They flow over our border, a relentlessly rising tide of humanity.
They talk, dress and eat strangely. Many of them refuse to assimilate.
And they keep coming.
Few elected officials do anything to avert the inevitable warping of our ways wrought by these intruders' expanding ranks.
The motive driving their exodus from the distant realm whence they came is understandable: They know this is a better place than the one they left behind. They want a better life for themselves and their children.
Still, the inexorable influx of Ohioans into South Carolina stirs predictable resentment among many Palmetto State natives.
Yes, the Charleston RiverDogs dropped their four-year "Go Back to Ohio Night" promotion after the 2012 season.
However, a resurgent, Charleston-based website warned last year: "Gobacktoohio.com is back and just like the Cincinnasties who have moved here, we're not going anywhere."
Then again, the latest posting on that venue came in April from "John Caldwell Calhoun," which sounds suspiciously like a pseudonym. Under the headline "Keep your [expletive] crazies in Ohio," the blog entry cited examples of rampant mental imbalance there, asserting:
"One need only watch this video of a lady from Ohio who tries to beat down a McDonald's drive thru worker in Toledo for refusing to sell her McNuggets."
Yet one also need only watch South Carolinians to see that we have our own share of, er, erratic personalities.
OK, so we've never had a football coach who lost his temper as often or intensely as Woody Hayes. That Gen. George Patton wannabe also lost his job for hitting a Clemson player late in the 1978 Gator Bowl.
And teams from our state have never lost a bowl game to Ohio State: We're now 4-0 (2-0 each for Clemson and South Carolina) with the Tigers' 40-35 Orange Bowl victory over the Buckeyes in January.
But Miami (Ohio, not Florida) did beat USC, 20-7, in the 1975 Tangerine Bowl.
Trivia tester: Name the Clemson player punched by Hayes - and his home state (answer at column's end).
Longtime locals have correctly detected a remarkable rate of incoming Ohioans adding to our population-growing pains over the last few decades.
And Ohio accents aren't their only annoying trait. They tend to keep their yards nice - and expect us to do the same.
Plus, many of the too many South Carolinians still lamenting the outcome of the Civil War bitterly recall that U.S. Grant and William T. Sherman were from Ohio.
History review: Grant starved and shelled Vicksburg civilians in 1863, then unleashed a massive bloodletting with his war-of-attrition Virginia campaign in 1864 and '65. Sherman burned his way through Georgia and South Carolina.
Rough stuff. Then again, those two resolute Ohioans did end that awful war by finally crushing not just Confederate forces and resources but the Southern will to fight.
OK, so after the war a different kind of invader - the greedy carpetbagger - came down here to plunder what was left.
Hey, that was the 19th century. This is the 21st.
And even some of us Southerners who once defended the Lost Cause have learned the moral folly of rationalizing reverence for a nation created, in large part, to preserve human bondage.
Anyway, if we South Carolinians in general, and Charlestonians in particular, want to preserve our world-renowned reputation for good manners, we must resist the urge to rudely treat newcomers - whether permanently relocated residents or merely obnoxious tourists.
Holding them to our lofty standards of courtly gentility is unrealistic. After all, many of them have either been, or have descended from, lowly factory workers.
Thus, they generally they lack the grace and charm elevating those of us from the landed South Carolina gentry, past and present.
Thus, they lack appropriate understanding of - and admiration for - our traditions.
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Still, they voted with their feet to come - and stay - here.
Some even try to adopt our enlightened Southern customs - including eating boiled peanuts.
So try not to count on many of them following LeBron James back to Ohio.
And if you're one of us Charleston natives, try not to be too smug about our good birthplace luck.
Answer: Nose guard Charlie Bauman came to Clemson from New Jersey (Runnemede). He now lives in Cincinnati - and attends Ohio State home football games.
Frank Wooten is assistant editor of The Post and Courier. His email is email@example.com.
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