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Malls and highways killed town centers. Can smart design bring them back?
  1. Since 1854
  2. Top Podcasts In Comedy
  3. Small Town Talk
  4. What is it Like to be a Small-Town Boy in a Big City?

Everyone else should too, Carr insists, because small towns have always been an essential part of America. Small towns and rural areas send a disproportionate number of their children into the military. And as was made clear last year, smaller towns, acting together, can do a lot to elect a president.

Morgan, who warned against parochialism, was himself a little parochial when it came to cities. Cities also contain cohesive, functioning communities. It was like a small structure dropped into a big city. Cities of course have advantages of their own. To Conn, the more important distinction is the one that separates both cities and small towns from certain colorless suburbs. After his book, Hollowing Out the Middle , was published, Carr heard from a number of people from different regions, who were trying a variety of rejuvenation tactics.

For example, a career academy in Iowa had begun providing training for high-school students, both college-prep and vocational. Elsewhere, educational and civic jurisdictions were pooling resources and asking employers for input about their needs. Immigrants can boost local economies ; small towns should welcome them, not oppose them. Government is not the enemy of small towns, but many in small towns have grown to distrust government at all levels: The TVA, a giant federal project, was largely a success , and so was rural electrification, another federal project. Today, many small towns rely heavily on state and federal money to keep their economies afloat.

Resentment of cities, especially the often mistaken impression that cities soak up all the government spending , is counterproductive. But it need its small towns and rural areas, too. We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters theatlantic.

A lethargic Irwin drives around town, intent on soliciting local businesses to use the company's services, but instead buys a new pair of shoes. Later, he sees a TV commercial promoting how testosterone can help with exhaustion.

Intrigued, he begins taking it. Continuing to search for new business, he then meets with a Chattanooga Convention Center representative, who declines JJK's services. However, after Irwin charms him with stories about a shared alma mater , he secures a promised recommendation when extra security is needed for special events. Meanwhile, Dennis tells Joan that he believes they were married in a previous life when she was "an Egyptian princess. Dennis shrugs off any jealousy by saying Irwin is "this life's husband" for him. Irwin asks executive coach Dr. Sandy McKenzie to tour the security business and offer suggestions about improving its professionalism, which Joan is not happy with, since it is her company.

The doctor meets with each employee to critique them and get their perspectives. All employees comment on Irwin's hoarding problem. Joan's excessive use of profanity is also critiqued. After seeing that Joan chooses not to change her language, the doctor focuses on Irwin's "disgusting" office. It is revealed that not only is the office cluttered, but it is also a storage unit and the Koplan basement. After several personal items are uncovered in the clean-up, Irwin postpones the process for two months. Joan remains skeptical.

In the episode, she also reveals that she has Parkinson's disease and dances as a form of physical therapy. Christa decides she wants to be a private investigator. A skeptical Joan thinks the idea is just a whim. Irwin does not think Christa could handle the long hours of surveillance that is required of the job. Croft counters by saying that there are "female urinal things" for those situations. Brian also thinks Christa should be given the chance. Joan helps her with the instruction manual, Croft instructs her at the gun range, Brian teaches her about surveillance, and Irwin teaches her "the art of lying.

He amuses everyone except for Christa, whom he refers to as "double wide.

He does not notice the wet cushion and sits down, wetting the seat of his pants, and is ridiculed for soiling himself. It's promotion time for JJK Security's employees.

Since 1854

Most of the security guards are promoted after Lt. Croft tests them on the job. Joan had planned to promote Lt. Croft to captain, but changed her mind after he attempts to kiss her in a bathroom. Irwin keeps his promise to clean out his office and the rest are surprised when they are able to see his clean floor. Joan, however, predicts the mess will return within a month. Joan reveals that she is dieting and Lt.

Croft becomes her coach. While riding with Croft, she notes a terrible smell in the car. Croft informs her that he has not had a shower in three weeks and only takes "bird baths" in the office sink, since he has no other way to bathe. He is later asked where he lived before moving into JJK's office and takes them to an empty lot across the street. His house was destroyed a year ago during a tornado in Ringgold, thus Joan allowed him to stay in the office. A shower is installed there, although no one believes he will use it.

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Christa presents him with a gift basket containing bathing products and others also gift him. He later takes a shower. Irwin gives Joan a bicycle to help her exercise. Irwin's cousin Neil visits the Koplan house where Irwin talks about Neil's wild life. Later, Neil visits the office. Brian says that Neil only comes to the office because he is hungry. Joan laughs that Neil loves food so much, he calls everything from Chinese food to spaghetti "gorgeous. A week later, Neil dies from heart failure. In the funeral procession, women dressed in fur coats ride in a car and wave to passersby.

After the funeral, the JJK team reminisces about Neil. Brian asks about the ladies in fur, to which Irwin states Neil's daughter thought this would be a fitting tribute to her father, who was such a lothario. In honor of the deceased, they hang Neil's photo above the chair where he always sat.

Top Podcasts In Comedy

Thinking about his own mortality, Irwin looks to rekindle his relationship with Joan and surprises her with ballroom dancing lessons. They later profess their love to each other at a scenic overlook, although they are at odds on the subject of Lt. Irwin and Joan return to the airwaves with her public access forum.

At first, no one calls in. Brian suggests they change their show topics to what would interest the public more and Croft suggests Joan publicize the forum in other forms of media. After making the changes, the phone lines heat up, especially when the first new topic is about love and sex.

Joan, Irwin, and Croft later privately discuss their "love triangle.


Small Town Talk

The three go to a club so Croft can mingle with other people. Meanwhile, Christa and Brian come up with a clever way to serve a subpoena. Croft's 45th birthday is coming up. Croft hopes to become legally male before the big day, marking it as his "first true birthday. She admits that she resents Croft for being in love with her because "I'm not into a half man and a half woman.

Croft says he needs a new fake penis, since three others "didn't hold up to his beating. Brian helps Christa improve her grammar, and Irwin trains her in the "secrets of selling" and has her listen to an audiotape called "Say Goodbye to Your Southern Accent. At the end of the day, Irwin is pleased that Christa never got turned away. The team celebrates the birthday with a penis-shaped cake. Joan privately gives Lt. Croft a card that declares, "I-O-U one penis.

Croft tears up, explaining "this means she's accepting me. Out on patrol, Joan and Lt. Croft complain about clients who are too cheap to pay for JJK. Croft says if he had his way, the guards would have mandatory training so the clients get better service.

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At the office, Lt. Croft notes that Joan has fallen off her diet and she says Parkinson's disease is affecting her mobility, so she can't dance to stay in shape any more. Croft holds the first training session outside of the JJK office, during which a large man steals a bicycle from right in front of them. The guards fail the challenge, incorrectly describing the culprit.

What is it Like to be a Small-Town Boy in a Big City?

He then has them complete an obstacle course while blindfolded, causing them to stumble into walls and poles, and go to a karate studio and learn hand-to-hand combat using their flashlights. They play a shooting simulation game at the local high school to teach them when they should use lethal force. Next, they must navigate a paintball course without weapons while Joan and Lt.

Croft shoot at them from above.