Labasa FC are known as the Lions after a fabled lion who cried for 100 days. In fact the lion only cried for 97 days, but this was hushed up at the time because crying for 97 days when you're so close to crying for 100 is just obtuse.
Anyway, one summer evening with the scent of frangipani drifting into the houses, a lion emerged from the forest and lay in the market square of Labasa. Those bold enough to get close to it (a soldier on leave and a postmistress who just had to know everything) related that a single tear was dropping from the lion's eye in a sad, continuous flow.
The town mayor called in the wisest person in the village, a man who only two years previously had invented hands-free pointing, who recommended that the townspeople attempt to cheer the lion up because a weeping lion brings bad fortune and also was lying right in the way of the cheese stall. Many attempted to stop the lion's tear from a safe distance. The fishmonger did a funny dance while the seamstress told a joke about a stupid tiger.
It seemed hopeless until a brave little girl approached the lion all by herself and stood right in front of him. Long seconds passed. Before the panicked eyes of the town the little girl started to sing a song by Adele with a lusty voice belying her nine years. The lion, gaining strength from somewhere deep within, rose and jogged off back into the forest. The moral being of course that, if things seem really bad, just remember you're not being sung an Adele song by a little girl while lots of people watch with frozen expressions of awe and watery eyes. Cameron Carter
Charleston of course is the home town of the Charleston dance, which resulted indirectly from a new law passed by President Wilson after the First World War that permitted US citizens to be silly in public. The "Megaphone Post", which also originated at this time and involved people shouting their messages through a loudhailer to a recipient across town, was more short-lived. Charleston was slightly less famous for its many salt and pepper-mill makers, who made the city an absolute mecca for those wanting the very latest hand-crafted condiment accessories.
By the 1930s, a whole block in the middle of town was taken up by salt and pepper-mill manufacturers and the area became known as "Grind Alley". There were occasional misunderstandings when young women wrote their parents they had obtained employment in Grind Alley, but, by and large, it was a prosperous area until the collapse of the industry in the early 1970s, which many attribute to the scene in Easy Rider in which Peter Fonda uses a stainless steel cruet set in a bikers' cafe as a modernist statement satirising the status-based aspirations of the bourgeoisie.
This followed earlier protests from the country's religious right that salt-and-pepper grinders were, in both shape and mechanism, morally compromising. Watch out for the infamous "spittle" scene in the 1964 film Night of the Iguana, initially deleted owing to the censor's complaint that Richard Burton rotated his pepper-grinder too slowly. Cameron Carter