Disclaimer: This issue of the Bryan County News went to press 24 hours early, give or take a few hours. The powers that be said it’s better to err on the side of caution. Hopefully, we were wrong and Hurricane Michael went poof and disappeared before it made landfall. In case it didn’t, here’s hoping you stay dry and safe.
And, speaking of going poof and disappearing, I wish I could make that happen to traffic hereabouts. There are hordes of motorists motoring around the Coastal Empire these days.
In fact, what’s more than hordes? I don’t know. But whatever it is, it applies to the Coastal Empire. This place is getting more like Atlanta every day, it’s just not as wide.
First, early voting starts Monday.
Those who know me know I tend to lean liberal on some issues and conservative on others. I’m a cynical idealist, except for when I’m being an idealistic cynic. For example, I think there’s something wrong when people have to hold fund raisers and beg for money to pay for a kid’s health care, or anybody’s health care for that matter.
I.e, I believe there should be universal health care. That makes me a liberal.
But I also think there should be universal service of some kind - a draft, by golly.
Which makes me a conservative, maybe, although, come to think of it, I’m not sure a lot of conservatives have worn the uniform. Has Sean Hannity? He’s a great American, surely he’s served. How about Bill O’Reilly?
(I looked it up. Nope. But they probably wanted too, just too busy).
Anyway, in fact, I think everybody should do two years minimum in the military (or the Air Force), or Peace Corps, or as a cop or firefighter or paramedic or parapro, for that matter.
I won’t go as far as Robert Heinlein, who postulated in “Starship Troopers” that citizenship and thus the right to vote should be earned through military service, but I’ve occasionally thought it should be a prerequisite for anyone who would be commander in chief.
Second, such thoughts come not as a response to Hurricane Michael but instead by my various email inboxes, which overfloweth with cries for help on behalf of politicians to the right and left. There seems to be this thing now where it’s not enough to win an election, they want to rub the other side’s nose in it, but first the sky is falling if I don’t send $5 to be matched 500 times.
“Clearly, the radical left is trying to buy this election and advance their extreme agenda in Georgia. We need our supporters to double down as we near Election Day.”
Translation: Send money.
Or, “Susan Collins turned her back on women when she cast her vote for Brett Kavanaugh. We’re holding her accountable, starting NOW.”
Translation: SEND money.
Or, “If we lose here.. Kavanaugh will serve on the Court for LIFE. If we win: he could face Impeachment!!!”
Translation: Send MONEY!!!
Or, “Experts say if we go broke and pull down our ads, Democrats’ chances to win back Congress will slip through our fingers. And it’ll be all our fault!”
Translation: Send money.
Or, “Across the country, liberals are waking up to a unified Republican government, and they’re seething with rage. We need grassroots conservatives like you to take a stand.”
Translation: There’s nothing scarier than a mad liberal. Send lots of money.
Or, “Since President Donald Trump took office on January 20, 2017, he has already become the most pro-America, pro-business, pro-military, pro-law enforcement, pro-life, pro-religious liberty, and pro-Israel president in the history of the United States.”
Translation: Somebody forgot his meds.
Now, for this week’s Pembroke Mafia Football League standings. We’re dedicating this week’s whatever it is to Paul Johnson, former Georgia Southern football coach and now at Georgia Tech. Johnson’s Jackets ran up one side and down the other of the Louisville defense coached by former Georgia Southern coach (for one year) Brian VanGorder, the Lord Voldemort of college football. The only thing worse than VanGorder is his moustache.
Richmond Hill City Clerk Dawnne Greene and Bryan County Administrator Ben Taylor are tied for first with 22 misses each. I think they’re copying each other’s homework.
In second all by himself is Ted O’Neil, former Bryan County News assistant editor and all around standup guy. Ted’s secret is he has a giant round noggin. My noggin is equally large, but it’s football-shaped and kind of ramshackle. That tends to limit my perspicacity at critical moments.
Ted has 23 misses. I have many more.
In third are Mike Clark and Mark Rogerson, with 24 misses. Mark is head of the PMFL gifted program, because he’s in college. He has a sweater with a big C on it. Mike is our tractor parts dealer and the guy who gets the girls. We call him Vanilla Mike. He likes 1980s rap.
Ernie Mitchell, retired Navy and Pembroke American Legion hotshot, and Dr. Trey Robertson of Bryan County Schools are in fourth with 25 misses a pop. Trey is the guy you need to see if you need your transcript fixed or want the school system to buy white cleats.
We call him Mr. Fixit.
The Rev. Brad Butler, PMFL spiritual advisor and all-around great Baptist, is tied with Pembroke City Administrator Alex Floyd for fifth with 26 misses a pop. Speaking of pops, Alex is the world’s oldest 29-year old. Remember when Pembroke used to have used mule lot? Me neither, but Alex does. He can tell you more things you never wanted to know about turpentine than any man alive.
B.J. Clark, our fearless chief executive petty officer, is in sixth with 28 misses. B.J. is retired Navy and among those who made Pembroke American Legion Post 164 the great institution it really is (they even let me join). He recently turned 79 and celebrated by eating an entire cabbage, all by himself.
In seventh with 29 misses is District 1 County Commissioner Noah Covington. Noah, who enjoys chuckling, is one of the world’s most interesting PMFL members and King of the North. When Noah started out on PMFL and county commission he didn’t have a beard. Now he does. It just goes to show you that you can do anything if you put your mind to it.
Finally, in last with 36 misses is yours truly.
Don’t worry. I’ve got the PMFL just where I want them. That’s in front of me, so I can keep an eye on them. Especially Noah. He wants to be governor and lieutenant governor at the same time. He’ll be the Governator, as BJ says.
This week’s games:
Georgia versus LSU: The Rev. Butler, Dr. Robertson and yours truly go with LSU. Everybody else picks UGA. Nope. Georgia’s about to get smote sideways.
Georgia Southern vs. Texas State: The Iggles are rolling, much to the delight of its rabid fanbase. I’m not sure about Noah. He stays pretty busy chuckling. It’s the beard. It tickles.
Duke vs. Georgia Tech: Everybody but B.J. is taking the Rambling Wreck. Bee’s knees, folks. Bee’s knees.
Texas A&M vs. South Carolina: B.J., Mike, Mark, Noah, Ben and Dawnne are taking the Aggies. Those of us with some couth are picking the Gamecocks. Hunker Down you Hairy Chickens!
Michigan State vs. Penn State: Mike, Mark and Sparty alum Ted are taking Michigan State. So am I. Everybody else is picking the Nittany Lions.
Wisconsin vs. Michigan: Mark, Brad, Ted and I take Wisconsin, the rest take Michigan. Though, as B.J. notes, “they all drive like Ohio Staters.”
Florida vs. Vandy: I take Vandy because B.J. didn’t. Everybody else picked the Gators. Mullets, I tell you.
Louisville vs. Boston College: Everybody but Alex selects Boston College. And here’s something interesting. Dawnne Greene’s Uncle Andy played for BC (not Benedictine, apparently). I never had an Uncle Andy and I’m not sure I’d know what to do with one if I did. I did have an Uncle Marvin who back in the day when I was about 5 or 6 used to take me fishing on Lake Hartwell. Well, I fished. He’d eat green onions and sardines on Saltine crackers and wash them down with cold beer.
Texas Tech vs. Texas Christian: Everybody goes with the Horned Frogs. And here’s something interesting. B.J. ate a horned frog once, when he was in the Navy. “Tasted like a newt,” he said.
Marshall vs. Old Dominion: Mark, Noah, Brad, Alex and I select the Monarchs. The rest go with the Thundering Gom ers.
Army vs. San Jose State: Army it is. Hooah.
Appalachian State vs. Arkansas State: Alex picks the Red Wolves – what kind of mascot is that? – the rest of us heroes take Appalachian State.
Stay dry until next week, mi amigos.