Here’s how it ended, and other stories.
Not with a whimper, but a bang. Clemson snuck past Alabama in what is being called a game for the ages.
As a result, Mark "The Human Rugrat" Rogerson won the second-half of the Pembroke Mafia Football League by picking the tiebreaker. The youngest member in the Pembroke Mafia said the teams would score 66 points and they did. He edged out Noah "Two Mr. Frenches" Covington, who in the tiebreaker picked the Tide and the Tigers to score 64 points.
That’s not too bad for a guy who hasn’t been able to look down and see his toes since high school.
But both of them picked Alabama, as did most, if not all, of the other members of the esteemed Pembroke Mafia – who I will reintroduce later in this column as a way to thank them for playing.
First, please note that all of this is B.J. Clark’s fault, of course. B.J. is like the Marlon Brando of the Pembroke Mafia. He kind of sounds like him, too, had Marlon had been from LaGrange and a retired Navy chief petty officer.
In short, B.J. calls the shots. I just take notes.
I also can say I picked Clemron to win. Of course, that and $5 will buy you a cup of trendy coffee at a way cool Starbucks somewhere. Especially since I missed about 300 picks this year, my worst effort since last season, when I missed 299.
As for Starbucks, I’ve had their coffee and it was good, but not that good. It just cost more duckies than most other coffee will set you back.
It’s upscale. And upscale is good, unless you’re buying gas. Then upscale isn’t good.
As for what is upscale and what isn’t, I’m told much of this has to do with location.
That’s why if you’re a builder and you buy a $2 box of nails you can charge $5 a nail if you nail them in the right location. In that regard, what is a desirable location one day will not always be a desirable location the next.
For example, remember when nobody knew about the Georgia Coast and everybody in stretch pants, black socks and Ohio tags sped past it on their way down to Florida?
That was 25-something years ago, and you could drive from one end of a coastal county to the other on dirt roads, taking your time and looking at wildlife and trees, and enjoying the humidity while you savored a cold Busch Light.
And guess what?
Nobody cared. There weren’t even laws against open containers back then. Not even sure we had law enforcement back then. They certainly didn’t tote as many guns.
Then Florida filled up and Georgia got discovered, and it’s been getting discovered to death ever since.
That’s why it’s important to get while the getting’s good if you’re inclined to get, and important to go run and find cover if you can’t figure out how to get while the getting’s there to be got.
And that’s why if you’re from up North, you can come down and can get a trendy upscale two-bedroom Southern Living replica of an authentic South Carolina LowCountry plantation owner’s tool shed — complete with easy-rinse vinyl siding, a breakfast nook, paved driveway and two transplanted crepe myrtles covered in real Florida-greenhouse-grown Spanish moss for only $300,000, if it’s in the right subdivision.
Preferably one with the logo of a polo pony or plantation in it, and a good name: Ashenbrook Quarters. Pifflecorn Creek Plantation. Slowmoss Enclave, Slow Moss Crossing at Buckeye Bridge Phase XXIII.
And then, once you’re comfortably ensconced, you can live a remarkable life every day. Just remember bring something to do while you sit in traffic for two out of 24 hours every day. That’s 60 hours a month, give or take, which is 21,900 hours a year. If you live to be 60, that’s 1.3 million hours.
Which is 54,750 days, or 150 years, which is what it seems like sometimes at the intersection of 144 and 17. Disclaimer No. 1: I used a calculator, but I might’ve done the math wrong on that. This is why I had to take earth algebra to finish college.
Never mind. Because though I love everything and everyone, I do prefer the country. I prefer buildings that have been around a while, and people who have been around awhile. Folks who tend to slouch and take their time telling you things if you ask, and if they happen to wear a straw hat and overalls with an emergency spoon in the bib in case a spontaneous free lunch of pinto beans and cornbread should appear out of the blue, well, so much the better.
And with that, here’s the rest of the Pembroke Mafia, which grew from me and B.J. to include Covington, the next U.S. ambassador to Russia if he decides to give up his seat as District 1 commissioner. He’s already got an airplane parked in his garage, I hear, right next to his riding lawnmower and minibike.
It’s also grown to include Ernie "Gilligan’s Ghost" Mitchell, who like B.J. is retired Navy and a big wheel in the Pembroke American Legion Post. Old G.G., we call him. He doesn’t look like Gilligan, which is why we call him that. He’s a Florida State fan. Loves crab legs and watching reruns of "Cops" on TV.
It also includes Rogerson, who is 12, and Mike Clark, who is ageless. Mike is a talented rapper who will one day become the next Vanilla Ice. He’s already wrote a hit song, "Ice, Ice, Ice, Baby" — one ice better than the first ice, which kind of makes him Ice Cubed — and Mike already has more money than the rest of us put together.
It’s grown to include Anna Chafin, the chief executive officer of the Development Authority of Bryan County and a real football fan who made it through Mercer by winning football pools and then investing the money in online fantasy football. Like many Georgians, Anna is a UGA fan. Her husband, on the other hand, went to UGA and is a Florida fan. Surprisingly, he doesn’t wear a mullet, and I thought that was required hair for Florida fans. Actually, Anna’s husband doesn’t wear much hair at all. He’s got a nullet.
Anyway, Anna is in charge of keeping things from the newspaper. I know this because every time I ask her something she tells me she can’t talk about it, but always manages to imply she’s got something she can’t talk about to me.
One more thing: I ran into both her and her husband at some "do" not long ago and they are both very nice and about four foot taller than I am (I am rather sawed off, I think it was something I did in the Army). I felt like a middle-aged Hottentot pygmy, if middle-aged Hottentot pygmies wore khaki pants and carried cameras and are going bald.
Finally, the PMFL also has grown to include Trey Robertson, an assistant superintendent of Bryan County Schools who is apparently in charge of pranking the Bryan County News. Here’s why we think that:
Robertson, who is also the superintendent in charge of making sure the batteries in the head superintendent’s golf cart stay charged to an appropriate level on the CCRPI’s new superintendent golf cart battery index, asked if we could squeeze a late ad in the paper.
We’re patriotic at the Bryan County News, so we’ll do anything to help the schools — even when we’re on deadline.
So Robertson, who was probably smirking the whole time, sends over the ad and it’s a 23-page document that would probably take up about two full broadsheet pages, if this paper was still printed on broadsheet. You could literally hear Bryan County News’ employee heads falling off and rolling around on the floor.
Then, a minute or two later, Robertson, who is now known hereabouts as Johnny Knoxville, sends the right ad. It’s a regular sized, responsible ad, the kind of ad normal adults send, not some 23-page manifesto he wanted published at the last minute.
Here’s hoping your week is a good one. I don’t know what the PMFL future holds, but I want to thank those who played and those who read and those who said kind words about the column, which is written by B.J., I just take notes.
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