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New year, same ol’ PMFL column

By Jeff Whitten, Contributor

Welcome to another installment of the Pembroke Mafia Football League and before we go any further, there are some birthday wishes to get out of the way. First, happy belated birthday to Rose Mock, who turned 29 again recently. We hope she had a great birthday and didn’t get arrested and wind up spending time in the pokey. Second, an early happy birthday to Billy Mock, the former school board member who used to live out in the country but now lives across Highway 280 from the largest economic development project in state history.

Me. Billy will be 100 in January. I forget the date but it’s a big deal to turn 100. I think Hyundai should give him a couple cars for all the noise and congestion and frustrated drivers and temporary traffic signals they’ve brought to his front yard.

Now on to PMFL regular business, starting with a quick look at the bowl season standings, which are all weird due to the holidays. Just suffice it say former BCN assistant editor Ted O’Neil is tied with twinkle-toed Bryan County Administrator Ben Taylor for first place.

In second are former BCN editor Jeff Whitten (that’s me, the writer of this mess) and District 1 County Commissioner Noah KONB Covington, with two misses apiece.

All three of us front runners are real good looking, you know.

Boatswain Admiral Fifth Class B.J. Clark, retired USN, is tied with County Commission Chairman Carter “Pius Pipsqueamious IV” Infinger and the Rev. Lawrence “Liturgical Larry” Butler for third place.

Mike Clark is in fourth place all by himself, but he’s never alone. Mike has more groupies than Carter has pills, and in this county Carter has lots of pills.

Alex Floyd, our resident Floyd, is in last place. District 5 County Commissioner Gene Wallace, DMD, is currently on hiatus due to his many pressing demands but sent a photo of his dogs to let us know he’ll be back next season, and we haven’t heard from Mike Brown in a week or so.

If anyone knows what’s up with Mike, please let us know. He owes somebody a fried chicken liver lunch.

Also, a quick shout out to Anna Chafin, former CEO of the Development Authority of Bryan County and now in charge of finding people to work in the region. Anna is a made member of the PMFL, having competed quite well some years ago.

We wish her luck, but if she thought getting Hyundai into Bryan County was hard, wait til she tries to find people smart enough to work there.

Now for next year’s biggest stories.

January: Richmond Hill announces it has added another 125,000 residents in 2023. All are demanding to know when the city is going to solve the traffic congestion problem and bring in more amenities. 25 yankees say they’re going to run for city council and fix what’s broke, which prompts a friend to note that 25 years of uninterrupted migration from up north this way has put such a strain on infrastructure it’s a wonder there’s any left to complain about. February: In a surprise measure, Pembroke announces it is leaving Bryan County and joining the Army. Fort Stewart obliges by moving its gate on Highway 67 to the old liquor store near the Bulloch County line.

February: In a related move, the county seat is moved to Heartwood after a coup by developers turns Bryan County into a private-public partnership funded by tax dollars. That partnership, known as Reflections of We Bloom Where You Owe Lots of Money Home Builders, Inc., or ROWBWYOLOMHB, Inc., eliminates all constitutional offices, boards and bodies and replaces them with a bicameral government consisting of a homebuilders association and a homeowners association. The HBA is referred to as the House of Lords, the HOA as the House of Commons. Executive power is held by a shadowy figure known publicly only as the Lender. Rumor is he looks and sounds like Mr. Smithers from the Simpsons.

May: ROWBWYOLOMHB, Inc., announces it needs a fourth interchange on I-95 to help pay sales taxes to fund more development at the Belfast Keller interchange. The press release announcing the need and plans to petition the feds for money to build the interchange is written in upscale-ese, which goes on for 500 words gushing about the amazing spirit and warm family friendly small town low country atmosphere (and never mind that the real Lowcountry is in South Carolina) that has made ROWBWYOLOMHB, Inc., into the fastest growing former county in the United States.

June: A giant flying mackerel named Fasterbutt eats a 52-year-old drunk from New Jersey sitting on a rented jet ski parked at the Fort McAllister Marina. It doesn’t give a reason.

July: Not all news is bad in 2024, just most of it. The high temperature in ROWBWYOLOMHB, Inc., is 99. The humidity is 134. In response, ROWBWYOLOMHB, Inc announces plans to build a giant dome to cover Heartwood and air condition it but will need government funding. An ACSPLOST referendum is scheduled and passed without vote.

July: Georgia announces the state is pulling the plug on the deal that brought the Hyundai Metaplant to Black Creek, saying “we changed our mind about this whole EV thing because it’s just too much trouble.” Not a whole lot of people are upset.

August: The governor visits ROWBWYOLOMHB, Inc. and announces the plug-pulling was all a misunderstanding. “Just kidding. Not only is the Metaplant remaining in ROWBWYOLOMHB, Inc., and on target to open in early 2025, but we’re annexing the top half of Mexico in order to have enough skilled and willing workers to supplement us hard working Georgians and fill the demand of all the industries in fast growing, hard working coastal Georgia.” The top half of Mexico being annexed by Georgia will be put somewhere in Ellabell, Kemp says, probably over by the Dollar General on Highway 204. “That looks like a pretty good spot,” officials say.

October: After several houses in the latest phase of ROWBWYOLOMHB, Inc., melt due to substandard vinyl, ROWBWYOLOMHB, Inc., announces it is giving out a prize to the first person to shut up and move back up north.

The Lender promptly fires the two boards and announces an investigation into the decision to give out a prize to the first person to move back up north. “We don’t want to set a precedent until we have maximized our profits,” the Lender said.

December: A year-long taxpayer-funded study conducted by a consultant hired by regional development authority boards to find out why industrial employers are having trouble filling jobs concluded something most people with any sense already knew.

Nobody wants to work if they don’t have to because work isn’t fun. If it was fun it wouldn’t be called work. It would be called fun. The solution, according to the consultants, is to cut out all this “hard working Georgians stuff” and make work into play.

The consultant and his well dressed staff is hired for another 12 month stretch to come up with ways in which to make work seem like play, and early ideas bandied about include forklift races, fiveday weekends and mandatory Monday morning keg parties on the loading dock.

Hope your 2024 is better than your 2023.

Jeff Whitten is the former editor of Bryan County News.

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