring to the drought; the Atlanta Falcons must deliberately lose any and all games to the Tennessee Titans; Georgians must stop drinking Coca Cola and start drinking Jack Daniels; Georgia must bribe Donald Trump to let Nashville’s own Trace Adkins win “The Celebrity Apprentice”; Atlanta’s Ryan Seacrest must be deported; and finally, Georgia gets Dolly Parton. No backsies.

Spencer Gottlieb is a sophomore in the College.

CORRECTION: If Tennessee redrew its border along the 35th parallel, a portion of Memphis could become part of Mississippi, not a part of Alabama.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.