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Editor's notes: Two kinds of people, or maybe three
editor's notes

There are two types of people in the world. Those who hobnob and goobersmooch, and those who do not.

Well, maybe there are three kinds – those who hobnob and goobersmooch, those who don’t, and then those who would hobnob and goobersmooch up a storm if they were any good at it but aren’t so they tend to avoid it like the plague.

I suspect I’m in the third category, or would be if I thought it would help. But it won’t. We’re all doomed.

Besides, I have an aversion to the practice, even if I was good at it.

That’s because I think hobnobbing and goobersmooching ranks somewhere up there with having one’s nose hair set on fire.

Which, I hear, is what they do on Wrinkle Free Wednesdays at botox clinics, as sort of a prescribed burn. Botox is apparently highly flammable, and nobody wants to see some shellacked harridan’s nose hair ignite her lips, or vice versus. OK, I made that up. Sorry. Where was I?

Lest you are unaware, hobnobbing and goobersmooching is a more fun way of saying networking, which is a sort of a LinkedIn business college way of describing the process of eating cheese to get ahead.

It’s when folks get together to mingle and trade business cards and rub elbows and do all that business casual schmoozing one needs to do to get anywhere because it’s not what you know, it’s who you do business with You know. Networking.

Anyhow, please note I cannot accept credit for the phrase “hobnobbing and goobersmooching.”

That honor as far as I know belongs to the great Sgt. Maj. (Ret.) David Olander, who is retired as both a sergeant major and a college professor. Olander, who served on Fort Stewart with my late father and became one of his closest friends, is one of those people who just have a talent for looking at life a bit differently and expressing what they see thusly.

For example, he once suggested I nail a stingray to the office door of a somewhat bizarre college professor at Georgia Southern. “That would get her attention,” he added, by way of explanation.

We were fishing in the Ossabaw Sound back when you could still get on the water without getting run over or swamped by a navy of weekend boaters flying past in fancy watercraft, so it might’ve had to do with catching stingrays and needing something to do with them.

That was probably circa 1990-something, when the Georgia coast was lighter by maybe 200,000 people and you could usually get where you were going without someone in the way, or running you over trying to get there first.

I do miss that time when the Georgia coast was more rural and laid back and less crowded and successful. But this is a new time and a new coast, and if you doubt that just get out and look at all the places trees once stood and wildlife once lived and the marsh hereabouts wasn’t diced and sliced with docks and piers.

And now there are warehouses, and weird vinyl boxes dressed up as houses, and roads, and strip malls, and more strip malls. Still no Chic-you-know-what, but one day it will happen and folks who measure happiness by proximity to a brand of chicken sandwiches will rejoice.

I have a theory about some forces behind all the growth we’re experiencing. Sure, there are those who believe what they are doing is for the benefit of future generations, and it will make lives richer and more fulfilling for those among us who bother to get on board. They may even be on to something.

But I suspect there are others among those driving the changes to Georgia’s still beautiful but rapidly changing coast who will move on when the profit has been squeezed out of it, because they can afford to and because there will be other places to “improve” upon in the name of what passes for progress and improvement.

For those of us too ornery or stubborn or dumb or broke to move, well, we don’t deserve what we’ll get, but we’re getting it anyway, right up the old driveway.

The reason could be we didn’t know how to hobnobivagate the right circles and goobersmoocherize the right people. Networking, basically. We didn’t network enough.

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