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Pembroke Mafia headed to vacation retreat

Staff column

POSTED: May 19, 2017 2:00 p.m.
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Jeff Whitten is managing editor of the Bryan County News.

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As some of you may know, I belong to the Pembroke Mafia Football League — a loose confederation of usually but not always happy campers who like to pick football games.

Each week, or most weeks during football season, I write a column over on the sports page about our colorful adventures.

Naturally, being in the PMFL can be exhausting and stressful. Heck, it’s a full-time job just keeping up with B.J. Clark’s cell phone and Ernie Mitchell’s car keys, and when you add in the color of County Commissioner Noah Covington’s beard — I think it’s Mr. Revlon Glossy Spaniel No. 3 — it can get almost interesting.

All of which are reasons we decided yesterday we need to go on a retreat.

Because I should know the color of Noah’s beard and he should know what I really think about Vince Dooley, and B.J. and Ernie should get to wade into the ocean and bark at the seals like the grizzled old sailors they are.

All of this of course while concentrating 100 percent on the reason we’re there, which is simple: It’s you. Our loyal readers.

And in order for us to better serve you, we in the PMFL, which includes but isn’t limited to experts like Mike Clark and Alex Floyd and Mark Rogerson and some others I’m not at liberty to name, need us some alone time together with just ourselves and a few facilitators and some lobbyists and nobody else.

We need this time to talk at length frankly and openly and without distractions about issues. And even if going to the beach on your dollars doesn’t look good, well, trust us. We’re the government, er, PMFL. Hey, if it’s good enough for the county commission or the school board, then it’s gotta be good enough for us.

What’s more, and I think my fellow PMFL members will agree, all of you who pay taxes should get a free retreat/workshop at least once a year, so you can also get some work done and deep thoughts thunk in a swanky resort by the beach. It’s no more than you deserve.

Naturally a real working retreat takes place without folks actually physically going to the beach itself because, as we’re told, these retreats aren’t vacations. They’re working trips. They just happen to be at the beach at places that cost a lot and may have real towels in the men’s room, all rolled up and waiting for you to dry your face with them. And they’re sometimes stocked with a well-groomed dude in a vest whose job it is to point you in the right direction if you can’t find the towels.

This is because you can’t have a government retreat without well-groomed staff members to make sure you’re treated well. This also means having fresh lemon water made by a lemon water chef.

And I get it. Because without packing up and driving to a resort to get away from everybody who doesn’t have our cell phone number, how can we poor PMFL members be expected to come up with strategic delivery plans to provide better PMFL service to our fans, er, constituents, er, people?

And remember, that’s you. We are here to serve you, whether you voted for us or not. So we’re going to have a retreat. At a seaside resort. Unfortunately, we’re not the government, so we’ll have to come up with a way to pay for it without having to actually pay for it, and all because you deserve our very best, and we deserve yours. So stay tuned.

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