Marjabelle Young Stewart has named Charleston the "most mannerly city" in America for a dozen years now. Obviously, Ms. Stewart is not a tour guide and has never had a confrontation with one of Charleston's beloved SOBs just for doing her job. She has also never been on Market Street at night and been accosted by locals who drive past and scream epithets. Some of the more clever and charming remarks directed at night time ghost tour guides include:
- Fuck you!
- You suck!
- It's all a lie!
- Tourists suck!
This cleverness of wit makes me believe that they are either
- A product of the South Carolina public school system, or
- A product of the inter-family breeding practices that have been so popular in high society since the beginning of time.
Most of my fellow tour guides blame the night time insults on drunken teenagers and the college crowd. Maybe, but I am not ready to be so kind. I can easily see some of the genteel SOBs hollering insults from the undercover saftey of darkness and the tinted windows of their SUVs. The one thing I have learned as a tour guide is that the tourists are MUCH nicer than the locals - the so-called "most mannerly".
However, most tour guides have learned to deal with the insults, usually by making fun of the cowards who drive by and scream out. It's usually an comment about their lack of male genitalia.
However, now it is no longer only verbal assaults ghost tour guides have to combat. It is physical assault.
On Friday night, Rebel Sinclair, a ghost tour guide who works for Bulldog Walking Tours, was standing on the sidewalk on King Street in front of the Charleston Library Society. A champagne-colored Infinity FX 35 came zipping past. Someone inside the car screamed as they passed and tossed an open water bottle. The bottle struck Rebel in the hip, splattering her with water. However, over the next two days she developed an ache in her hip and has been diagnosed with a bruised hip bone. The bottle was saved and placed in a plastic bag. Hopefully, any fingerprints on the bottle can be lifted and identified.
The ghost tour guides of Charleston are now all going to be walking with digital cameras. We will be taking pictures of all vehicles that harass us when we are with customers. Tag Numbers will be taken and the police will be called. In particular, we will be looking for a champagne-colored Infinity FX 35.
Hopefully, we can match the fingerprints from the bottle to the fingerprints the cops will find in the car.